In Listening To Songs – Part 1, we identified the HOOK of the song. This was the first step in focused listening. Next is to begin to listen for the structure of the song, the outer shape of the song. There are a variety of structures, and to be able to hear them, you must know what the parts of a song are first. Each part has a different function, and can be easily recognized by simply listening to songs to discover the parts. Song Parts: VERSE, PRE-CHORUS, CHORUS, BRIDGE, HOOK, and in some older songs that found in the Great American Songbook, there are setup VERSEs that precede the entire song’s structure.
There is no one structure that fits all songs and odd structured songs can be very effective. So, as you are listening for structure, you will hear that songwriters have different approaches to structuring their songs. The key is to know how to listen for each part of the song in order to be able to envision the complete structure.
You may already know what a CHORUS is, but it can’t hurt to review. The CHORUS is easily identified because you already know how to identify the HOOK. The HOOK usually lives in a CHORUS located as either the beginning or end lyric line.
The next time you listen for the HOOK in a song, connect it to the section that it is in. You are now hearing the CHORUS.
Focused CHORUS listening is particularly fun to do in supermarkets while shopping. The in-house music is usually playing pop/rock-golden oldies and the like to entertain you as you’re dancing down the salad dressing aisle. This is a perfect time for you to isolate the HOOK, attach it to the CHORUS and focus your listening skills.
Time for some grocery shopping.
The art of writing is rewriting and listening.