60-Second Songwriting: “Chorus First” Song Structuring

60-Second Songwriting aims to offer quick, concise song-craft tips, basics and blasts for the time-crunched and attention-challenged 21st-century musician.

In this edition of 60-Second Songwriting, we'll focus on something I like to call “Chorus First” song structuring. We’ll take a look at its basic function through the specific lens of the songwriter and explore its purpose in service of the song.

As most songwriters tend to build their tunes organically in terms of dynamics, the chorus section or “hook”—ideally the most memorable or exciting section of a song—is generally built up to and as such is usually positioned later, rather than earlier, in the timeline of a tune. Conversely, what if the chorus section or hook of your tune were positioned at the start of the song’s timeline instead?

Kicking off your song with the most intriguing, insanely catchy element of your tune can yield some great results—instantly engaging the listener, grabbing their attention and pulling them into the world of your tune.

A great example of “Chorus First” structuring can be found in the classic Beatles tune, “Good Day Sunshine.” 

While obviously not an appropriate choice for every song, give “Chorus First” structuring a try next time you sit down to write.

As the old songwriting expression goes, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.”

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 and composing for television/advertising via his Queens English Recording Co. or teaching songwriting as the founder-curator of intro.verse.chorus; a website dedicated to exploring the art of song craft. Visit Mark on FacebookInstagramor follow him on Twitter.

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