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PRE-CHORUS

#1 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

Pre-Chorus

More and more lyric posters seem to be using this sectional label.
But what’s the point of it?
What does it mean?
Hip Pocket Music

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and the second best to sing them"

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“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

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#2 User is offline   MABBO Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

It "lifts" the tension, melody and action of a lyric and melody and provides a "build" into the chorus. It changes pattern, intensity from the verse, and is different than the chorus. It is also called "Lift" or "Channel" here in Nashville. Same thing. It has been a device used more and more since we have done away with most verse, verse, chorus, patterns. It gives a verse six lines instead of four, and gives the human ear something new to listen to. We have a very short attention span world so people need something to build and keep a song moving.

94% of modern country songs are:

Verse
Channel
Chorus/hook
Verse
channel
chorus/hook
bridge
chorus/hook
out

MAB

#3 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:41 PM

MABBO said:

It "lifts" the tension, melody and action of a lyric and melody and provides a "build" into the chorus.

Exactly.
It is a musical event.
A normal regular everyday turnaround in the second ending.

So why would a lyricist hoping to attract a composer presume to dictate a musical event?
Hip Pocket Music

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and the second best to sing them"

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“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

#4 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:53 PM

I'm curious about it too. It could equally be written as part of a verse. Verses don't have to be 4 lines long, and few of mine are.

Mind you, I don't bother labeling anything when I write. However, for some reason, I do add labels when I post to sites like these (sometimes, anyway).

Shouldn't the lyrical structure be implicit and detectable, anyway?
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#5 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:04 PM

Alistair S said:

Shouldn't the lyrical structure be implicit and detectable, anyway?

I also subscribe to that perspective - especially if you want a collaborator to have room to breathe.

I also believe we should be thinking bars, not lines.
Hip Pocket Music

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and the second best to sing them"

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“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

#6 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

I was just studying this in a book by John Braheny, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. Reiterating and/or expanding on the concepts of the other posts, this book says "pre-choruses are melodic segments that are different from the verses, chorus, or bridge," "When you first hear a pre-chorus, it almost sounds as if it's going to be the chorus, until you hear the chorus that follows…The pre-chorus melody, lyric meter and phrasing should change to enhance the feeling of anticipation going into the chorus. You can think of it as providing the same kind of anticipation that a great drum fill provides." The author goes on to list the basic characteristics of pre-choruses as:

  • They directly precede the chorus.
  • They usually precede each chorus, but may be dropped after the first couple of times if you can find a way (musically) to get back to the chorus without it. In that case there's usually a bridge to perform that function between the second and third choruses.
  • Lyrics can be the same each time or different. In fact, consider the option of a pre-chorus if you need more than one verse of lyric--but don't need enough lyric for two verses--to set up the chorus lyrically.
  • Melodies are the same each time.
  • The length varies, like the bridge, from one lyric line to four. Pre-choruses usually last no longer than eight bars.
  • Their major function is melodic and dynamic--to build tension to increase the feeling of release in the chorus.


This book emphasizes writing commercially viable songs for radio. The structure MAB posted above, along with some variations, is now a common form in modern song, particularly useful for "up-tempo songs where the three segments go by quickly; but it's also successful in ballads and mid-tempo songs."

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:59 PM

Because if it wasn't labelled, people would say the last two lines of the verse don't match the rest of it. The meter is off, the rhythm is off, etc etc.

In other words, who cares how the lyric is labelled? If the lyricist wants to indicate where they hear the lift begin, what does it matter?
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#8 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

Salley Gardens said:

I was just studying this in a book by John Braheny,

Thanks, Salley.
I haven't read or seen that book before.
My curiosity about the term has led me to similar descriptions already.
But - whenever I have pressed anyone to provide a scored example, it has always been, in practice, the second ending and nothing more.

Do you happen to know of an instance for me where this is not the case?
Does anyone?
Hip Pocket Music

"It is the best of all trades to make songs...
and the second best to sing them"

Hillaire Belloc

“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:42 PM

I've always felt one of the best pre-choruses musically I've ever heard was in Natural Woman (Aretha Franklin - Natural Woman). The first pre-chorus being "Before the day I met you, life was so unkind. But you were the key to my peace of mind". As an aside, the bridge is also one of my all time favorite musical bridges :-)

As to how/why a lyricist would dictate a pre-chorus, I'm not sure. I've never considered a pre-chorus as being a lyrical event since it has always felt to me as something specific to the music.
But I have noticed some ambiguity in lyrical notation (particularly on the web) when it comes to a pre-chorus, i.e., sometimes noted as a "lift", "step up", or not noted at all, etc.

