When beginning with the frame of your song, there are many things to consider. We have talked about brainstorming an idea, building a catchy title, writing a great opening, detailing the plot, and setting a conclusion in mind. Now that these pillars are set, we need to talk about the form.
Without a form in mind, your lyrics will lack structure that that can hurt how the listeners will enjoy or even remember the song. In addition, it is good to know about multiple kinds of forms. Why? Each year in music sees a new trend. Plus, old styles have an importance as well. More tools that you have, the better you are.
Today, let’s talk about the 12-Bar Blues form. This post will only focus on lyrics, so I suggest to look at previous posts about the musical form and blues scales from previous posts as well.
The lyrical structure of the 12-Bar Blues form is a couplet (two rhymed lines) with the first line repeated (with a bit of variation) forming the lines AAB or AA’B:
Oh you hurt me good, my baby girl
Yeah you hurt me real good, my baby girl
I never felt a pain like this, in the entire world
Each line is dedicated to 4 measures in the 12-Bar Blues form (4×3=12), with about each line leaving roughly 1.5 measures at the end for improvisation. See older posts for more information.
While each “couplet” can talk about a different thing, there is usually a linear progression as to the story. Possibly like indicating the problem, explaining how one feels, talk about the resolution, etc.
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