Elvis Presley

Providing Contrast in a Song That Uses a Lot of Repetition

In songwriting, the term contrast refers to providing opposite-sounding characteristics to any one song component: melodies that move higher, then lower; chords that are mainly minor, then major; instrumentation that’s at one point soft, then loud, and so on. It’s not important that every element within a song show a degree of contrast. For example, you can […]

Creating Musical Ideas

How Your Song’s Chorus Should Differ From Your Verse

Don’t be surprised if most of the time you start your songwriting process by working on getting the chorus happening first. For most of your listeners, your song will be defined by what’s happening in the chorus; it’s the chorus that really needs to shine. Songwriters are very familiar with the chorus hook, but there are […]

Rock Concert

The Necessity of a Powerful Chorus Hook

I don’t at all want to give the impression that the chorus hook is so important that it makes whatever you do in a verse unimportant. It most certainly is important that everything you write is something people want to listen to. But when it comes to standard pop song formats that use a series of […]

John Legend

The Rhythm of the Chorus Hook: It Matters

Even if a song’s chorus hook happens by pure musical instinct, there are several characteristics that are usually present in most of them: They’re rhythmically interesting. It’s usually a short, catchy melodic idea that’s easy for a listener to remember. The chords are simple and tonally strong (they strongly imply the key of the chorus). […]

Bruno Mars

Got a Chorus, But Can’t Come Up With a Verse?

For most songwriters, it’s a lot easier to come up with a hook or chorus as a first step than it is to come up with verse. That’s because the hook acts as a kind of musical target; it essentially tells the audience what the song’s about. To start with a verse means that you […]

McCartney - My Brave Face

Songwriting in Chunks

Pop songs are relatively short. But despite that fact, it can be a daunting task to imagine and then create a complete three or four minute musical journey. You have all sorts of ways that you typically create this musical journey. Most of the time, you’ll find a couple of chords that move back and […]