Bruce Springsteen

Tips for Writing a Verse-Refrain-Bridge Song

Writing a song that’s mainly a set of verses, each one ending with a pay-off line, has a simplicity that really works well. The pay-off line– a refrain — often sneaks into the song at first, without it being obvious that it’s operating as a powerful closer that’s going to keep coming back. Bruce Springsteen’s “All That […]

Microphone - Writing a melody

Is the Chorus You Just Wrote Really a Verse?

Do you ever feel that your chorus has problems, but no matter what you do you can’t seem to get it to work? When that happens, the problem often seems to be that the chorus doesn’t sound like a chorus. You expect a certain kind of musical punch to come from a chorus, but figuring out […]

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 […]