• Ivan Montelongo

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

songwriting potential!



Intro:

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

- Instrumental

- 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)

- Dialogue

- Fade In

- Play Chorus/Hook Vocal Melody With Instrument

- Use Song Title



Verse:

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?”
“What Else?”

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.


Bridge:

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.


Pre-Chorus:

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.


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-Chorus:

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.


What's Next?

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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For More Information Regarding Song Structure, Click Here!

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