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on song structure

When writing lyrics per se, i.e.
- lyrics for which there is neither a given tune that I have to match them with
- nor a chord progression or preset song structure that I have to squeeze them into
I often orientate myself by a widespread song structure:

VERSE - (VERSE) - CHORUS - VERSE - CHORUS - (BRIDGE) - CHORUS - (CHORUS)

This is the most common structure of pop songs.

The parts in brackets are optional. The last chorus obviously will only be there if there is a bridge, so there remain two choruses at the end of the song. In rock music there often is a guitar solo instead of a bridge, sometimes there are both.

If the verses are rather long it may be better to have just one verse at the beginning. Remember the 'rule': "don't bore us, get to the chorus"! Or the other one that says you've got only 30 seconds to get to the exciting part, which again would be the chorus. Of course there are no strict rules but you'll get my drift.

A more advanced song structure would read:

VERSE - (VERSE) - LIFT - CHORUS - VERSE - LIFT - CHORUS - (BRIDGE) - CHORUS - (CHORUS)

The lift - sometimes, rather formalistically, called a 'pre-chorus' - increases the excitement towards the chorus. After the bridge there is no lift since it serves the same function.

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