GET TO THE CHORUS, DON'T BORE US!

Way too often I hear original songs that start off real cool then somehow loose the listener, they are kind of run on or go nowhere. So here is my take on the “Chorus”. As I see it, verses are like the setup of a good joke and the Chorus is the punch line. They both work together and each has little meaning or impact without the other. The punch line is usually a real simple comment but it has a lot of impact because it’s already been set up and brings the whole idea to some resolution. All music, and life for that matter, can be considered a transition between tension and resolution. One is a lead in that explains where you’re coming from in the story you are telling and the chorus kind of sums up your point or feeling in a memorable impacting way. The song can’t just go, it’s got to go to some destination. The chorus is you’re home and the verse is the road you travel to get there. The road can be winding and full of many different sights but home is comfortable and consistent. Like the verse would be all the crappy things someone did to you and the chorus would be a line or 2 saying 1 thing that really sums it all up. Like “I hate you”, “I love you” yea yea yea. Billy Joel is great at doing this melodically and lyrically. When it comes to choruses think simple. There is a beauty and art to simplicity and that is the part of the song that it is most appropriate in. The verse is where you’ve done the more intricate “foreplay” and created some kind of tension and anticipation and the Chorus is the real basic straightforward and raw climax of your idea,… your emotion whether it be anger, happiness, etc. That’s why simplicity works best. Resolution of tension by definition must be real basic. Although the situation leading to an emotion may be very complex the resulting emotion is usually not complicated but very honest and basic. There may be many shades but you are either sad or your not. At least for the moment. And all a song is, is how you feel in a moment in time. You may feel completely different a moment later, but then that’s another perspective and another song altogether now isn’t it. Don’t try to capture everything you’ve ever felt in one song. It is a snapshot of a sentiment, a conclusion in some way.There are so many parallels to the tension resolution concept everywhere. Because this is a paradigm that is everywhere in the universe. Sex is obviously a great analogy to illustrate tension and resolution. One without the other is anticlimactic in a manner of speaking and resolution is very base. An orgasm is a very straightforward, honest, simple thing. Most great philosophers feel simplicity is the way to true peace.Are there exceptions? Sure. There are no true “rules” just perspectives that can take you in directions that can help you communicate better. But to be aware of these concepts is critical, especially if you are going to break them. Ya gotta know the rules and what they do, so when ya bend and break them, you know the ramifications and how to balance that out in some other way so as to gain more than you lose in the process. One of the biggest mistakes in songwriting.

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