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Song Structure

Notes About Songwriting

SONG STRUCTURE
By Ira Braden, ETSSA Songwriter

There are many, many ways to structure a song. Find the hook, use it. Write with any instrument that will bring out the idea. Study other songs to see the differences in how they are constructed.
Use any poetic device to get your meaning across to the listener.

Watch out for awkward words or phrases. Don’t use awkward words or phrases just to create a
rhyming scheme; it will do nothing for your song. Say what you want the listener to hear in as few words as it takes to get the meaning across.

Make sure your words can be pronounced in sequence and still carry the melody.

Some examples of song structure

Structure 1

 Verse, Chorus, Music interlude, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus

Structure 2
 Intro, Verse, Chorus, Music interlude, Verse, Chorus,Verse, Chorus, Tag

Structure 3
 Intro, Verse, Chorus, Music interlude, Verse, Verse, Chorus, Tag

Structure 4
 Intro, Verse, Chorus, Music interlude, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Tag

Structure 5
 Intro, Verse, Chorus, Music interlude, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Tag, Outro

Structure 6
 Verse, Verse, Music interlude, Verse (as many verses as you choose)

Structure 7
 Intro, Verse, Verse, Music interlude, Verse, Music interlude,Tag

Structure 8
 Intro, Verse, Verse, Music interlude, Verse, Tag, Outro

Structure 9
 Intro, Verse, Verse, Music interlude, Verse, Music interlude,Tag, Outro

Rhyming Schemes
There are many ways to structure rhymes; here are some
examples of four-line verse rhyming schemes:

(AABB) (ABAC) (ABCB) (AAAA) (ABAB) (ABBA) (ABBB) (ABCD)

Structure 1 (AABB)
1st line (rhyme with 2nd line) A
2nd line (rhyme with 1st line) A
3rd line (rhyme with 4th line) B
4th line (rhyme with 3rd line) B

Structure 2 (ABAC)
1st line (rhyme with 3rd line) A
2nd line (no rhyme) B
3rd line (rhyme with 1st line) A
4th line (no rhyme) C

Structure 3 (ABCB)
1st line (no rhyme) A
2nd line (rhyme with 4th line) B
3rd line (no rhyme) C
4th line (rhyme with 2nd line) B

Structure 4 (AAAA)
1st line ( rhymes with 2nd, 3rd, 4th lines) A
2nd line ( rhymes with 1st, 3rd,4th lines) A
3rd line ( rhymes with 1st, 2nd,4th lines) A
4th line (rhymes with 1st, 2nd, 3rd lines) A  

Structure 5 (ABAB)
1st line ( rhymes with 3rdline) A
2nd line ( rhymes with 4th line) B
3rd line ( rhymes with 1st line) A
4th line (rhymes with 2nd line) B\

Structure 6 (ABBA)

1st line ( rhymes with 4thline) A
2nd line ( rhymes with 3rd line) B
3rd line ( rhymes with 2nd line) B
4th line (rhymes with 1st line) A

Structure 7 (ABBB)

1st line ( rhymes with nothing) A
2nd line ( rhymes with 3rd, 4th Lines) B
3rd line ( rhymes with 2nd, 4th lines) B
4th line (rhymes with 2nd, 3rd lines) B

Structure 8 (ABCD)
A verse does not have to contain a rhyming scheme in it anywhere (ABCD); it makes if very hard to carry a consistent melody. However, some writers make it work.

Some closing thoughts
Don’t ever let that negative alter ego control your writing. Continue to write, no matter what kind of mood you’ re in; some very good writing can come from different moods. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you from writing. Write like there is no tomorrow. Never, I repeat, never throw anything away; most of the time you’ll find a use for it later. It may be just what you need for your next great song. Believe in yourself and keep writing!


Ira Braden
ETSSA Songwriter

 
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