John Legend

Paying Closer Attention to the Rhythm of a Chorus Melody

I’ve aterritten a fair bit lately about making a verse more effective, either by creating an interesting key change, or by paying closer attention to how the verse connects to the chorus. In this post, I want to look more closely at the chorus itself, and address an issue when the chorus itself just doesn’t […]

Guitar and music

Songwriting, And the Pressure to Be Unique

If you’re a carpenter and you like to build your own furniture, you know that your hobby is mainly two activities: Designing your project. Building your project. There is a similarity between carpentry and songwriting in that both activities involve designing and “building”. The main difference, though, is that songwriters are often designing as they […]

Band in concert

Getting the Most Out of a Bridge Lyric

If you’ve been writing songs for a while, you’ll know that lyrics change in character as a song progresses. To generalize, you’ll notice the following: VERSE LYRICS: Verse lyrics set the stage, recount details of a story, describe characters, etc. It lays out the narrative, the storyline or general song topic. “Hooks and Riffs: How They […]


How to Make a Good Connection Between Verse and Chorus

Many songwriters will find the chorus to be easier to write than the verse. That’s because a chorus design is typically simpler than that of a verse. In particular: A chorus melody features repetitive hook-like cells that are easy to sing and easy to remember. A chorus chord progression targets the tonic chord (i.e., they’re […]

Stevie Wonder in a Recording Session

Why We Like Songwriting Formulas

It’s probably a product of the age in which we live, but once we’ve invented or created an item, our mind moves quickly to how we can mass produce that item for maximum profit. Songwriting isn’t much different, and that’s probably why songwriters talk a lot about formulas. In songwriting, a formula is a system or procedure […]

Pink - Nate Ruess

3 Ideas for Finishing a Verse That Feels Stuck in the Mud

It’s amazing how much music you can write with so few ideas. Here’s what I mean: A typical song will have a verse and a chorus, with the possibility of some other optional section, like a bridge. Each of those sections are usually constructed on one main idea, with other related ones. So that means […]