Like most other artistic forms of expression, one of the greatest things about songwriting is that you don't always have to follow the rules. With that said, it is still important for you to learn the fundamentals before you can tweak it to your own style. While songs can be written a number of ways, 99.9% of them share the same building blocks that include an Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Middle 8, and an Outro. In today's article, we take a look at each of these song sections.
This is the introduction part, and always appears at the start of a particular song. This section is crucial bearing in mind that it grabs the attention of the listener, sets up the song and also connects into the verse section. In most instances, it starts a few elements of the primary backing track. It should be able to pull the listeners in and make them love to hear the whole song.
The primary objective of this particular section is to tell the whole story of the song. Each song has a message or a story to convey, and the verse section is where that is done. It fills in the background information so as to set up the chorus lyric. As compared to either chorus or the bridge sections, the lyrics of the verse differs, with each verse developing the story. However, the melody of the verse is always the same each time.
This happens between the verse and the chorus. It is also referred to as the pre-chorus according to the U.S. songwriter-speak. Bearing in mind that the chorus section is always on a higher energy level compared to the verse, this section should always serve the purpose of creating some build. When the chorus chords and the verse are on the same level, the pre-chorus can serve as the new progression that enables the re-introduction of the verse chords in the chorus look fresher and beautiful to listen to.
Without a doubt, this is by far the most important part of a song. It Is where the central message of the song is conveyed. Due to this, it should be the same each time, both lyrically and musically. It should be memorable and catchy in nature, and must leave the listener walking around all day with it stuck in his/her head. Because it usually occurs at least two times in the conventional arrangement and also features the main part of the song, it should be easy to remember. Mostly, choruses are eight bars long, but always double up to sixteen bars.
This is the part in the midst of the song, where there is always an alteration of pace. Under this particular section, different types of instruments take over, melodies and chords may change, and also the main track elements drop out with the objective of providing the listener with an ample break before the chorus is again heard.
The end of the song can also be referred to as an outro. This is when the song gradually fades out, and in most occasions, it could be the chorus repeated a couple of times and in such a scenario it would be known as the outro chorus. However, it can also be an entirely unique section designed to bring the song to a halt.
For you to become a prolific songwriter, it is paramount that you understand the importance of each and every section of a song, and use them to maximum effect. With the above-described parts of a song, you should have a good understanding of the basics upon which you can build on. For more info on song structure, check out the video below!
Understanding Song Structure:
Your Turn to Sound Off!
What song section would you say you spend the most time on writing?