|Previous Article||The Crucial Differences Between Verse and Chorus Melodies|
| Thursday, June 28, 2012, 10:30 am AST
Most of the time when we hear a verse melody and a chorus melody, we know which is which. But describing what those essential differences are can be tricky. Interestingly, we can even tell in those rare occasions when a song is starting with the chorus, as with Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” . And yet even then, it’s hard to put into words how it is we know that it’s the chorus and not a verse. [Continued below..]
It's not a requirement that verse and chorus melodies differ, and some songs have become huge hits using the same verse and chorus melody: Billy Preston's "Nothing From Nothing", for example. Similarly, some songs are constructed using one melody that's hard to identify as being a either a verse or a chorus. A good example would be George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".
But if you're like most songwriters, you're going to write a separate melody for verse and chorus. So what are the crucial differences between the two?
When all is said an done, the chorus melody is the one that absolutely needs to be memorable. While verse melodies need to naturally lead to a chorus, the chorus melody should be a self-contained unit that could be sung over and over again.
When you've written your song, test your chorus melody by singing it without the verse. It should sound catchy, repeatable, and fun to sing.
Then try your verse melody. By the time you get to the end of your verse, the chorus should seem like the logical "next step."
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