Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]

Fitting Parts Together to Create a Song

Most of the time, you write songs where all the sections (verse, chorus, etc.) are written as part of the same process. You might write a chorus hook, and then you work on a verse that will partner well with it, and so on. But you likely have bits of songs that you’ve written over […]

Taylor Swift - I Did Something Bad

Using the Verse to Power Up the Chorus Hook

For most songs, if you speak of the hook, you’re talking about the chorus, and most likely the start of the chorus. Sometimes the hooky bit might be the end of the chorus, like Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs’ 1963 hit “Sugar Shack”. For pop songs, the hook has been a perennially essential ingredient. Because […]

Matching a Chord Progression to the Mood and Message of Your Song

In yesterday’s post I wrote about two-chord progressions, and how a song practically never suffers from a chord progression that’s short or boring. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean that a chord progression can’t help strengthen your song’s structure. If you’re hoping to give stronger meaning to your lyrics by using more creative chords, you […]

Chainsmokers

Comparing the Rhythmic Feel of a Verse and a Chorus

Are you trying to make your lyrics more important in your songwriting process? This eBook can help: “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” Take advantage of this FREE offer. In most songs, a vocal line will become rhythmically simpler in a chorus, often favouring notes of longer rhythmic values. There are good reasons […]

Songwriter - Lyricist

What’s Going Wrong With Your Lyrics? Use This Checklist

More songs are valued or rejected over the longterm because of the quality of their lyrics than any other song element. Take a look at practically any “worst of” list, and you’re usually looking at a list of songs where the lyrics are corny, stilted, or otherwise missing the mark. The best songwriters are best […]