This topic is timely for me as I've been recently spending time listening and trying to find pre-choruses in songs that I really like to get a better feel for how to create them in my own music. I would love to write a song with an effective pre-chorus!

#10 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

View PostLazz, on 25 January 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

My curiosity about the term has led me to similar descriptions already.
But - whenever I have pressed anyone to provide a scored example, it has always been, in practice, the second ending and nothing more.

Do you happen to know of an instance for me where this is not the case?
Does anyone?

I don't know if these will be helpful... here is what my book lists as examples of pre-choruses used in a variety of ways:

Boyz II Men's End of the Road, (written by K. "Babyface" Edmonds, A. Reid, D. Simmons);
Shania Twain's Any Man of Mine (R.J. "Mutt" Lange, S. Twain);
All-4-One or John Michael Montgomery's I Can Love You Like That (S. Diamond, Jl. Kimball, M. Derry);
Sheryl Crow's Every Day is a Winding Road (S. Crow, J. Trott, B. MacLeod);
Faith Hill's Like We Never Loved t All (S. Sacks, J. Rich, V. McGehee);
All-American Rejects' Dirty Little Secrets (T. Ritter, N. Wheeler);
Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten (N. Beddingfield, D. Vrisebois, W. Rodrigues)

I have no idea if any of these are not the case!

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:36 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 25 January 2012 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'm curious about it too. It could equally be written as part of a verse. Verses don't have to be 4 lines long, and few of mine are.

Mind you, I don't bother labeling anything when I write. However, for some reason, I do add labels when I post to sites like these (sometimes, anyway).

Shouldn't the lyrical structure be implicit and detectable, anyway?

When Mike Taub (aka Mystery Mike) gave me these lyrics back in 2005, there were no song parts indicated anywhere on his lyric sheet.

As I read the 2nd 4 lines, I sensed a difference and wanted to musically define it.
The only thing that changed in the collaboration was the name of the song, having been titled "Making Sense Of It All" originally.
It's the only song that I've ever written with a pre-chorus or however you want to define it.
Each section of the song is defined below.

Trying To Make Sense Of It All
words by Michael Taub - music by Dan Depolito - vocal by Myles Loud - © 2005

V1
My mind starts to wander since were apart
Visions arise that I just cant chart
A gaping hole exists inside of my heart
Try to do things but I just cant start

Pre-Ch
I can hear your words when theres no sound
I can see your face, when theres not a soul around
I can taste your lips but it just cant be
I can smell your hair, when youre not next to me

Ch
And Im sensing this is just how it feels
Yeah Im sensing now that our love was real.

V2
The days are long without you here
I trudge on but my paths so unclear
Life all alone brings on more fear
Is it wrong that I cant, can't shed tear?

Br
I try not to blame you
But its so hard, you know.
Why did you leave me?
Was it your time to go?
No, it wasnt your fault
That you got the call
But my pain still grows
Trying to make sense of it all.

V3
The years just pass as they often do
My lifeless eyes have seen me through
The happy times are far and few
Still counting the days, till Im back with you

Pre-Ch
I can hear your words when theres no sound
I can see your face, when theres not a soul around
I can taste your lips but it just cant be
I can smell your hair, when youre not next to me

Ch
And Im sensing this is just how it feels
Yeah Im sensing now that our love was real.
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:13 AM

Pre choruses are big in pop ballads too. It's something that signals the listener that the big explosive chorus is about to happen.

Generally speaking a pre chorus would look different even on paper than the meter of the verses, and the chorus. That makes a lyricist
think that this will give a clear path for the melody writer to put it into three distinctive parts, the verse, the prechorus and the chorus.

Taking the musical hat off for a minute, i can see why a lyricist labels it, because they are trying to articulate music when they can only speak in words.

It's basically road mapping the most common structure verse, pre chorus, and chorus, and a lyricst thinks that if they create three different
lyrical parts, that this will equate to three different musical parts. Sometimes it can, but I think it's one reason that people who write lyrics first
or lyrics only, rarely write anything great.

It's easy to write colorful, engaging lyrics when u dont have to constrain them into a entertaining piece of music. That is the real challenge of
pop songwriting in particular..... How do I sing what I want to say, and how do I say it all in 3 minutes.

In short the lyricist believes they are helping the musician create sections.

