by Sam Inglis
Don't be intimidated by the idea there is a 'right' structure that you need to adhere to when writing. Song structure is not a matter of rules that need to be followed, more a concept for understanding other people's songs, and for helping to figure out where you might be going wrong.
Most songs can be broken down into natural sections. Some of these, such as verses, bridges and choruses, typically occur several times; others, like the introduction and the 'middle eight', might appear only once. If we give each section its own letter, we get a shorthand that can be used to sum up song structures: ABABCB, AABABABB, and so on. Note that this shorthand takes no account of small but important variations, such as when the second chorus is a couple of lines longer than the first.
The most common experience you'll have as a songwriter is realizing that an incomplete song isn't working, but not knowing what to do about it. In this situation thinking about song structure can be productive. Is it too repetitive? How does it compare with songs in the same genre?
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