Songwriting Tips: Elements Of A Song
Updated: Apr 28, 2019
Don't write another song before reading these tips! Learn the elements of a song to maximize your
Intros are one of the most important elements of your song. As most people only listen to the first 5-10 seconds of a song to see if they like it. Here are some techniques to make an amazing intro:
- Chord Progression
- Count Off (i.e. 5,4,3,2,1)
- Vinyl Filters
- 4 Bars Acapella
- Different Key Signature
- Hard Chorus/Hook Intro
- Hard Verse Intro
- Chorus/Hook Chord Progression
- Verse Chord Progression
- Sound FX or Atmospheric Sounds
- Contrast (i.e. Staccato instead of Legato)
- Play Rubato (i.e. Casual, loosely in sync with the tempo, tightening in time for first Verse)
- Fade In
- Play Chorus/Hook Vocal Melody With Instrument
- Use Song Title
This is where the story is told. This is where the body of details lies. Alluding to the title of the song here is a good idea. The story generally progresses as the next verse comes. A good tip to write a second and third verse is to ask yourself:
“What Happened After?”
“And Then What?”
The length of a verse is generally 8, 12, or 16 bars. The ending of a verse should act as an opener to the Chorus/Hook.
You can get creative in this area and add a Bridge or Pre-Chorus to make that connection as well.
A Bridge is a body in the song that is typically only 4 to 8 bars in length. This section is generally different lyrically and melodically from the rest of the song. A well-constructed Bridge will incorporate both elements.
This section of the song is meant to ensconce the connection between the Verse and Chorus/Hook elements. This can also be referred to as a “Channel”, or “Set-Up”.
They're generally only 4 to 8 bars long. This must connect the Verse to the Hook both lyrically and melodically.
Pre-Choruses don’t have to follow every Verse or Bridge before the Chorus/Hook.
You can use a Pre-Chorus before the last Chorus/Hook as a means to accent the ending and signal the end of the song.
Songs that include a Pre-Chorus in the first Verse almost always have one in every subsequent Verse.
In songs that have 2 Verses prior to their Chorus, the Pre-Chorus typically only appears in the Verse immediately before the Chorus/Hook.
The Chorus or Hook is the most memorable part of the song.
The lyrics are generally repetitive and more often than not, contains the song Title.
Typically the Chorus/Hook has the same lyrics and melody throughout the song. A song with 2 or 3 Choruses/Hooks in a song is optimal. However there are very successful song structures without Choruses/Hooks.
A Chorus/Hook is generally 8 or 16 bars long.
Post-Choruses/Hooks are additional hooks that can also be referred as “B Choruses”.
You can use a Post-Chorus on the last Chorus/Hook as a means to accent the ending and signal the end of the song. A Post-Chorus/Hook might have a completely different set of lyrics or change minor elements of Chorus/Hook
This element is a great way to wrap up a song and really make it hit home.
Now that you're on your way to writing your next hit, it's time to start thinking about Recording, Production, and Post-Production. At Bayphoenixstudios.com we work with the Artist to accurately help make your vision become a reality. Please visit this page for more information.
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