Image Credit: Spotify
Check out this Spotify for Artists video on songwriting for beginners, getting you started with a songwriter template.
Spotify for Artists’ Song Start series features great tips on songwriting for beginners, including songwriter and producer Nija Charles discussing how to structure a song. Charles, co-writer of “Positions” by Ariana Grande, started off watching YouTube tutorials and teaching herself how to use a MIDI keyboard.
When you’re first getting started producing and writing music it’s a good idea to have a song structure template to build around. For Charles, songs started to make sense once she understood the traditional song structure. She thinks of it like an essay with supporting facts.
Basic songwriting structure
Charles doesn’t always stick to the same structure, often moving the building blocks around. For beginners getting started making music, she lays out a typical song structure as:
Verse – Pre-chorus – Chorus – Post-chorus – 2nd Verse – Pre-chorus – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus
Before you begin writing, think about what you want central theme of the song to be. That’s what the verse should introduce immediately – the feel and mood of the song.
Each section should flow from one to the next.
The pre-chorus has a different feel to the verse and leads the listener into the chorus, perhaps with new instruments introduced.
Charles describes the pre-chorus as “sticky” – featuring a catchy motif that grabs attention and lets you know the hook of the chorus is incoming.
The chorus is the “hook” of the song, the part everyone will remember that cements the track’s meaning. Next the optional post-chorus, which keeps up the momentum through to the next verse, which will have the same melody as the first verse.
The bridge is completely different to the verse, with a different chord change that moves the song along to somewhere new.
Charles describes it as taking “a breather” before heading back into the main song.
Try using a template when you first begin making your track, and see what feels the most natural order to lay out the different elements as the writing continues.
Once your song is written and mixed to perfection, hit up RouteNote to release it onto all the major streaming platforms for free. You don’t need a record deal, and you keep all the rights to your music.