Songcraft: Exploring "Chorus First" Song Structuring
With this installment of Songcraft, I thought I’d discuss an option sadly underutilized in contemporary composition: "chorus first" song structuring.
Before taking in The Beatles’ “She Loves You” (below) as a stellar example of the form, let’s have a closer look at this classic structure.
The "chorus first" construct (not an official title, just my label), simply put, begins a song not with a typical intro or verse, but with what would traditionally be considered a tune’s chorus or refrain.
Conventional composition generally dictates that we view the chorus, usually the richest and most memorable part of the song, as a sacred section best introduced later in the timeline; a section that should be grown into, with the writer organically ratcheting up a song’s intensity and the listener’s interest through the gradual addition of “lesser” structural elements (the aforementioned intro, verses, etc.).
"Chorus first" challenges this slow-burn approach by alternately offering a fully formed refrain straight out of the gate, grabbing the audience and pulling them in from the get-go.
Let’s listen to "chorus first" in action and follow along with the break-out below.
As masterfully illustrated by The Beatles above, "chorus first" structuring is most definitely a powerful device and one worth exploring within one’s own writing. It offers your listener the catchiest, most lyrically concise part of your song, right from the start, as a statement of both topical intent and super-melodic invitation. As they say, you only get one chance at making a first impression; why not make it a great one by using the "chorus first" form.
As always, build it (well) and they will come …
Mark Bacino is a singer/songwriter based in New York City. When not crafting his own melodic brand of retro-pop, Mark can be found producing fellow artists or composing for television/advertising via his Queens English Recording Co. Mark also is the founder of intro.verse.chorus, a website for songwriters dedicated to the exploration of that wonderfully elusive activity known as songwriting. Visit Mark on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Get our Free Newsletter Here!
You Might Also Like...
9 hours 48 sec ago
Authors Willie Perkins and Jack Weston Discuss 'The Allman Brothers Band Classic Memorabilia, 1969-76'9 hours 55 min ago
10 hours 33 min ago
10 hours 49 min ago
11 hours 4 min ago
12 hours 58 min ago
13 hours 57 min ago