How To Write Song Lyrics: Song Arrangements and Structures

Sketch CDs

To read part one, click here.

Part Two: Song Arrangements and Structures

Song lyrics can be written in any way that captures the song’s meaning, story, and nature. There are song lyrics out there that are written and arranged in uncommon ways. Although not all song lyrics are written in a defined or common format, many are structured in ways that are predictable for listeners to catch on to. However as a beginning song writer, it helps to know basic structures that can guide you as you write.

Common Structures

Intro

  • Placed at the very beginning of song. Usually instrumentals or sometimes the chorus

Verse

  • Contains the story of the song

Pre Chorus

  • Not always necessary, but introduces the chorus

Chorus

  • The message of the song and most memorable to listeners

Bridge

  • Not always necessary, but is placed towards the end of a song and can wrap up the story line or extend the message of a song

Coda

  • Not always necessary, but if the chorus does not end the song, the coda will be an outro verse or instrumental, summarizing the song if the chorus did not do so

Common Song Arrangements

Verse

  •  Song lyrics are written only with verses
  • Best used when stories are being told
  • When music is accompanied, instrumentals might serve as the bridge, though no bridge structure truly exists

Verse, Bridge

  • Song lyrics are written with verses, then a bridge, and ends with a verse.

Verse, Chorus

  • Song lyrics are written with verses and choruses, alternating usually.

Verse, Chorus, Pre Chorus

  • Song lyrics are written with a verse, pre chorus, and chorus format, usually repeating twice.

Verse, Chorus, Bridge

  • Popular song lyric arrangement
  • Song lyrics are written with verse and chorus arrangement usually repeated twice , then a bridge, and ends with a chorus

Verse, Chorus, Pre Chorus, Bridge

  • Song lyrics are written with verse, pre chorus, and chorus arrangement usually repeated twice, then a bridge, and ends with a chorus

There are many ways song lyrics can be arranged, even adding different and new structures from the ones listed. As you write song lyrics, play around and experiment with the ways you write and arrange your words.

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