How to structure songs – according to Spotify (video)


Image Credit: Spotify

Watch this Spotify for Artists video on songwriting for beginners to help you get started with a songwriter template.

Spotify for artists Start of song The series has some great songwriting tips for beginners, including songwriter and producer Nija Charles on how to structure a song. Charles, co-author of Ariana Grande’s “Positions,” began watching YouTube tutorials and learning to use a MIDI keyboard on her own.

When you start to produce and write music, it’s a good idea to have a song structure template to build on. For Charles, the songs started to make sense once she understood the traditional structure of the songs. She thinks of it as an essay with facts to back it up.


Basic structure of songwriting

Charles doesn’t always stick to the same structure, often moving the building blocks. For beginners who are just starting to make music, it presents a typical song structure like:

VersePre-choirChorusPost-chorus2sd VersePre-choirChorusBridgeChorus


Verse

Before you start writing, think about what you want the central theme of the song to be. This is what the verse needs to introduce immediately – the feel and the vibe of the song.

Each section must move from one to the other.

Break down Ariana Grande’s “Positions”. Image Credit: Spotify

Pre-choir

The pre-chorus has a different feel to the verse and leads the listener into the choir, perhaps with new instruments introduced.

Charles describes the pre-chorus as “tacky” – with an eye-catching design that grabs attention and lets you know the chorus hook is coming.


Chorus

The chorus is the “hook” of the song, the part that everyone will remember that cements the meaning of the song. Then the optional post-chorus, which keeps the momentum going until the next verse, which will have the same melody as the first verse.


Bridge

The bridge is completely different from the verse, with a different chord change that moves the song to a new location.

Charles describes it as taking “a break” before returning to the main song.


Don’t feel trapped using a song format, as the song structure can always vary. There may be an intro and outro added, or the track may start with the chorus.

Try using a template when you start to create your track and see which order feels most natural to you to arrange the different elements as the writing continues.

Check out other top tips for songwriting structure here:


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