I’m not going to lie; I like the structure of traditional pop/rock music.. I like how it contains a couple of verses, a chorus, a bridge and so forth. There is a reason why it’s lasted this long, in modern music. It’s because it just works and people seem to enjoy it.
If you are anything like me, then you know that it’s good to keep things fresh and change it up once in a while. You can go ahead and change some of the instrumentation, and I’m sure that would work well, but an easier solution is to just modify the structure of one song. Let me give you some ideas.
Start With The Chorus
It’s not a secret that we all like the chorus in most songs because it’s the catchiest part of the song. It’s the part where everyone hums and taps to, over and over. It’s the most memorable part, and you just can’t wait to get to it. So why even wait to get there, why not just start your song with the Chorus?
Numerous artists have taken this approach (it isn’t as uncommon as you think), and you can do this as well. So just take any song that you have written and swap around the chorus and the verse – simple! A band that I just love (*cough* Linkin Park *cough*) did this a lot on their first album. They may have had a cool melodic intro but then BAM they smack you right away with the chorus and then come back into the verse.
Get To the Bridge and STAY THERE!
Maybe you’re working on a song, and it’s doing the regular Chorus and Verse kind of thing, one option is just to get to the bridge and then stay there. Try not to think of the bridge as a quick change that goes back to the chorus or verse. Rather, the bridge could be the next “thing” in your song or outro. So basically what happens is, once you get there, you just never leave.
As luck may have it, I have taken this very approach with one of my newest songs. It has a basic verse, chorus, verse, chorus – which hopefully will build into a cool bridge. So what the bridge is doing is giving a release from all that tension that was built before it. It’s the climax of the song, so just get there and end there. There’s no reason for you to come back.
Do You Even Need a Chorus?
I say this with peace and love but if you want to step outside the box, try and ditch the chorus altogether. Relate this to all of the greatest hymns that we have known about for years. They are just basically made up of verses and nothing more. They sometimes go a few verse deep and nothing more.
To be able to pull this off you need to do things. You need to write an excellent melody, and you need a lot of lyrics. So you can’t just take the traditional approach of having a few lines that repeat. You need to say something around a well-structured melody that people can remember.
Keep It Simple and Stick to One Song
These are some simple ways that you can tweak the traditional song structure, and I’m sure you can probably come up with much more on your own. Basically, what I’m trying to preach is that you take one song on your EP and change up the song structure.
Try it out and let me know how you do. Leave a comment below!
More on song structure in the video below…