Most popular music use similar forms. If you watch my song lesson videos, you’ll notice I go through sections of the song and not how to play each song chord by chord. If you look at a song on Ultimate Guitar or something similar, a lot of times you’ll see a boat load of chords and it’ll look very confusing. It’s important to remember things repeat. It’s very rare you’ll see a song not repeat a fair amount within a song. It’s actually an important part of music as a whole, something that repeats is a good way to get the brain familiar with what’s going on around it! A lot of music tends to be even number of repeats, 2 times, 4 times, 6 times, 8 times etc.
Here are common sections of a song:
This part is pretty self explanatory, what happens at the beginning of the song (Intro) and what happens at the end of a song (Outro). Sometimes they’re borrowed from other sections of the song, sometimes they’re their own thing that only happens at the beginning or end. Other times they’re the an extension of what’s coming next!
This section of a song typically has changing lyrics but a similar melody and the same chords for each verse. This is where the story of the song typically takes place.
This is the “hook” of the song. Typically it is the most memorable part of the song where the words stay consistent each time. A lot of the time this is where the name of the song comes from!
A section that happens to “set up” the chorus, typically happens between the Verse and Chorus.
A section of the song that happens after the Chorus that has a change of feel. It has it’s own feel rather than the same one as the Chorus. Sometimes this is the same as the Pre Chorus
This is a part of the song that is most dramitically different from the rest of the song and only happens once. Words and music typically don’t mirror anything else happening in the song.
This is usually where the last “little bit” of the last section of the song is repeated. Sometimes this is 4 measures, sometimes it’s 4 beats. It tends to tie a nice bow around the ending of a song.
Common Song Structures:
Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus | End
Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus | End
Intro – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus – Outro | End
Intro – Verse – Pre Chorus – Chorus – Post Chorus – Verse – Pre Chorus – Chorus – Post Chorus | End
Verse – Pre Chorus – Chorus – Verse – Pre Chorus – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus (x2) – Tag (x3) | End
Verse – Chorus – Post Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Post Chorus – Bridge – Chorus – Post Chorus | End
These are just examples, but it’s a good idea to have an idea of where songs typically go. Get ready for things to repeat and a 6 minute song will be less daunting to memorize! What is the structure of your favorite song?