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Old 02-08-2013, 12:37 AM   #1
Vicious_Turtle
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the differences between chorus, verse, bridge riffs. ect..

hey guys, so basically im wanting to know how to write a versre riff compared to a bridge riff ect. what makes it a bridge? what makes it a verse? how do i distinguish them? how do i go about writing them know its a bridge or verse or chorus? i have alot of riffs and id like to make them into songs. thanks guys
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:57 AM   #2
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You have these two things on either side of your head. They're really great at listening to music. You have this thing inside your head, that's really good for noticing patterns in music.

You should use all of that stuff and see what you discover.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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The way I look at it is the chorus is sort of a central theme or repeated pattern throughout the song. The verse is the movement of the song, and what gives it its overall feel. And the bridge, well think about it: What do bridges do? They connect things. So a bridge in a song is a way of connecting 2 or more generally unrelated things together in a song. And then you also have interludes, intros, outros, pre-chorus, etc.

I'm not sure how technically correct all of this is, but that's how I see it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:09 AM   #4
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junior basically said what i was going to explain...but better
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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Do you know what any of them sound like?
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vicious_Turtle
hey guys, so basically im wanting to know how to write a versre riff compared to a bridge riff ect. what makes it a bridge? what makes it a verse? how do i distinguish them? how do i go about writing them know its a bridge or verse or chorus? i have alot of riffs and id like to make them into songs. thanks guys


I wrote a really long shit, then deleted it because it was stupid. I suppose demonstrating is better than explaining:


Verse: 2:06
Prechorus: 2:30
Chorus: 2:44
Verse: 3:21
Prechorus: 3:46
Chorus: 3:58
Bridge: 4:37
Chorus 4:50

Or...


Verse: 0:04
Re Intro: 0:22
Verse: 0:31
Chorus: 0:50
Re Intro: 1:14
Verse: 1:23
Chorus: 1:40
Bridge: 2:05
Chorus: 2:42

Or...



Intro: 0:00 (just the verse w/o vocals)
Verse: 0:32
Pre chorus: 0:51
Chorus: 1:12
Re Intro: 1:32
Verse 1:43
Pre chorus: 2:03
Chorus: 2:23
Guitar Solo/Bridge: 2:44
Re Intro: 4:10
Verse: 4:20
Pre Chorus: 4:40
Chorus: 5:00
...


Ok. So...As you can see these distinctive sections exist in all different kinds of music...BTW, don't let terms like reintro/prechorus confuse you. It's just a way to describe non-thematic material that bridges sections together...the point is. If you can't listen to those songs and hear these distinctive sections and label them ...then you need to really start listening harder when you listen to music. If you can't understand form then you have no basis from which to work from. I highly suggest you pick a handful of songs that you like and try and analyse the form and sections.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vicious_Turtle
hey guys, so basically im wanting to know how to write a versre riff compared to a bridge riff ect. what makes it a bridge? what makes it a verse? how do i distinguish them? how do i go about writing them know its a bridge or verse or chorus? i have alot of riffs and id like to make them into songs. thanks guys


Identifying terms like verse and chorus are very loose and don't fit neatly with every part of every song. Those types of definitions tend to make more sense when writing a song with lyrical content and not when you're just coming up with riffs.

It would probably be better to label your music with sections. Section A, section B, section C...

It's fairly common for a song to have three or four sections, organized in just about any order that you want, plus a brief intro or outro.


As for how a person would write a verse riff as opposed to a chorus riff... there's not really any difference between any section once you remove the lyrical content, but choruses are generally thought of as the catchy part of a song, and a bridge usually only occurs once within the song and tends to represent a departure. The bridge is where you will most often find a modulation, if there is one.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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you'll know when they change tune. specially in the part of the bridge cuz it is always in a diffrent tune
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:09 AM   #9
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you'll know when they change tune. specially in the part of the bridge cuz it is always in a diffrent tune

Err...do you mean keys?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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i can hear the different parts in music just fine. i was more asking if there is any real thing you should follow, like guidelines. but thanks guys ps. hotspurjr. go f***yourelf
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #11
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You may think I was being snide (and I was being a little punchy, I admit) but here's the thing:

If there were rules about this sort of thing, or guidelines or whatever, and we gave them to you and you composed with them, what you would end up producing would be trite, derivative garbage. You can't write from theory.

