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The Verse/Chorus/Bridge Song Form

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Young men playing musical instruments during band practice
Karen Moskowitz/ Taxi/ Getty Images

Type of Song Form:

Verse/chorus/bridge, this type of song form is an extension of the simple verse/chorus structure.

Construction:

Often it uses this pattern: Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus. The first verse sets-up the theme of the song with the last line offering a natural progression to the chorus. The chorus contains the main message of the song that is worth repeating. Then another verse where new details are revealed followed by the chorus again. Then a bridge is added which is often shorter than the verse. The bridge must be different from the verse, lyrically and rhytmically, and offer a reason why the chorus needs to be repeated.

Guide Notes:

The verse/chorus bridge is by far my most favorite song form and is one that I often follow in my songwriting. But it is also one of the most challenging forms to write to because your song may become lengthy. As a general rule, a commercially viable song shouldn't exceed the 3 minute and 30 second mark.

Song Sample:

A famous example of the verse/chorsu/bridge form is the song "Just Once" recorded by James Ingram.

  • First Verse: I did my best but I guess my best wasn't good enough

  • Chorus: Just once can't we figure out what we keep doing wrong

  • Second Verse: I gave my all but I think my all may have been too much

  • Chorus: Just once can't we figure out what we keep doing wrong

  • Bridge: Just once I want to understand

  • Chorus: Just once can't we find a way to finally make it right
  • Music Sample:

    Listen to a song sample of "Just Once" by James Ingram courtesy of YouTube.

    Related Resources:

    Learn more about lyric writing.

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