As a seasoned songwriter, you already know the basic elements of song structure. In order to take the next step to becoming a pro songwriter, you need to also know the nuances that come with song structure. In this blog, we will explore advanced techniques to master song structure, and take your songwriting to the next level.
In today’s music, the intro can be short or even nonexistent. If you do include an intro, make sure it leads into the chorus and has a strong hook. Instrumental intros without lyrics are also popular.
Keep the verses concise, with 4-8 lines being the standard. In today’s music, shorter verses may be more effective, especially if the chorus is already short. The verse should tell the story without overshadowing the pre-chorus or chorus.
While optional, the pre-chorus is still a common component of modern songs. Keep it short, with 2-4 lines, as it’s meant to serve as a transition between the verse and chorus. The lyrics should lead seamlessly into the chorus, building anticipation and setting the stage for the hook.
Once you master the chorus, you are well on your way to master song structure. The chorus is the heart of the song, where the strongest lyrical hook should be. While one iteration of the chorus is typically 4 lines, the final or second chorus often has a total of 8 lines. It is also most effective if the title of your song is found in the chorus – although it doesn’t have to be there as long as it is a part of any hook within your song.
While more contemporary songwriters are choosing not to have a bridge in some of their songs, it can still add an extra layer of depth and interest to your music. If you choose to include a bridge, it should be lyrically and structurally distinct from the rest of the song. Use it to add new elements or themes that keep the listener engaged.
The outro can be an abrupt end from the last note of the chorus, an additional instrumental bar to the final chorus, or a fade-out. Avoid adding lyrics, as it can be distracting and take away from the overall impact of the song.
Mastering song structure is key to building a successful hit song. By practicing advanced songwriting techniques and experimenting with different variations, you can elevate your songwriting to the next level and create music that resonates with your audience. Building a successful songwriting career is a marathon. So once you master song structure, you’re on your way to mastering your next advanced songwriting techniques.