The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

Next Destination: 2019 NAMM Show

Anaheim, CA



February 02, 2009

Songwriting 101: Song Forms

Written by The Lennon Bus


Hey there everyone!
Let’s get it started!  So let’s talk about the pieces that make up a song.
INTRO/OUTRO: So the intro/outro section of a song is *duh* at the beginning and end of the song.  Most of the time this is a instrumental vamp, sometimes accompanied by vocal stylings over the top.  In most cases, there are no lyrics in this section, and it only serves as a sort of buffer zone to ease the listener into your tune.  However, this being said, an intro/outro can also be a short lyrical opening/closing to your song that sets up your story or idea. 

To check out a great example of a lyrical intro to a song, listen to “Power of Love” by Luther Vandross, however 80’s that song may be!

VERSE/CHORUS: The verse is normally the story telling of a song.  The first verse is where you set up your story (if you haven’t used a lyrical intro), and your verses continue the inner-workings of your character’s story.
The chorus or hook is where you deliver your main statement, and often the title of your song.  The chorus is a section that reoccurs throughout the song, and in today’s pop music, the chorus will repeat over and over and fade out instead of using an outro.

BRIDGE: The bridge is an important part in a verse/chorus song.  The bridge normally fits in between your second chorus and third chorus.  It contrasts the rest of the song, and traditionally, the point-of-view changes for the bridge.  So, for example, if your verse and chorus is “I did this” and “I said that”, the bridge is “you say this” or “she/he did that”.  In contemporary music, a musical break with an optional instrumental solo set in between choruses is referred to as a “musical bridge”.

Some examples of verse/chorus/bridge songs (also known as AABA form) are the following.  Check them out:
“Soulmate” by Natasha Bedingfield
“Stereo” by John Legend

Speaking of that John Legend song, something to listen for in that song is another piece to the song form puzzle.  It is known as the PRE-CHORUS: The pre-chorus is located in between the verse and the chorus.  Like the chorus, it often has the same lyrics each time it repeats, but this is not a requirement.  It also doesn’t have the ‘hook’ or necessarily represent the main idea of the song, but it does normally have a different chord structure and/or melody than the verse.  Also check out the non-lyrical intro in “Stereo”!

So that’s it for song form!  Next time we’ll jump into another basic subject, and I’ll sit down at the piano with my camera and get a little more hands-on.  Sound good? Sweet!

So take it easy, be good, and remember to check out ‘The Craft of Lyric Writing’ by Sheila Davis.  You’ll find way more in-depth analysis on all the things I’ve talked about here.


Next entry: Calling all Troubadours with laptops!


Posted by jeffro  on  02/03  at  02:24 AM

Did someone say “Let’s Get It Started”???
Didn’t BEP record that track ON THE LENNON BUS?!

oh yeah they did

Posted by Semaj  on  02/04  at  09:37 AM

This was an interesting entry, but I would really like to see more video of eating contests.  Enitsirhc suggests grilled cheese sangwiches.  My boy, Salguod, can eat seven of them.

Recent Posts

  • “What does peace mean to you?” - Inspiration from the Audio-Technica Creator Station The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by OWC partners with Audio-Technica on The Creator Station, which can be found at all Lennon Bus visits. Students and guests are encouraged to answer the question “What does peace mean to you?” while learning about how to use easy tools to create …
  • FEATURED VIDEO - “Why” by Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Harlem NYC Students from Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Harlem, NYC came together to create an original song and music video in one single day on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by OWC. Special thanks to Council Member Mark Levine, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, OWC (Other …
  • Featured Video - Come Together NYC Bed-In at City Hall March 25, 1969 - John and Yoko got into bed to talk about peace. September 13, 2018 - Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr and Jeff Bridges get in bed to support the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and its mission to provide young people with opportunities to spread peace and promote …
  • New from Lennon Bus Europe! Students from all over Europe joined us on board Lennon Bus Europe to create original projects during our 2018 European Summer Tour. Check out this video from a group of students who spent 1 day in Schaan, Liechtenstein recording a hard-hitting original song and music video in the Bus at …
  • Featured Video - “The Odyssey” by Salem Advanced Learning Center Students from Nebo School District in Salem, UT spent one whole day onboard The Lennon Bus working together to write, record and produce an original song and music video. The result is…THE ODYSSEY! Special thanks to OWC (Other World Computing), Apple, Juniper Networks, Securematics, Ruckus Wireless, Nearpod, Yamaha, Audio-Technica, Genelec, …
  • Featured Video - “What They Said” by Berkner High School Students from Berkner High School in Richardson, TX spent one whole day on board The Lennon Bus working together to write, record and produce an original song and music video. read more
  • Andy Grammer - PERSPECTIVE - Presented by OWC Andy Grammer joined us at the 2018 NAMM Show to share his journey from a busker trying to find his voice to the hit-maker musical powerhouse he is today. Watch now to hear how Andy discovered you can’t be afraid to fail when chasing your dreams. read more …
  • Come Together Sacramento The Sacramento City Unified School District hosted The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by OWC for an epic week and a half of 21st century learning and skill building with students across the district working together to create original projects. These projects collectively yielded Come Together Sacramento. Special thanks …
  • Come Together NYC (2017) - “What does peace mean to you?” From our Lennon Bus family to yours, we wish you a Happy Xmas / Holidays and Happy New Year! On that note, we’re proud to bring you the short film Come Together NYC (2017) created by students from across the five boroughs with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus thanks …
  • “Come Together” by University of Miami Biscaydence Watch University of Miami BisCaydence students sing a live a cappella version of “Come Together” arranged by the incomparable Ben Bram with additional support from Alex Green on the Lennon Bus during The Betsy - South Beach A Cappella Festival. What an original and refreshing take on The Beatles’ classic! …