Sectional Differences Move a Song
Sectional differences make your song interesting rather than boring. Story line is the tale your song tells, do it well and you writing music resume will shine. Most songs have two or three separate musical and lyrical sections.
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Sectional differences means the verse, chorus and bridge must sound different from each other and also contain different content. Musically the chorus needs to stand out. Often songwriters use a chorus lift to start this.
Choruses are usually sung higher than verses. Sometimes they can be much lower. However the point is they must be different and stand out from the verses.
It is very common to move from the key the song is in, say C or the 1 chord (Nashville number system) to F or 4 chord. The 4 chord has a certain emotional effect on listeners and provides the feeling of moving out or away.
Think of the key of a song as home sweet home. It feels good to be there. You the listener can relax and kick your shoes off. Moving out and away from home is exciting, like taking a journey. But like most journeys there comes a point when you want to go home.
Thats what using the G or 5 chord does, its the signal that you're about to return home to the home chord which is C or the 1 chord. This relationship between what chord you hear and the emotional effect it has on you is real. We are hard wired to react this way.
Wayne Chase provides a wonderful in depth discussion of exactly why this is and how it works in his book
How Music Really Works.
Its all about the frequency vibration of the different chords in a key and how much tension or dissonance there is in them. Sound weird? Maybe so, but it just is. The secret is to learn how to use it to provide the listener an emotional connection to your song.
Songs use sectional differences to provide tension and resolve for the listener. Great songwriters spend most of their time in a song doing this. Listeners often don't realize it but they feel it and respond.
A songwriter's task is to build and resolve tension. The music, lyrics, lyric placement and
are the tools used to achieve this.
Sectional differences also are achieved by evolving the story content of the verses, choruses and bridge as the song progresses. Each section must provide new content, not just a re-hash of the the section before it.
Generally the content should move the listener on a journey that is more personal all the time. Move from the more general first verse to a deeply personal bridge.
You can tell if you succeeded when the chorus feels different or has new color each time you hear it as you move through the song. Each verse must provide a new angle on the chorus. This keeps your song interesting to the listener. This is called coloring the chorus.
Sectional differences also include changing your lyric form. Vary the line length, rhyme scheme and lyric placement in the musical bars between sections.
For example try doing things like bring the lyric in on the downbeat in one section. Before the downbeat in another and after the downbeat in the bridge. It makes the sections feel different.
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