5 Easy Steps To Writing Great Verses

How can we make songwriting easier? Change your perspective before you start writing!

Songs are really just scenes strung together – so just write those!

If you break your song down into smaller scenes, or verses as we like to call them, it’s easier to structure your song and start writing.

We’ll focus on the steps for a single scene. And, for the purposes of the discussion, let’s go with:

Verse | Chorus | Verse | Chorus | Bridge | Chorus

In this song structure, you’ll need two complete scenes since there are two verses.

Let’s start walking through the steps to getting the verses written.

Song creation is driven by a song idea and a song plot.

So what is your song idea and what’s your first scene to set it up?

  • The song idea and the first scene should tie together so your song is heading in the right direction immediately.
  • A strong first line helps, but your scene will be what plays in the listener’s head.
  • Think about what will set the song up right and visualize it.
  • Now make some notes for your verses.

Based on your song idea, who needs to show up first (remember, first verse only right now)?

  • Try and restrict your scene to no more than two people or two mentions of people.
  • For example, if it’s a song about a man who cheated on a woman, he and she are easy to follow.
  • But what if you put the lover into the scene? He, she and him becomes complex.
  • Keep it simple first – you can always complicate it later when you know where you’re going.
  • Your verses will need to connect, so stay within the same location or song idea (e.g., on a plane to Mexico from LAS, but you’re still just on a plane at the end of the day – no location change).

What’s the setting? Does it resonate with your song idea?

  • What about other places?
  • Create a list and see if anything jumps out.
  • Try some odd places just to keep the list fresh.
  • For example, you can be drunk in a number of places – being drunk on a Ferris Wheel is a little different.

This is a great way to give yourself some twists and turns you hadn’t originally come up with as part of your plot.

Make a list and see if there’s anything that creates some interesting character choices or drama.

Pretty self-explanatory, and a good habit to get into, especially for story songs when looking for that “unique” aspect if you plan on pitching your songs commercially. These will be the building blocks of creating some surprises in the song through your verses.

So now let’s connect your song scenes!

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