How is a chorus different from a bridge or a verse?  Understanding all of the different song parts, or song elements, can be tricky. Everyone will tell you the definition of a chorus, but what does that really mean when you’re writing?

How should you be thinking about the overall structure and the role of the chorus in your song?

We’ll break down the role of the chorus and how it fits into the song elements that combine to create your song lyric.

Is The High Point Of The Lyric

It’s role includes:

  1. Summarizing or completing the verse idea – or commenting on the verse ideas
  2. Containing the central idea
  3. Stopping forward motion – it brings ideas full circle to the central idea

The CHORUS is your lyrics central, most important, most critical song element.  A good analogy is an opera. When an aria is happening, the spotlight shifts to the soprano – everyone else is stage dressing.

This is the same for your CHORUS. It is the star of your song.

Since it’s role is to stop forward motion, it’s the primary reason we all endure 2nd verse hell!  If you’ve written a strong chorus, that’s exactly where you should be; crafting a strong idea for your second verse that will tie to the CHORUS.

Your CHORUS should also employ contrast.


Allows you to separate your song elements within the lyric so the listener has a clear signal that something has changed.

Your chorus should sound different from your verse and bridge melodically. You can achieve this in a few ways:

  • Changing your rhyme pattern (this one should be a given as part of your writing)
  • Changing the length of your phrases (short in the verse, long in the chorus)
  • Reversing your chord structure used in the verse
  • Using the same chords, but altering your phrasing
  • Changing up where the stresses occur in the phrases
  • Shifting key or time signature and many others


Because songs start from the ground up:

Forming The Lyric
Syllables -> Gather Into Words -> Words Form Into Phrases -> Phrases Stack Into Elements ->

which . . .

All Combine To Form The Lyric


it’s important to know how the different sections or song elements and key phrases impact your lyric!

Song Elements


More About The Chorus