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Song Structure: A Guide for Beginner Songwriters

This article is for two types of songwriters: those who have never written a song and those who have only just started and need some guidance. Let’s talk about song structure, the parts of a song, and how you can use them to write.

In the detailed guide by Caleb J. Murphy for Digital Music News, the focus is on the foundational aspects of songwriting, specifically the structure of a song, which is vital for both new and novice songwriters. Here’s a summary of the key points covered:

  • Song Components: The article outlines the primary parts of a song, including the Intro, Verse, Pre-Chorus/Lift, Chorus, Instrumental Break, Bridge, and Outro. It emphasizes the importance of the Verse and Chorus, noting that most songs will contain these elements.
  • The Significance of Each Part:
    • Intro: The introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the song and needs to capture the listener’s attention to prevent them from skipping the track.
    • Verse: Verses lay out the song’s main idea, often through storytelling or other techniques, always pointing towards the central theme.
    • Pre-Chorus/Lift: This section builds anticipation for the Chorus, acting as a bridge between the Verse and Chorus.
    • Chorus: The chorus is the heart of the song, presenting its main message and hook. It’s designed to be memorable and engaging.
    • Bridge: Offers a new perspective or deepens the main idea, providing a variation in melody and chords.
    • Instrumental Break and Outro: These parts offer flexibility in the song’s structure, with the Outro providing a conclusive feel to the song’s journey.
  • Common Song Structures: The guide also explores standard song structures like ABAB (Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus), ABABCB (adding a Bridge), ABCABC (including Pre-Choruses), and AABA (common in folk and singer/songwriter genres), providing examples for each to illustrate their use in popular music.
  • Writing Techniques: Several songwriting techniques are discussed, including allegory, alliteration, assonance, hyperbole, metaphors, personification, similes, and storytelling. These techniques can help songwriters convey their messages more effectively.
  • Finding the Right Structure: The article concludes with advice on selecting the appropriate song structure based on the song’s theme and the songwriter’s intent. It suggests experimenting with different structures to discover what best suits one’s style.

The piece serves as a comprehensive guide for beginner songwriters, offering insights into the components of a song and how to effectively use them to create engaging music.

Source: Song Structure: A Guide for Beginner Songwriters

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