Song Structure for Songwriters
Song structure tips help you to focus your song effectively
Song Structure for Songwriters: So you want to write a hit song? Deciding upon your song structure is one of the most important judgments to be made when writing a song. You will want to strike the balance right between repetition and contrast to ensure it is both catchy and dynamic. The song structure will need to remain focussed throughout; here are some song structure tips to help you achieve this.
What is Song Structure?
Song structure refers to the formation of a song. It is based on the fitting together of different musical sections, most often including a chorus, verse, bridge and hook. The song structure can take varying forms and there can be exceptions to these common arrangements.
Tips on Song Structure
HOT TIP! If you want your song heard on the radio make sure you reach the chorus line in less than a minute – the sooner the better! This will also be beneficial at short performances or auditions when time is limited and long, drawn-out intros won’t do you any favours.
Song Structure – the Different Components of a Song:
- Intro – This is a crucial part of the song structure as you will want to get the attention and interest of the listener straight away.
- Verse –The verse provides the listeners with more insight. It leads to the main message of the song whilst advancing the story.
- Chorus – This repeats both musically and lyrically. It is the ‘pay off’ component of the song which listeners tend to be waiting for.
- Hook – A hook is a musical or lyrical phrase that engages your ear
- Bridge - The bridge can provide a tool to break up the repetitive effect of jumping back and forth between the verse and chorus.
- Break – this is an instrumental or percussion section within the song which breaks up the song structure. It is optional but can be used effectively within a song to build anticipation and grab our attention.
- Outro - This is the closing segment. The song will often fade or break down to simple beats.
Working on Song Structure
A typical pop song structure will comprise of a series of verses – most often 2 or 3, along with a chorus, and frequently with an instrumental break towards the end of the song. These components are variable and can be altered to suit the sound of the song. If a bridge is used it will tend to only appear once in a song and is often at contrast with the melody and rhythm of the rest of the song.
Song Structure - Getting a Catchy Hook in your Song Structure:
- Simplify until a hook appears!
- Take an impartial look at the existing lyrics in your song. Get rid of any superfluous words.
- Figure out exactly what it is you are trying to say and whether someone will understand what you are implying.
- Ask yourself whether people are going to think it is memorable or will they just find it annoying?
- Keep repeating this proves until a hook forms.
HOT TIP! This would be a good opportunity to get another song writer to listen to your work and take an objective look at your song. This way they can give their fresh-eared opinion on how successfully they feel the melody and hook are working.
Writing a song is a complex process but if you can successfully identify, form and combine these key song structure components then you will be well on your way to creating a song worthy of performing!
SONG STRUCTURE FOR SONGWRITERS
Check out our other useful tips and advice for songwriters below and check how to showcase your song writing by entering Future Music’s Songwriting Competition here!
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