Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #42

In songwriting, you come across different terms for different sections.  Verse, chorus, bridge, refrain, post-chorus, etc.  But what is the difference between them?  Specifically, what is the difference between the chorus and refrain?

Both the chorus and refrained are sections that repeat unchanged.  In addition, both sections are typically where the title is as well as where everyone in the audience sings along.  Furthermore, they come after a verse-like section.  So are they the same?

Not exactly.  They are a different purpose for the song.  A chorus indicates the start of a new section, while a refrain indicates the conclusion/wrapping-up of the verse section back into a new one.  In addition, refrains are much shorter in length than choruses.

As you are debating on how you want to structure your song, consider the purpose of each line and their function.

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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