Songwriting - Form

Writing an Effective Song Refrain

At first glance you might think of a song’s refrain as simply being a shorter version of a chorus. But they’re actually quite different. Choruses are usually complete structures that can be repeated over and over easily, as we notice with final chorus repeats of most pop songs. But a refrain isn’t a complete structure; […]

Eagles

Using an Open Cadence to Create Momentum in Your Songs

In songwriting, momentum is forward motion… the feeling that there’s a musical engine driving your song onward in such a way that the audience doesn’t get bored or distracted. One moment leads nicely to the next moment in a kind of musical perfection. For tangible examples of this aspect of music, you simply need only to […]

What Should Happen After a Song Bridge?

In most songs, the bridge will happen after the second chorus. As you’re approaching the end of the bridge, you get two options: do your final chorus repeats and end the song, or do a third verse. What you choose to do will have an affect on what the end of your bridge sounds like, […]

Lennon & McCartney

The Job of the Bridge: To Be Different

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to improve their songwriting technique. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” comes with a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” A song bridge, which typically happens after the second run-through of a chorus, is optional; not every song uses […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Creating a Good Chord Progression For a Pre-Chorus

A pre-chorus is not a mandatory section of a song. In fact, most songs don’t use them. But in some circumstances, a pre-chorus can be a vital addition to the structure of a song. “Chord Progression Formulas” shows you a quick and easy way to create dozens of progressions within moments, using tried & true […]

Brian May - The Prophet's Song

Strangeness as a Design Feature in Songs

When I was a student at McGill University back in the mid 80s, I heard a performance of a remarkable piece of music called Opus Clavicembalisticum, written by the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, born in London, England. When it was written (1930), Opus Clavicembalisticum was the longest piece of piano music ever written: 4-and-a-half hours in length. The […]