Tips for a catchy chorus
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Songwriting Tips: Creating a Catchy Chorus - Speed Songwriting
A catchy chorus can make or break a song. It’s the most important part of your song, and if it’s not memorable, you’re in trouble.
Here are some tips for that perfect catchy chorus:
- Use imagery. Create a mental picture for your listener, and imagery is essential when writing a catchy chorus that’s easy to remember.
- Use alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds at the beginning of words and is a great way to craft an exciting and attention-grabbing chorus.
- Keep it short. Try not to get into too many details in your chorus because you want your listeners to be able to fit themselves into your song’s story.
- Repeat your title. Repeating your song’s title several times will catch the listener’s ear and keep them engaged.
- Use active verbs. Using words that are more descriptive than action-oriented will help your chorus stand out more.
- Go with your gut. If you feel something is catchy, there isn’t anything that should stop you from writing it.
- Keep it simple and vague. If you need to, use one word that can mean many things at once (like “love”) instead of adding so much description into your lyrics that listeners get confused.
- Try using a “sound of surprise.” What’s a “sound of surprise?” Well, it’s when you’re surprised by something that happens (like how people say, “Oh!” in surprise), so you can use this to make your chorus more interesting.
- Use fewer words in your chorus than in your other song sections. While these tips don’t always work, sometimes they can be very effective if you’re looking to create an intense, powerful chorus that sticks in someone’s head after only a few listens.
- Make a “Call and Response” phrase to get everyone involved – This technique is one of the most potent ways to create an exciting chorus that will make people want to sing along with you. All you have to do is say something, then someone responds by saying something else in turn. For example, it could be something like “I miss you”/“Oh, I miss you too.”
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple and Singable
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https://soundcloud.com/guyechante : en Français (in french)
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Verses do 'exposition', 'exposing' the Storyline, setting the scene, putting 'props' on the stage, introducing Characters, like the Singer-Character, the Love-Interest Character, the 'Conflict-Character' (other man, other woman, in a love triangle).
The Singer-Character explains his/her 'situation', expressing their satisfaction or complaint about it.
A Chorus sums up. It expresses the main idea of the Storyline, the gist of the Singer-Character's point of view (satisfaction, complaint).
If a Verse III can be found to satisfactorily end the Storyline, a denouement, that enables a final giving of the Chorus.
If a satisfactory Verse III can't be found, writers resort to a Bridge, a Stanza with its own Melody, different from either the Verse or the Chorus, brief, ideally with pivotal Lyrical information relevant to the Storyline, which enables the final giving of the Chorus.
Song-Writers sometimes write a Pre-Chorus of many Lines, like a Stanza unto itself.
A Pre-Chorus need only be brief, a 'lift' of Melody or emotional urgency in Lines at the end of a Verse, indicating that it is time for the Chorus.
Some Songs can start with the Chorus. Structure depends on what works. If it works it works. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Exploring possible Structures can change your Song-Writing, to add variety to your Songs.
Rhyme Schemes can vary. The four-Line Verse I, Rhyming Lines 1 and 3, 2 and 4, gets boring if every Song uses that Structure.
Nursery Rhymes use a Structure Rhyming Lines 1 and 2, and then leaving Line 3 hanging, un-Rhymed.
A 3-Line Verse II typically Rhymes Lines 1 and 2, and picks up the un-Rhymed Line from Verse I, Rhyming in in Verse II, Line 3.
It has the effect of internal Rhyme, adding to Rhythm, the 'beat' of the Melody as sung.
Word choices are important in engaging listener interest, 'Hooking' them into paying attention.
Are they engaged by visual images, familiar situations, abstract concepts, concrete concepts?
What 'Hooks' you in your favorite Songs? What Songs fail to 'hook' you? A little study can be very educational.
Each sound has 'Hook Factor'. The Introductory Movement serves that function, supplies that demand, Hooking listener interest, keeping them Hooked until the Vocal Melody takes over, supplying Hook Factor with the Timbre of the voice, the sense of the Singer-Character, the Lyrical concepts.
The increased emotional urgency of the Pre-Chorus 'lift' and the Chorus delivery sustains the Hook-Factor. Or, doesn't.
The number one complaint of Publishers is that a Song's Chorus sounds too much like the Verse. It doesn't increase in emotional urgency. It might use the identical Notes of the Verse, the same tempo, the same Melody, and the writer never noticed because they never studied the Songs they think do it right, and the Songs they thing do it wrong.
People have been writing Songs for thousands of years. Some Songs become classics, for a reason. Study the classics to see if you can perceive why they became classics. Thousands of other Songs didn't become classics. Study some one-hit-wonders, and see if there's a perceptible reason why they didn't.
Despite 1,000's of years of Songwriting humans have not exhausted the possibilities. There will always be another Song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com