Friday, April 8, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Extended Chorus

Often when u reach the end of a song a single run through the chorus will cause the song 2 feel like it ends too abruptly. This is often overcome by making the final chorus longer than the ones which have proceeded it. However, on occasion the cure is worse than the disease because if no additional information is presented as this longer chorus unfolds listeners can become bored. This issue presented itself on the song 'Before We Both Break' which is available here . And the workaround served 2 enhance the finished product and u may find it usable on yr own songs if u r so inclined. The typical progression during this end chorus is |F|F7|Bb|C Bb Am Ab Gm| as the chorus continues the momentum is maintained or even increased by dropping the third bar completely leaving u with a repeating three bar progression. Now with the chorus cycling in 3 rather than 4 bars it feels as if it is gaining steam and energy as it approaches the end rather than sputtering out. It didn't serve the purposes of this song but u could even experiment with having the repeats decrease by one measure each run thru. so u would play the full 4 bars, then 3 bar chorus, then 2 bars, and then one bar and end after that. This could make the songs energy feel like it's abt 2 go nuclear. And another suggestion 2 consider would be stick with 3 bars during the chorus extension but change which bar u drop. So in the example above u could drop the 3rd bar the first time thru, and then bring it back 4 the next run but lose the 2nd bar instead and so on. The important thing 2 remember is don't take it 4 granted that a simple extra chorus tagged on is enuff to keep a listeners attention and u should consider options 4 keeping the interest level all the way up 2 the final chord.