Songwriter - guitarist

Pre-Chorus and Bridge: The Similarities and the Differences

The most recognizable section of practically any song will be the chorus. That’s because it’s likely to contain the “hookiest” part – the melodic/rhythmic idea that everyone will recognize. The verse melody is also going to be recognizable for the fact that it starts the song — it’s the first thing people hear. Get “The Essential […]

Limiting the Number of Ideas in a Song

Clutter, at least with regard to songwriting, happens when the following is true: your song has too many musical ideas, and/or those ideas don’t communicate well with each other. But what do we mean by too many musical ideas? What constitutes and idea, and how many ideas should a good song have? Are you looking for […]

Maroon 5

Smoothing Out the Connections Between Song Sections

In good songs, there is a sense of connection — or perhaps communication, in a way — between its various sections. You hear the chorus, and it sounds like the logical follower for what the verse offered. So how do we ensure that each section of a song feels connected to what came before it? […]

Songwriter - Pianist

The Hummable Melody

I have a theory as to why so many songwriters like to start with chords: it’s because chords give you: a mood; a musical landscape; the start of a musical form. In very short order, you can easily come up with 8 bars of music when you’ve got 3 chords, even if you don’t have […]

Andy Grammar

The Repeatable Quality of Great Chorus Hooks

In the pop music genres, a great chorus is a self-contained unit. It doesn’t need a verse in order to work, musically speaking; it will work on its own. That’s certainly not to say that a chorus is all you need, or that a verse serves no useful purpose. In most songs, if all you […]

Sting - Every Breath You Take

After Verse and Chorus Chords, What To Do About the Bridge?

Most pop songs, and all the related genres such as folk, country, etc., use simple, strong chord progressions. In fact, when you go back and look at complex prog rock tunes from the early to mid-seventies, you might be surprised to see that chord choice is not nearly as adventurous as you might think. Complex […]