Guitar and Piano

How Bridge Chords Work in Most Songs

A bridge (or middle-8) is the section that usually follows the second chorus of a song. Back in the earlier days of rock & roll, that bridge was likely to be strictly an 8-bar section, but these days the definition has allowed for a lot more creativity. In general, though, you can expect a bridge […]

Songwriter - guitarist

Pre-Chorus and Bridge: The Similarities and the Differences

The most recognizable section of practically any song will be the chorus. That’s because it’s likely to contain the “hookiest” part – the melodic/rhythmic idea that everyone will recognize. The verse melody is also going to be recognizable for the fact that it starts the song — it’s the first thing people hear. Get “The Essential […]

Limiting the Number of Ideas in a Song

Clutter, at least with regard to songwriting, happens when the following is true: your song has too many musical ideas, and/or those ideas don’t communicate well with each other. But what do we mean by too many musical ideas? What constitutes and idea, and how many ideas should a good song have? Are you looking for […]

Maroon 5

Smoothing Out the Connections Between Song Sections

In good songs, there is a sense of connection — or perhaps communication, in a way — between its various sections. You hear the chorus, and it sounds like the logical follower for what the verse offered. So how do we ensure that each section of a song feels connected to what came before it? […]

Songwriter - Pianist

The Hummable Melody

I have a theory as to why so many songwriters like to start with chords: it’s because chords give you: a mood; a musical landscape; the start of a musical form. In very short order, you can easily come up with 8 bars of music when you’ve got 3 chords, even if you don’t have […]

Andy Grammar

The Repeatable Quality of Great Chorus Hooks

In the pop music genres, a great chorus is a self-contained unit. It doesn’t need a verse in order to work, musically speaking; it will work on its own. That’s certainly not to say that a chorus is all you need, or that a verse serves no useful purpose. In most songs, if all you […]