Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #17

Most songs have a structure using verses and choruses/refrains.

The chorus or refrain is a repeated section that typically doesn’t change (or if it does, it is minimal and still keeps to a basic theme) so that everyone can sing along. Hence the name – chorus.

The purpose of the verse is to tell a story that will bring out the central meaning of the chorus.

We can think each verse section as a “box” – containing ideas in lyrical form to compose the overall message of the song.

When you are brainstorming how you want to construct your verses, keep in mind this “box rules” for your verses as to how much you should say/reveal to create a good flow in lyrical storytelling:

  • Box 1 – the first verse should be where you introduce the audience into the world of the song, giving a good flow of ideas
  • Box 2 – the return of the next verse should be a continuation of the same ideas, but in a new creative angle/viewpoint
  • Box 3+ – any other verses should get to the point of the theme, but in your own angle or combining ideas from previous verses.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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