"Superstition" is immediately recognizable for its opening drum beat, which was performed by Wonder, complete with a noticeable bass-drum pedal squeak throughout the track. Its notably iconic funky clavinet riffs was also performed by Wonder. The song also heavily features brass instruments and saxophones, notably a trumpet lead by Trevor Laurence, and the electronic Arp and Moog synthesizer sounds that Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff helped to create for the album.
Wonder's music had been undergoing a marked change from his earlier Motown pop to a more personal style. This shift had been evident on his two prior albums, but it was Talking Book, and "Superstition" in particular that brought the new style to the awareness of the public in general.