Guide to Writing Good Song Structures

Song StructureIf you listen to any songs on the radio, you will probably notice that the song has a particular structure. This song structure organizes the song such that it is easier for the listener to hear and connect with the song. Here are the different components of the song structure explained:

I. Intro

The introduction sets the tempo and mood for the song and is usually instrumental-based. You should treat the intro like a “sneak preview” to the rest of the songs and engage the listener with a smooth transition to your song. Bear in mind the following points when writing songs on guitar:

-KISS → Keep It Simple Stupid! Like it or not, most listeners are easily put off by a long lengthy intro.

-Don’t show off too much and try to climax the song in the introduction. The intro is supposed to leave the listeners wanting more after they listened to it.

-An introduction is not compulsory. You may choose to start immediately with a verse or chorus in some cases.

-Don’t go on and on in repeating the verse for minutes.

II. Verse

The verse is the part of the song where it is heavily dominated by vocals and lyrics. Normally, the verse runs in a similar melody through the song and basically begins the “story telling” part of the song.

-Remember KISS! Keep the music and instruments simple here.

III. Pre Chorus

The pre chorus is used as a connection to join the verse and chorus for a better flow of the song. This can just be a couple of bars to build up anticipation of the chorus for greater impact.

-Not a compulsory element.

-Don’t go on and on in repeating the verse for minutes.

IV. Chorus

The chorus is the most important part of the song. This is the portion that most listeners are waiting for. You want to make them remember the song with a great melody and catchy chorus.

-Work on your writing a good melody here. Write, and rewrite until you get a good melody.

-It is fine to repeat the chorus a couple of more times. (But remember moderation)

-Plan for the climax of your song in the repeated choruses towards the end of the song. (e.g. Add in more bulk in the music in terms of guitar solos, heavier drums, harmonizing vocals etc….) Don’t plainly repeat and play the chorus in the same manner throughout the song.

V. Bridge

The bridge is a part of the song which has a dissimilar melody, lyrics and music from the rest of the song. In short, the bridge freshens up the song and injects a new vibe into boring repetitions of the verse and choruses.

In popular music, one of the most commonly used song structure is verse / chorus / verse / chorus / bridge / chorus/ chorus. For a start, you may want to write your first song using this tried and tested song template.

In a nutshell, the song structure is like the framework of a building. A perfect song structure by itself means nothing. However, when the song structure supports your lyrics, melody and music (analogous to windows and walls of a house), you have a good song in the making.

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