Song Structuring..

savialeigh

New member
I don't start with any structure. I write what flows, then let that dictate the rest of the song. Some songs demand a bridge, some refuse a chorus and want a refrain. Some want everything, the greedy little darlings.
Once I have a verse, I make sure subsequent verses toe the line.
I try to ensure that the chorus does something different. Sometimes there's a pre-chorus, sometimes not.
If there's a bridge, I am for something different from both verse and chorus, but related.
I make sure the rhyme scheme and emphasis' remain consistent verse to verse.
Then I go back and fix the trite stuff if I let any slip in.

Then my partner noodles some music on it, if I started with a lyric and not writing a lyric to music. Once it's got music, I fix anything that doesn't flow. Sometimes I write the melody, but I don't ever do the music. I have trouble with a kazoo...

Whatever shape it ends up in is dictated by the song or by the music provided, not by me. If I try to start by dictating structure then filling in the shape, I end up with abysmal tripe. I start with an idea or with a particular phrase and ride along.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
I'm mostly a verse / chorus / verse writer, with a refrain (or two). I've known about bridges for many years, yet I've never pursued their usage - until my most recent creation. Like paraphrasing an earlier comment.. ".. or unless the song demands it.." I've been rewriting a friends song and this bridge just created itself right in the middle of me moving from one part to another. I wasn't conciously trying to do anything - - a very strange experience.

I nearly always include a section of verse / chorus as a lead break - usually for guitar. This may come in anywhere from right after the first chorus, to just before the last - near the end. Depends on the lyrics and melodies.
 

Battlegun

New member
I always try to make my songs sound different from each other. For more synth/piano based songs, I find it easy to radically change up the structure from song to song. For my more guitar/drums/bass songs, it can be tough to stay away from the verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge trap that so many songs fall under.
 

QueenHenry

New member
This is one thing that really gets me. The concept seems so simple, decide on a certain structure and follow it, but it never ends up happening. Every time I sit down to write lyrics I usually try to follow a verse chorus verse blah blah kind of thing but it never seems to work out. And then when I finally have something I'm satisfied with people say it lacks structure and diversity. But I guess that has to do more with the musical side of things, since I'm not that great at playing guitar. Just writing this annoys me - writing or attempting to write songs for me is such a love hate relationship. heh
Songs rarely come out perfect from the jump. Sometimes I’ll have a chord progression for weeks or more that I spend about 5-10mins a day just casually strumming the ascoutic, mindlessly listening to see if it’s catchy… make changes, repeat. Lyrics always get revised even if I’m writing them down for others I’ll find myself changing a word or two
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
No. The chord letter designation should spell the song title, and be incorporated in the lyrical journey.

Like
D E A D... D A D
or
B A B E ...F A C E D ...D Am E
....
F Am E ... D Am A G E D... B A B E .. Gsus

If you know the song title , you know how to play it. It could be broken up, however smart you can do it. Somewhat limited in choice, but I think I am on to something.
 
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Music1

New member
I usually write out my songs like poems, with some rhymes, and repeats and change some of the choruses like Beatles, Benatar does or Heart or Queen.
I started writing when I was probably 10 years old, sometimes I would sing out the notes on the keyboards or guitars then write the lyrics ..sometimes hear melodies in my head sometimes just words..
.I had to write the notes out on my pianos as I could not remember where the notes were all the time, sigh and the guitar would find the notes on my piano ...I suck at playing guitar( or clarinet we had to take school band in school thought clarinet would be fun,,, not ....kept getting the reed too wet ... )
 
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Dominica69

New member
I heard 'Little Wing' the other day, for the first time in years.. and i was reminded that structurally, a song can be really simple and not have all the usual A/B/A/B/C/B parts that a lot of popular songs tend to have. I'm like Spantini in that i'm always looking for that intro/verse 1/Chorus/Verse 2 etc... kind of thing.. So i was thinking, is a song like Littlle Wing of its time?
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Most people need repetition to recognize and connect to be catchy. There is not a lot of room to change format. Verse chorus just works.

Try 90 second songs. People cannot pay attention anyway..

And you said 'of its time'...better hope that what they make now, is better than what they made then, or they aint replacing shit.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Instrumentals can move in any direction they want. Especially when you play like Hendrix on "Little Wing", you can become emotionally wrapped up in the sounds coming from your Strat, which are being beautifully reinforced by Mitch's drumming.
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
Most people need repetition to recognize and connect to be catchy.


Yes. Repetition is important for listeners. They need the familiarity of things to connect with. However, they also need the new and novel, because that's where the excitment and surprise comes from. Balancing repeition with the new is a vital part of good song-writing. Too much repetition becomes boring and predictable. Too much novelty is difficult to embrace.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Perfecting musical resolutions is an art in itself which may be highlighted in this process. Try to avoid getting into ad jingle territory.
 

Dominica69

New member
Yes, i agree that modern listeners attention spans are not as big as when 'Little Wing' was first released. People used to have parties where they would listen to whole ablums and really dissect the journey from the beginning to the end of that particular work. This fast food generation are finding it difficult sit through two songs without starting to get a bit restless! To be honest, i would say that modern media has had a effect on the way that i 'listen' and i can't remember when was the last time i listened to an album from beginning to end.. I totally agree with you Gecko that repetition has always been important in popular songs.. but i'd say the kind of repetition in terms of melody that we are hearing in more moodern 'pop' songs is a real turn off and i generally can't listen beyond the 4th line of the first verse! In my humble opinion.. there are just far too many hooks and not enough substance in a lot of what i'm hearing.. Maybe i'm listening to the wrong songs!!
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
there are just far too many hooks and not enough substance in a lot of what i'm hearing.. Maybe i'm listening to the wrong songs!!

I agree. It seems there is not enough lyric variation to keep the listener engaged. And when you couple that with a limited palette of sounds in current use, it makies for tedious listening
 
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