Songwriting Tip: Separate That Chorus!

Nashville Trax Music Studio
One mistake some songwriters consistently make is failure to create a chorus section that’s distinctly different from the verse. You want that chorus to just about shout to the listener: “Okay now: here’s where I’m summing up what this song is about!”

How? A few good techniques to achieve separation are:

  • Alter the line length
  • Change the rhythm
  • Alter the note length

    You can use any one of those or combine as necessary. A lyric that has relatively lengthy verse lines but the chorus lines are short and powerful may provide sufficient contrast. A subtle change of rhythm can work and some recent hits take that to extreme such as Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road.”

    We need look no further than the Florida Georgia Line hit, Cruise, for a good example of altering note length. If you sing it and tap your fingers with each syllable you’ll notice the tapping is a lot faster when you reach the chorus “Baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and Cruise …” part.

    A producer has a good number of tools available to create chorus separation via the arrangement but if you can provide it in the structure of the song itself, it makes the song that much stronger and the final product that much more likely to be signed. More songwriting tips are available at the link in the menu to the right- Bill Watson