Is the pre-chorus the same as a lift, a channel, a ramp, a climb, a refrain? Yes, yes, yes, yes – no.
While you’ve heard people talk about the pre-chorus, what’s its role in a song and when should you be leveraging it to create a great song?
We’ll break down the role of the pre-chorus (aka ramp, channel, B-section, lift) and how it fits into the song elements that combine to create your song lyric.
It’s role includes:
- Propels the listener lyrically and melodically into the chorus
- Is a consistent cue at the end of each verse that the chorus is approaching
- Act as a contrasting element if same chords used in the verse & chorus
- Help you get from a low vocal ending note in your verse to a much higher vocal start note in your chorus (e.g., octave change)
- Building energy from what might be a calm verse to hyped up chorus
A pre-chorus or channel is usually only two lines and should use a chord progression that has an anticipatory feel.
For example, if you’re in the Key of C and your verse and chorus are two chords – C and F only, you could use the progression of Am F | G in your pre-chorus to create lift and contrast:
Line one: is four bars of Am (the 6m chord)
Line two is: two bars of F (the 4 chord), then two bars of G (the 5 chord)