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? […]

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 […]

Adele - Someone Like You

Checking and Comparing Verse and Chorus Melody Range

For many songwriters, getting a catchy melody for your song happens as the result of improvising melodic ideas over a chord progression. If that’s your normal process, it’ll usually work well for you. But improvising ideas should always be seen as a first step to getting a final version of a melody that really works. […]

Imogen Heap Recording Tital

A Powerful Way To Plan An Entire Song

If you are a fan of the music of J.S. Bach, you might know that he often took the shape of a small melodic fragment, and then planned for the entire piece of music to also adopt that shape. Here’s how that might work. If you listen to the beginning of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. […]

The Who

5 Options for Shortening a Song That’s Too Long

I get songs sent to me now and again, for me to give my thoughts on improving them. (If you’re having a problem with something you’re writing and would like my input, I’ll direct you to this post. It will let you know how to go about that.) Here’s an interesting fact about the songs […]

Passenger - Let Her Go

The Vital Partnership of Verses and Choruses

There’s nothing like the term “song form” to have one’s eyes glaze over. In songwriting, you just want to get going with your writing. And you’ve probably written dozens of songs up to this point without even giving the term “form” a second (or even a first) thought. When we talk about form, we’re talking about […]