Vicious_Turtle
UG Member
Join date: Jul 2010
230 IQ
#1
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
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
82 IQ
#2
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.
Junior#1
Is SouTaicho Yamamoto-san
Join date: Oct 2007
71 IQ
#3
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.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
chronowarp
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2012
10 IQ
#6
Quote 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNoKguSdy4Y
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...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yda38oRlEfM
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...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sXPmz9b4lM

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.
Sloop John D
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#7
Quote 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.
ivd11
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2010
480 IQ
#8
you'll know when they change tune. specially in the part of the bridge cuz it is always in a diffrent tune
TheHydra
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
80 IQ
#9
Quote by ivd11
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?
Vicious_Turtle
UG Member
Join date: Jul 2010
230 IQ
#10
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
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
82 IQ
#11
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.
Vicious_Turtle
UG Member
Join date: Jul 2010
230 IQ
#13
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
chronowarp
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2012
10 IQ
#14
Quote 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
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
10 IQ
#15
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.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Sloop John D
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#16
Quote 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.
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
82 IQ
#17
Quote 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.


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.
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
10 IQ
#18
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.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
rutle_me_this
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
20 IQ
#19
Quote 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 at Feb 8, 2013,
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
82 IQ
#20
Quote 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.
AeolianWolf
Tonal Vigilante
Join date: Jul 2009
20 IQ
#21
Quote by Vicious_Turtle
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


if you haven't been having any success then you've been doing it wrong. the most important justifying factor to a method is its results. then cost is measured. however we're not discussing ways to use religion to subdue the public - we're discussing methods of musical education.

i say this so you learn one crucial rule: personal opinions (particularly those of people who are not established in their field) are worthless.

the first post was really all you needed - all the theory in the world is useless if you don't know how to use your ears to get something out of it. but if your attitude or ego is such that you'd rather pick fights with him over the way he phrased what you needed to hear, then you're going to miss the message. and you're going to end up with no more real knowledge than you had before you started this thread. there's a reason we have the saying "once a fool, always a fool."

hotspur's a nice guy, and he's very knowledgeable about his craft. if you start shit, he'll be nice about it and say "listen, man, i'm just helping you out. it's your call what you want to do with my advice." he's not going to waste energy putting you in your place.

probably because he knows there are people like me to do that for him.

you want to take that attitude? that's fine, i'm not going to tell you how to live your life. i just hope you're prepared to deal with the shit results you're inevitably going to get.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
D..W..
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#22
Hotspur was probably nicer about it then some other people would have been. And he was right. You had an honest question and he had an (although stingingly so) honest answer. You can't learn how to write choruses and verses from any of us, or anyone else, without just trying it. People here get a little tired of hearing 'will this sound good' 'how do I write this' type questions. We can't answer that, you won't learn it from us. You just have to do it, and as much as it may suck to not have a cut-and-dry answer, it'll start to make sense. Just listen- really listen. Listen to some songs you like and pay attention to each part. Pay attention to the tension, the build, climax, release etc. You'll get the feel for it and eventually you'll just be able to do it without even thinking about it (I can do it sometimes, most of the time not though. It takes time and practice). And if you think you're doing it wrong, tweak with what your doing. If you're trying to write a chorus part, keep tweaking (with the riff. Not with drugs ^_^ ) until you figure out what sounds right to you. It'll sound terrible for a while, at least to you. But you'll figure it out eventually through trial and error. If you do something and wrong and recognize you did it wrong (although only you will think it's wrong), then it's a building block that is important for you to figure out what's right.
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
10 IQ
#23
Quote by HotspurJr
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.


I was thinking of an interview with Paul McCartney where he got asked how they began to write, and his answer was that they would listen to Buddy Holly songs and think "How does he /do/ that?", and then try to do that. Not sure about studying the music they loved ... When they were 15 it was probably more a case of picking up a guitar, learning how to play some chords and then learning how to play some stuff off the radio.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Sloop John D
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#24
Quote by rutle_me_this
Any particular Beatles songs with bridges that stand out?

I'm always interested in learning new things.


There's quite a few. Paul McCartney said he learned early on that the bridge, which he often referred to as the "middle eight," was a very important part of any song, so the Beatles usually tried to do something interesting to make the song stand out.

"From Me To You" has a key change for the two bridges and was supposedly the first time the Beatles discovered modulation.

"Something" is another song that changes key in the bridge. I like this song because the bridge is arguably the catchiest part of the song, but it only occurs the one time. If you want to hear it again you have to listen to the song again, which forces people to listen to the song over and over.

George Harrison's song "Here Comes the Sun" has an interesting and complex rhythmic change for the bridge that some people have referred to as "Metrical Modulation." He uses the same technique in the song "I Me Mine" and in his solo work, "Here Comes the Moon."

You can look to pretty much any bridge in a Beatles song and find something interesting that makes the song stand out.
91RG350
At least Microsoft cared
Join date: May 2011
50 IQ
#25
If there were strict rules etc for bridges, choruses, verses, etc...the music would be a science, rather than an art...
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.