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Learn The Parts Of A Song For Success

Learn The Parts Of A Song For Success

Updated 2/20/19

The parts of a song are important to understand because they are the skeleton you’ll drape words and music on it to create a compelling song.  Knowing how to construct the basics can move you quickly to a better song.

Song structure is one of the most frequent problems beginning songwriters run into.

Decisions often seem overwhelming: What are my options? What’s considered the best structure for what I’m trying to convey? My song is too long but I don’t know how to cut it down.

One of the best things you can understand at the outset of your songwriting career is the parts of a song.

WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF A SONG?

 

STORY TELLING ELEMENTS

 

VERSE – Tells the story throughout the song.

CHORUS – Summarizes the main idea of the lyric.

  • Is the emotional high point of the song
  • Usually includes the song title

TITLE -Your title should be your hook.

Granted, there’s exceptions, but your title is what people will use to refer to your song – from a pure marketing perspective, why wouldn’t you make it easy and make it the hook?

There are seven core chorus structures for placement of your title/hook (T). We’ll use a 4 line chorus as an example:

TT– (First two lines contain the Title)
Line 1T in the line
Line 2T in the line
Line 3 – No title in line
Line 4 – No title in line
TTTT (Each lines contains the Title)
Line 1T in the line
Line 2T in the line
Line 3T in the line
Line 4T in the line
-T-T (2nd and 4th lines contain the Title)
Line 1 – No title in line
Line 2T in the line
Line 3 – No title in line
Line 4T in the line
T-T- (1st and 3rd lines contain the Title)
Line 1T in the line
Line 2 – No title in line
Line 3T in the line
Line 4 – No title in line
T–T (1st and 4th lines contain the Title)
Line 1T in the line
Line 2 – No title in line
Line 3 – No title in line
Line 4T in the line
T— (1st line contain the Title)
Line 1T in the line
Line 2 – No title in line
Line 3 – No title in line
Line 4 – No title in line
—T (4th line contain the Title)
Line 1 – No title in line
Line 2 – No title in line
Line 3 – No title in line
Line 4T in the line
CONNECTORS

Connectors are exactly what the word says, they join other parts of the song together so you have a single flow to the song.  Once you understand the connectors, read 4 Steps To Connect Your Song Scenes as an exercise to put them into action.

There are two types of “connectors” in a song and each has a specific role.

BRIDGE – contrasts in content with the verse and the chorus usually giving a new perspective on the story. A contrast can be achieved by:

  • Generalizing if the lyrics were specific
  • Focusing on a new emotion that’s come as the speaker makes a realization
  • Utilizing a different chord progression
  • Making the bridge a bar longer or shorter than the other sections

The bridge is the song’s “a-ha!” moment or a catharsis that happens for the speaker – is a different perspective on what they thought they already knew.

 

PRE-CHORUS OR CHANNEL – sits just before the chorus in a song and is used to build intensity or momentum into the upcoming chorus.  This can be achieved by:

  • Creating longer phrases at the beginning of the pre-chorus
  • Bringing the melody line down to lower notes
  • Ramp back up with shorter phrasing and less space between notes/words

 

That’s it – all the parts of a song!

You should consider the parts of a song as building blocks.  Sometimes you need a bridge – sometimes you won’t.  Make that decision by aligning what you’re trying to say with the song, and what a particular song element does.

For example, if you need a big “A-HA” moment to reveal a twist in the song, then a bridge makes sense and you should incorporate one.

If you don’t need the song to have a twist or big discovery by the speaker – for example you’re simply telling a linear story – then no bridge needed!

Your best approach for song structure is to know what the parts of a song are, and what they do.  Then apply them!

 

More Articles On Song Structure

 

 







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