Watch the Anatomy of a Song online guitar lesson by Ravi from 1-2-3 Songwriting
If you dissect a variety of songs, you will see that many of the same structural forms ocurr over and over. For example, all songs begin with an "Intro" by definition. Whatever it is, if it is at the beginning, it is the intro. Vocals usually come in on the first "Verse." Sometimes it might not be the verse when you first hear the singer, but often it is. The "PreChorus" or the "Ramp" is the transition between your verses and the chorus. It is not always needed, so you won't always find it. The "Chorus" is the big part of the song, the climax where the main point of the song is being presented. The word chorus typically refers to more than one person singing (which musically helps drive that point home), but in these days of the solo singer-songwriter, it can also be thought of as the section where everyone just wants to sing along. The "Bridge" is the depature section - a device used to break the verse/chorus pattern and generate new interest. It generally occurs only once in the song, and usually after the halfway point. The "Outro" is the opposite of the "Intro." Whatever one hears last is the outro. It could be a strong musical period or exclamation point, or perhaps a fade into silence. Whatever it is, the outro brings the song to its end. The title is the name of the song, and it also psychologically leads the listener into the song because in many cases he knows it before even hearing the first note So, it should never be overlooked or down-played - it is the handle that people will use to communicate your song to one another, and often is the focus of your chorus. Ultimately, a song is just words and music. "Lyrics" are the words, whether it is poetic or descriptive. The "Hook" is the part of the song that rings in everyone's head. It is often the chorus, but not always. It could be a catchy riff (a melodic line) or anything that just sticks in your head because you are hooked! "Chords" by definition are three or more notes played together. However, altering chords and making them tastier or simpler, or just playing them somewhere else on the fretboard adds character to the music. Ultimately, the "Chord Progression" is what is more fundamental in the song - the sequence of the chords. The "Melody" is the tune with which we sing the lyrics. It is normally the part that one would whistle. Words and music meet at the melody, it is the marriage. "Rhythm and Groove" gives us the mood and feel of our song. "Solo" is a section that highlights a musical instrument. It departs from the lyric, but often maintains the melodic idea.