It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

Verse-Bridge-Verse Songs: Getting the Structure Right

The great thing about various possible song designs is that they usually work for any genre. It shouldn’t matter if you’re writing pop, rock, country, folk… the principles that make a formal design (verse-chorus-bridge, for example) work apply to any and all genres. And not just genres… you find them used in practically any era as well. That means that […]

When You Can’t Tell If You’re Hearing a Verse, a Chorus, or Something Else

Constructing songs so that we hear verses, choruses, bridges, and so on, is a good and easy way to ensure that your music incorporates contrast. Even before hearing a particular song, we know that the chorus is likely to be higher in pitch, that the chorus chords will probably be stronger and shorter than the verse, […]

Glen Frey

Writing Multi-Part Verse Melodies

You can define a multi-part verse melody in many ways, but the kind of melody I’m talking about is the kind you might find in a song like Eagles’ “Take It Easy” (Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey), which is a verse-only song where the verse consists of several short phrases joined together to make one complete melody. I’ve been thinking […]

John Newman - Love Me Again

How to Take a Verse Idea and Create a Great Chorus

A lot of the time, the musical ideas you conjure up will be chorus ideas, because it’s often easier to think up short, “hooky” fragments that will serve as a good chorus. They’re the kind of musical ideas that are short, repeatable, singable, and generally fun to perform. But sometimes a musical idea will pop […]

Shawn Mendes - Stitches

Songwriting Tips: Getting the Most Out of Verse 2

For many songwriters, writing a chorus is a logical first step. It’s the part with the hook, and you can make great use of repetition to come up with something that’s catchy and memorable. If you’ve started your song with the chorus, the next section you’ll work on is verse 1. That’s because whatever emotions […]

The Most Important Feature of Memorable Songs

Repetition in music of any genre is vital to its success. That wasn’t always the case. If you go back a few centuries, much music was “through-composed”, a term that refers to music that was one new idea after another, with very little repetition. Through-composed music has the benefit of establishing a mood, and then keeping that mood. […]