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The Parts Of A Song

The Parts Of A Song

Updated 2/20/16

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: what are my options, what’s considered the best structure for what I’m trying to convey, and more.

 

What Are The Parts Of A Song?

 

CORE SONG 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
  • There are seven core chorus structures for placement of your title (T):
TT
TTTT
-T-T
T-T-
T–T
—T
T—

 

CONNECTORS

 

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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