What is Song Structure?

If you’ve never written a song, here are some tips to help make it easy.

Just about all songs have a song structure. Understanding the song structure is the first and most important step in the writing process.  You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint!

Lets take this example, the song “Live Through It”, which can be found in the Lyricord Store, is structured as follows:

  • 0:00 – 0:39 Intro
  • 0:40 – 1:05 Verse 1
  • 1:06 – 1:31 Chorus
  • 1:32 – 1:57 Verse 2
  • 1:58 – 2:23 Chorus
  • 2:24 – 2:50 Breakdown
  • 2:51 – 3:16 Chorus
  • 3:17 – 3:32 Outro

Chorus – Also known as the hook is usually the most memorable portion of the song.

Verse – The verse is the meat of the song and usually tells the story of the song.

Breakdown – Is the portion of the tune that usually showcases the musical aspect of the song.

Bridge – Is the contrasting portion of the song that provides resolution, changes the feel and introduces new ideas to the song.

When writing for this common structure, most lyricists will write a 3-stanza poem for the verses and part of the breakdown, and then write a few repeating or related lines for the chorus.

The key to a good chorus is the melody, creating a “hook” so fans want to sing along. Generally there isn’t any singing during the Intro, half of the Breakdown, and after the final Chorus.

Check out other songs so you can hear how they are structured. With a little practice, you may be able to recognize a song’s structure by simply looking at its “waveform” in the Lyricord Studio. Keep practicing and you’ll be surprised how good you can be!

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