Have you heard the saying don't bore us, get to the chorus? It means don't take too long, don't write a long windy intro. We want to hear the chorus sooner then later. If you are playing your tune for a publisher or A/R person they really don't want to hear a long intro. Get to your refrain (chorus) between 30 -60 seconds, no more. Unless you are writing an Opera…:)
What is the Hook or Chorus
The definition of a chorus is the section of the song that hooks you, pulls you in and is easily remembered. This part of the song should catch the listeners ear and make the song memorable. It's the section that you keep singing over and over in your head. As a writer you will want to make sure this part is hammered home. The listener looks forward to this section of the song, they are conditioned to hear this over and over throughout the song.
Parts of a Hit Chorus
Ideally a hit song will have a chorus that contains at least one of these pieces:
- melody that is memorable and singable
- driving rhythm
- a lyric that will define a person/place or push forward action
All About the Refrain, Chorus or Hook
Over the years the chorus has been called refrain, hook or chorus so you can use them interchangeably. Today most people I write with use chorus.
You will notice that when you write a chorus for a song it is repeated at least 2 or 3 times during the song. This piece should be written tighter then the other parts of the lyric.
The chorus answers the "why" lyrically in a song. Why are you writing this song, why the verses say what they do. Some keep the chorus simpler letting the verses hold all the meat of the song.
The refrain usually holds the title of the song. Yes, you will hear some songs on the radio that don't have the title in the chorus but it is a rarity. If you are writing for artists, the title should be in the chorus if you are using a structure with a chorus.
Hit songs usually have hit choruses, focusing on learning the in's and out's of this section will help you to write great choruses!
Look for hooks to your chorus everywhere in life. Dinner conversation, talking on the phone with friends, standing in line at the grocery store, even your kids. Look for a different way to say the ordinary something. That will get your lyric attention. We all write the same songs but we all have a unique voice. Make sure you use your's. No one can write and sound the way you can.
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