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:57 AM

Funkdaddy said

Quote

Because if it wasn't labelled, people would say the last two lines of the verse don't match the rest of it. The meter is off, the rhythm is off, etc etc.

In other words, who cares how the lyric is labelled? If the lyricist wants to indicate where they hear the lift begin, what does it matter?



Thank you Mark. ;) I find nothing wrong with a lyricist trying to give others an idea of how they hear the lyric being performed in their head and as you said, there have been many times I failed to label something and left the lift and/or pre-chorus just standing alone and the comments would be, what is this? the rhyme is off, the line is shorter, etc. etc...thus I like to label it. I am not presuming to TELL any collaborator who would maybe work with music and my lyric, what to do, it is a suggestion only.. :)

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:27 AM

I don't really understand this idea that anyone would expect that the last two lines in a verse need to match the other lines. There is nothing that says the lines in a single verse need to match each other, surely?

Labeling communicates a lyricists intent, I agree.
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:44 AM

View PostAlistair%20S, on 26 January 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

I don't really understand this idea that anyone would expect that the last two lines in a verse need to match the other lines. There is nothing that says the lines in a single verse need to match each other, surely?

Labeling communicates a lyricists intent, I agree.


Technically, no line has to match anything, it's not a poem it's a song. That is why when lyricists try to stick
to accepted formats they can become cookie cutter, and even sacrifice what they really want to say just to "fit the suit"

But I guess, lyric forums are built around the cookie cutter forms, because they are universal everybody knows them. it's a favorite crit conversation piece.

I kind of look at it like, it the last line doesnt match, maybe the first three lines dont match the last!

But when it;s the last line thats different, it;s almost obvious something is supposed to be different there.

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:48 AM

Salley Gardens said:

I have no idea if any of these are not the case!

Thanks. Salley.
Haven’t heard ANY of those, so I have no idea either.
I’ll try and check them out.

obcbeatle said:

I've always felt one of the best pre-choruses musically I've ever heard was in Natural Woman

Oh yeah!
I am familiar with this one.
Carole King with a gospel cadence.
And a great example of the emotional effect of a ‘lift’ in music.

But why call it a pre-chorus?
And why even call the subsequent two bars a chorus?

The structure for Natural Woman is just a simple A-A-B that uses a groovy 2-bar refrain.
There is no chorus.

obcbeatle said:

This topic is timely for me as I've been recently spending time listening and trying to find pre-choruses in songs that I really like to get a better feel for how to create them in my own music. I would love to write a song with an effective pre-chorus!

Sorry if this is too personal a question, but do you not get along with your uncle?
He could sort you out on that stuff within a couple of hours.
Hip Pocket Music

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and the second best to sing them"

Hillaire Belloc

“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:16 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 26 January 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

I don't really understand this idea that anyone would expect that the last two lines in a verse need to match the other lines. There is nothing that says the lines in a single verse need to match each other, surely?


I find it hard to believe you've never commented on a lyric's meter or other by-product of it's syllable count. In the absence of music, a lyric has to provide it's own rhythm.
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:55 PM

View PostLazz, on 26 January 2012 - 12:48 AM, said:

But why call it a pre-chorus?
And why even call the subsequent two bars a chorus?

The structure for Natural Woman is just a simple A-A-B that uses a groovy 2-bar refrain.
There is no chorus.

My book clearly states each section is about differing melodic statements, and use of pre-choruses is a (relatively) new song form that has an additional contrasting melodic statement: A-B-C.

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:30 PM

View PostLazz, on 26 January 2012 - 01:48 AM, said:

I am familiar with this one.
Carole King with a gospel cadence.
And a great example of the emotional effect of a ‘lift’ in music.

But why call it a pre-chorus?
And why even call the subsequent two bars a chorus?

The structure for Natural Woman is just aer than simple A-A-B that uses a groovy 2-bar refrain.
There is no chorus.


The repeated line modern chorus is just an evolution of the refrain line, and so often the distinction in particular cases is arbitrary - I think the critical thing, on what terminology to apply, is whether it feels like a separate section rather than part of the verse. I guess the same is true for a pre-chorus. In Natural Woman that part certainly feels like a separate section to me.
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:36 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 26 January 2012 - 11:16 AM, said:

View PostAlistair S, on 26 January 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

I don't really understand this idea that anyone would expect that the last two lines in a verse need to match the other lines. There is nothing that says the lines in a single verse need to match each other, surely?


I find it hard to believe you've never commented on a lyric's meter or other by-product of it's syllable count. In the absence of music, a lyric has to provide it's own rhythm.


