Songwriting is a very generic skill that anyone can do. However, writing a song that will capture the attention of the world requires some knowledge in music and precision in arrangement. A song chorus is the most memorable part of any song, especially since it is repeated a couple of times.
If the song has a good chorus, people will definitely like it even if the verses are not as entertaining. Learning how to write a chorus is fundamental for any songwriter and musician. A good chorus is characterized by several changes and properties. To write a perfect chorus, it is first important to understand its structure and essence in a song.
Chorus essence and structure
Songs contain several parts including notes, beats and melody. People will generally remember the melodies and forget other elements housed under it. Therefore, writing a chorus requires good understanding of melodies and pitch variation. A chorus is meant to break the long verses and provide memorable moments of the song. To manifest this break, the verse melody and chorus melody should be distinguished. This does not imply a total change of the melody. A small shift in pitch and/or note will usually do just fine.
If the melody is altered, it should be reasonable such that the verse and chorus compliment each other. The chorus also contains a song’s title and core theme. Since themes are generic ideas that many people can identify with, the chorus should also be generalized or labeled.
Any hit song has a memorable melody that arouses the ears. The most used chorus structure is AABA and ABAB. In the former, first and second lines will take the same format followed by a variation in the third line before a final line concludes in the same fashion line one started with. In the latter, lines one and two are styled in the same fashion different from that of three and four, which are also similar.
Writing a great chorus
Learning how to write a chorus is real simple. Most choruses are short phrases and repeated sentences that last only a few seconds before the verse resumes. When writing a chorus, repetition is commonly used since it is the easiest way to having people remember your song. However, too much repetition will turn your music into a stale. The best technique is therefore variation. The ear will naturally want hear something different after listening to the theme and verse. Some of the techniques used in chorus writing include the following;
• Hooks – Using a hook at the beginning and the end of a chorus will hallmark and isolate it. Listeners will find it easy to listen to it over and over again which is why you must make it as clear as possible.
• Solid one chord arrival – As aforesaid, choruses create a distinction between verses. Good choruses should be introduced at arrival to prevent the song from exhibiting a constant state of transition. If the chord in use was a C for example, use a big C at the start of the chorus.
• Reversed melodies – When writing a chorus, change the melodies so that there is a clear difference with the verses. Whether you prefer wider intervals and longer tones or shorter rhythms, whatever is in the chorus should be the opposite of verse melodies. When you make this difference extreme, it becomes unforgettable, which is what defines good choruses and music.
• Pitch range – This is a well known technique used for chorus writing. Generally, the chorus melody pitch is higher than that of the verses, although this is not a mandatory requirement. You can also jump from a C note in the verses to an E note in the chorus.
• Transitional bridges – Adding a pre-chorus bridge is another functional chorus writing technique. Remove a couple of blocks before the chorus to create a lyrical gap that sets up a change. Basically, you can use phrases twice as long or short to signify that something different is fast approaching.
For advanced chorus writing, it is important to be a little more colorful and creative. Using phases or words that assume new meanings with each repetition in the next chorus will add finesse to the lyrics. You should also know when the song requires a chorus and which structure will suite it. Some verses will lead you to a short refrain hook while others assume an AABA structure that calls for a bridge. Going through the whole song will help you in identifying the right chorus.