What do contemporary songwriters like Katy Perry, Death Cab for Cutie, and Green Day all have in common? They all have hit songs that rely on choruses or hooks characterized as the millennial whoop.
Patrick Meztgar defined the millennial whoop as “a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale, typically starting on the fifth. The rhythm is usually straight 8th-notes, but it may start on the downbeat or on the upbeat in different songs. A singer usually belts these notes with an “Oh” phoneme, often in a “Wa-oh-wa-oh” pattern.”
In short this means that they have a musical phrase that uses the 5th and the 3rd as a melodic hook. So if you’re in the key of C then your millennial whoop will alternate between the E and G notes of the C chord (C-E-G). Or if you’re playing a song in E the whoop would consist of B and G# (E-G#-B). If you unsure about your interval notes, you can use this guitar note chart to help you find the appropriate notes for your whoop.
Of course music, and pop music especially, goes through trends. While current musicians are not the first to use these intervals, pop music is certainly experiencing a moment where this technique is becoming popular. In the same way that synthesized drums were popular in the 80s or the use of flangers in the early 2000s. However, there are countless examples of songs back to Beethoven that rely on the alternating of the 5th and the 3rd.
Today we’d like to challenge you to write a song that uses the millennial whoop..
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