Melody, harmony, lyrics - these are the essential elements of songwriting. But when it comes to writing a great song, having a clear structure to present your musical ideas in a comprehensive and organized way can be just as essential. Song form is how you connect these individual elements to make a lasting impression on any listener.You've probably heard of the terms 'verse', 'chorus' and 'bridge'. We'll see how and where they generally fit into song form, but first let's define and identify what makes them unique. You can follow each sample song using the Spotify playlist below.[*I've added a few more songs to the playlist so you can challenge yourself to identify the shapes of each; Good luck!]
The verseThe verse is usually the first vocal section that appears in a song after an intro has been established. The verse is where the story arc of the song is introduced. The verse also serves to set up the emotional backdrop of the song, so it's important to write a first verse that immediately grabs the listener's attention.As an example, let's listen to the first verse of “Attention” by Charlie Puth."You ran around (3x) throwing that dirt on my name, ' Cause you knew I, knew I, knew I'd call you, You circled (3x) every party in LA, 'Cause you knew I, knew I, knew I would be okay."The lyrics immerse us in the middle of a story. We're begging for more, and that's why the sequel is so eagerly C级执行名单 awaited.The chorusOften referred to as the "hook", the chorus is often the catchiest and most memorable part of the song. Thematically, the chorus is meant to reinforce the central idea of the song, loud and clear. It's the punchline of the story and the most important part from a musical point of view.Let's keep using "Attention," as we get into its chorus lyrics. The lyrics here are more succinct, each line has a rhyme partner, and the syllables agree very clearly with the music."You just want attention, You don't want my heart, Maybe you just hate the thought of me with someone new, Yeah, you just want attention, I knew from the beginning, You just make sure I never defer to you.The pre-choirAs an optional section, a pre-chorus will usually appear between a verse and a chorus. Its main function is to create a transition between the verse and the chorus, so in a way it is a section where the story being told needs a break or further development.
A pre-chorus doesn't have to follow the same rules as other sections of the song—it can be shorter, feature new rhythms, and introduce new melodies, as long as it organically feeds the chorus.Returning once more to "Warning," notice how Puth uses a few extra lines to color his story before leading us to those confident outlines in his chorus."I know the dress is karma, perfume regret, You got me thinking about when you were mine, And now I'm on you, what are you waiting for? But you won't come to home with me tonight.