You have to write the music inside you. And if you spend a lot of time listening to different songs, specifically for the ways the bridges and choruses and verses connect, you will discover things. You will notice things that only you wouldn't notice. And you will internalize them. And thus, when you try to write a song yourself, those concepts will be part of the music inside you, and you'll actually have the potential to come up with something interesting and original.

To walk you through some of these concepts in a non-trite way would require a book-length thesis. (And, heck, for fun, here's the book: "Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles," by Dominic Pedler.). To attempt to even start to do it justice in a bulletin board post is absurd.

I was snarky. In my defense, you were asking an impossible question.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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They're words that don't really mean anything.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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you were being a d*** man, it was an honest question. ive besically been trying to write stuff the exact way you guyshave been saying. i just thought i was doing it wrong
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vicious_Turtle
i can hear the different parts in music just fine. i was more asking if there is any real thing you should follow, like guidelines. but thanks guys ps. hotspurjr. go f***yourelf

Ya, here's the guideline

Verse: Thematic Material
Chorus: Thematic Material that is catchier than the verse
Bridge: Contrasting Thematic Material
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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There are general rules, but they vary with genre.

In general the chorus is the catchy tune that you want everyone to sing along with, the verse is the tune that gets people to the chorus, and the bridge is just something that's different from the verse and the chorus.

Problem is that "catchy" can mean anything from "Can I Play With Madness" to "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".

Really what tends to make the chorus the chorus, the bridge the bridge and the verse the verse is just the fact that they come in a specific order, often (though not always) verse / chorus /verse / chorus / bridge / chorus / chorus. So if you were to write three disconnected tunes and put them in that order, the likelihood is that you'll tend to want to hear them as a verse, a chorus and a bridge.

They don't have to sound like anything in particular though. If you listen to the bridges The Police wrote they tend to just be an empty space so they're very different from the bridges you get in a Tom Petty song where the bridge tends to form a more integral part of the song.

It's difficult if not impossible to give specific advice without hearing any examples of what you're doing (which would the Recordings forum, btw) and without having any idea what kind of music you're trying to write.

Really the best general advice you're going to eat is to listen closely to your influences, learn to pay their songs, then adapt that to suit yourself. Everyone learns by copying, and it's only nice you've done a lot of that that you start coming up with things you feel you can call your own.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
If there were rules about this sort of thing, or guidelines or whatever, and we gave them to you and you composed with them, what you would end up producing would be trite, derivative garbage.


I don't think there's anything wrong with following a couple guidelines, especially when you're first starting out. The Beatles had a fairly strong grasp of basic composition before they put out their first album. It certainly wasn't bad. It gave them a strong foundation and they built on it with each album.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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I don't think there's anything wrong with following a couple guidelines, especially when you're first starting out. The Beatles had a fairly strong grasp of basic composition before they put out their first album. It certainly wasn't bad. It gave them a strong foundation and they built on it with each album.


Yes. They did.

The question is, how did they acquire that grasp?

You might want to reread my post, and make sure you grok the whole thing, not just this one little snippet that you're taking out of context to disagree with.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #18
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They did it by learning Buddy Holly songs, thinking "How did he /do/ that?!" and then trying to do that themselves. It's like learning to talk: First you ape the people around you, then you acquire some skill, then you start to develop your style, then you ape the people around you and so on.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sloop John D
I don't think there's anything wrong with following a couple guidelines, especially when you're first starting out. The Beatles had a fairly strong grasp of basic composition before they put out their first album. It certainly wasn't bad. It gave them a strong foundation and they built on it with each album.


Any particular Beatles songs with bridges that stand out?

I'm always interested in learning new things.

Last edited by rutle_me_this : 02-08-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
They did it by learning Buddy Holly songs, thinking "How did he /do/ that?!" and then trying to do that themselves. It's like learning to talk: First you ape the people around you, then you acquire some skill, then you start to develop your style, then you ape the people around you and so on.


In other words, they did exactly what I suggested: used their ears and their brains, studied the music that moved them, and internalized it.

Their influences go a lot deeper than Buddy Holly.

The book I referenced above goes into a tremendous amount of depth with this.
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