Many of us started out as players or instrumentalists before we began writing songs. Our instruments inspired full songs from a simple guitar riff, melodic motif, or piano lick. From those short but foundational pieces we were able to build a verse and chorus and bridge, all stemming from a single seed.
Use both intuition and tools
Sometimes it’s intuition that tells us where to move to when we write the chorus section after a verse. Sometimes it’s a mixture of intuition and tools, knowing that a rise in pitch and shorter rhythms can create more energy for the chorus section, or that longer notes can contrast beautifully from the short notes we just left and reignite the listener’s attention. Wherever we move to, we can often feel a sense of consistency within the song – as if the ideas are linked rhythmically and melodically and harmonically to each other by some common thread. Many times that thread is a mixture of those elements, whether it be a pattern of pitches or rhythms, or harmonic progressions. It’s the repetition of these patterns that give our song a consistent identity, rather than a feeling of randomly assigned notes. (more…)