The chorus is arguably the most important part of any song. This is the moment where everyone knows the words and can sing along – whether at the front row of a sell-out stadium gig or singing at the top of their lungs in the shower.
Knowing how to write an incredible, memorable chorus is a skill that every songwriter needs in their toolbox. But how easy is it? What are some of the hallmarks of a memorable, sing-along chorus?
Professional songwriters rely on several tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make sure the most important part of their songs is as catchy as can be.
Let’s take a look at six ways to make your chorus pop.
In pop music, the chorus is supposed to be memorable. And repetition is your best tool to achieve this. Repetition is almost always found in the chord and melody structure of a chorus.
Repetition can simply be the amount of time the song title is repeated. For example, look how frequently the title is mentioned in the chorus for “Baby” by Justin Bieber:
As well as the lyric, repetition can also be found in a chorus syllable structure. See how the syllable count of different lines with the same melody is always identical:
The Chorus songwriting app is a great way of ensuring your syllable count is repetitive, helping you write a more memorable chorus that will get stuck in your listeners’ heads like never before.
Another way of writing a great chorus is to book-end the chorus with the song’s title.
Let’s take a look at “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran:
In this chorus, Ed Sheeran places the title of the song at the start of both halves of the chorus, and places it in the last line of the chorus as well for maximum impact.
Lists are a brilliant way of making a chorus sound more catchy. As humans, we tend to respond very well to lists as a way to help us remember things that are important to us – whether that’s a shopping list, a daily to-do list, or even a bucket list.
“abcdefu” by GAYLE is a good example of using a list in the chorus:
GAYLE uses two lists in this chorus. She lists the “ABCDEFU” which then tees up another list – a list of things she won’t miss from a past relationship. It’s a perfect piece of very successful pop lyric writing.
The Trigger and Genius sections of Chorus are excellent ways to develop these types of lyrics. Try adding a list to your chorus to create something especially catchy.
Simplicity is the key to writing something great. And while it’s true that there are times when a more wordy chorus lyric works well, sometimes keeping it simple is best.
The Beatles are masters of simplicity:
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were able to communicate the most important message of a song using just four words: She loves you. Yeah.
There are numerous examples of different melody structures used across all genres of music. So relying on a more well-recognized structure for the genre you’re writing is a good way to make your listeners remember a chorus more easily.
Try one of the following melody structures as a way of writing a more memorable chorus:
The post-chorus usually arrives after the second chorus of the song. Its job is to accentuate the main hook or title from the chorus. Once considered to be something quite a niche, a post-chorus is becoming ever popular in contemporary pop music.
For example, let’s look at the main chorus and post-chorus of Dua Lipa’s smash hit “Don’t Start Now”:
See here how the post-chorus emphasizes all the important parts from the main chorus but in a simpler form. It’s a new version of the chorus for the listener to absorb, and it helps drive home the hooks in the song.
These are just a few ideas to help you write a better chorus for your songs. Want to take it to the next level? See how the songwriting tools in Chorus can help you improve your songwriting.
Get started at www.writewithchorus.com.
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