Chorus Cheat Sheet 7 Types of Choruses and How to Write Them. Part I: The Chorus

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1 Chorus Cheat Sheet 7 Types of Choruses and How to Write Them Part I: The Chorus In order to fully understand choruses and how to write them, we need to break the chorus down into its basic fundamentals. The first fundamental to learn is the definition of a chorus. A chorus is the part of the song that keeps coming back. This part of the song usually includes the song title and summarizes the main idea of the lyric. It is also usually the emotional high point the most intense part of the lyric. Why is it called a "chorus?" Because the audience is supposed to sing along. So, that's your goal: to get your audience to sing along with your song's chorus. The second fundamental to learn is the parts that make up a chorus. Choruses are usually made up of two alternating types of lines: Title Line T represents the title Swing Line This is simply a line that is different than the title. The dash - represents the swing line. The title line and the swing line can contrast both lyrically and melodically. Part II: Seven Basic Chorus Forms The most common chorus types are: T T Ex Girlfriend - No Doubt Message in a Bottle - The Police How Sweet It Is - M. Gaye

2 Better Off Alone - Alice DeeJay Rockin' In The Free World - N. Young T - T - Genie In a Bottle - C. Aguilera I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden I Wanna Dance With Somebody - W. Houston Hello Old Friend - E. Clapton Victim of Love - Eagles Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo - R. Derringer T - T Material Girl - Madonna Best of My Love - Eagles Time After Time - C. Lauper T T T T Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac Power To The People - J. Lennon Born in the USA - B. Springsteen Spirits in a Material World - The Police T - - T All I Have To Give - Backstreet Boys How Can We Be Lovers - M. Bolton - - T My First Night With You - Mya Mya I Shall Be Released - B. Dylan I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys Angel of Mine - Monica Candy - Mandy Moore That's The Way It Is - C. Dion Separate Lives - P. Collins King of Pain - The Police T I Will Remember You - S. McLachlan Fire & Rain - J. Taylor Show Me The Meaning - Backstreet Boys Fortress Around Your Heart - Sting Everything She Does Is Magic - The Police

3 Part III: Qualities of a Successful Chorus Here is a collection of tips to help you write successful choruses. Try to make each of these statements true when you listen to your chorus. The title has emphasis. It stands out. The chorus lyric summarizes or comments on the main idea of the verse/ prechorus lyric. It is the emotional high point of the song. It is the most intense part of the song. It is the climax of the song. It feels like it lifts. It is easy to sing. It is easy to remember. It either fulfills audience expectations or surprises audience expectations. It contrasts the other song sections (Verse, Prechorus, Bridge; if they exist) It feels different from the other song sections. It has a different idea than verse Lyrically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically. It is developed differently Lyrically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically. It is the arrival point of the song = "This is what I'm talking about", "This is why I'm telling this story." It gains meaning and interest every time it is repeated. You will know you have written a good chorus when: I hear the title stand out from everything else. I understand the meaning of the lyric and it resonates with my life experience. It feels more intense than the other sections. The listener is singing or humming along (not always out loud, which may be hard to find evidence for, so ask). The listener remembers the melody and the lyric long after the song is over. The listener either feels "Ahh, that's what I wanted to hear" or "Wow! wasn't that interesting? I like it." When the chorus hits, the listener either feels satisfied or surprised but always likes what they hear and feel."

4 I hear different elements than before; both in lyrical meaning and musically: Different harmony. Different melody. Different lyric. Different form. The listener never feels lost in the rhythm, form or in any complexity that may be there. Part IV: Additional Chorus Tips If you place your title (or other important lyrics) at the first or last line of the chorus, your audience will be more likely to remember it. When starting out with a title but no music, consider which syllables are naturally stronger than others? What natural rhythms does the title suggest? Are there any melodies that occur to you as you say it? This will help you find natural sounding melodies and rhythms. Use long notes. Notes that sustain for a long time exaggerate a lyric and tell your audience "this is important." Use space. Absence of other lyrics around the title eliminates distractions from it. During this space, your audience can think about the words they just heard, and this will help them remember your important lyrics. End the title on a downbeat. The downbeat is the first beat of a measure. Ending the last strong syllable on (or near) the downbeat is a great way to emphasize your title. Use repetition. Exact repetition is what the audience expects. Varied repetition is more of a surprise. You can repeat lyrics, chord progressions, and melodic ideas in a variety of ways to give the audience what they expect or to surprise them. When writing your chorus, try all seven standard chorus types and choose the best one. Generate as many ideas as you can before you settle on a single one. This will ensure that you are using the best chorus structure for your lyrics.

5 Give your choruses the test of time. Do you remember them a day later? A week later? A month later? If you don't, how can you make them more memorable? Part V: Wrap Up What we've covered: Chorus fundamentals. Seven basic chorus forms. The qualities of a successful chorus. Tips and tricks for writing memorable choruses. Now that you understand the fundamentals of writing hit choruses, you're ready to write one. Don't let anything stand in your way of becoming a great songwriter.

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