I think a critical point is that LYRICs, like music and prose do not have lines, they have phrases, and like the latter they have sentences.

POEMs have lines, which are strictly a function of their visual presentation. Lyrics do not exist on paper, only in the auditory context of a song - on paper they are something else. It sounds like I'm picking nits, but I think it is conecptually important.
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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:59 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 26 January 2012 - 05:16 PM, said:

View PostAlistair S, on 26 January 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

I don't really understand this idea that anyone would expect that the last two lines in a verse need to match the other lines. There is nothing that says the lines in a single verse need to match each other, surely?


I find it hard to believe you've never commented on a lyric's meter or other by-product of it's syllable count. In the absence of music, a lyric has to provide it's own rhythm.


Meter is important in that two verses need to be consistent (and sometimes lines/phrases within verses also need to be). Two lines/phrases tagged at the end of a verse don't need to be the same as the 4 that came before, though. Why should they?

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

Thanks to all for the insights and thoughts. I have a question on this topic that I think I know the answer to, but I'd like thoughts anyway. I just finished a song, but the way that it flows lyrically works better with a pre-chorus after the first verse but not after the second:

intro
v1
pc
c
v2
c
b
c
c
outro

Has anyone ever seen/heard a song that fits that format? Not that it has to, because it works really well, I guess I want to know if I'm at least hitting in some ballpark.

Thanks,
Rednaj

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

View PostLazz, on 26 January 2012 - 02:48 AM, said:

obcbeatle said:

I've always felt one of the best pre-choruses musically I've ever heard was in Natural Woman

Oh yeah!
I am familiar with this one.
Carole King with a gospel cadence.
And a great example of the emotional effect of a ‘lift’ in music.

But why call it a pre-chorus?
And why even call the subsequent two bars a chorus?

The structure for Natural Woman is just a simple A-A-B that uses a groovy 2-bar refrain.
There is no chorus.

<<< I see what you mean. Natural Woman being an AAB song, there IS no chorus. I think a lift/pre-chorus... is something that is VERY effective musically when used properly. And as a song writer something to certainly to be aware of as an opportunity.

obcbeatle said:

This topic is timely for me as I've been recently spending time listening and trying to find pre-choruses in songs that I really like to get a better feel for how to create them in my own music. I would love to write a song with an effective pre-chorus!

Sorry if this is too personal a question, but do you not get along with your uncle?
He could sort you out on that stuff within a couple of hours.

<<< I get along fine with my uncle. But I'm not sure ANYONE can sort ME out on some aspects of musical theory, even in two hours ;-)


#24 User is offline   TimC Icon

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:43 AM

View PostRednaj, on 26 January 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

Thanks to all for the insights and thoughts. I have a question on this topic that I think I know the answer to, but I'd like thoughts anyway. I just finished a song, but the way that it flows lyrically works better with a pre-chorus after the first verse but not after the second:

intro
v1
pc
c
v2
c
b
c
c
outro

Has anyone ever seen/heard a song that fits that format? Not that it has to, because it works really well, I guess I want to know if I'm at least hitting in some ballpark.

Thanks,
Rednaj

The point is that song forms are arbitrary--they're just something that somebody made up. If they keep listeners interested they get copied until something else comes along. Study the history, back to the middle ages--consider the rondeau--and maybe even try writing one, just as an exercise.

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:19 AM

View PostRednaj, on 26 January 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

Has anyone ever seen/heard a song that fits that format? Not that it has to, because it works really well, I guess I want to know if I'm at least hitting in some ballpark.

I'm sure there are quite a few songs that only have one pre-chorus. One that springs to mind is Schools Out - Alice Cooper - the pre-chorus is the bit that goes "Well we can't salute ya, can't find a flag"

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:48 AM

Quote

Technically, no line has to match anything, it's not a poem it's a song. That is why when lyricists try to stick
to accepted formats they can become cookie cutter, and even sacrifice what they really want to say just to "fit the suit"


Totally.....and maybe music writers risk being cookie cutter too if they're rigidly trying to follow a pre-described formula like that..
Surely it makes for much more interesting ,creative songs if writers can be more fluid and open in their thinking than being chained to something like that- which is only one of hundreds of songwriting devices open to you to use intuitively..

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:04 AM

There's really alot of good info on this post. For me, and I also have many books on songwriting too, but look at things differently sometimes.

If I write the lyrics first or someone wants me to add music to lyrics, I will try to add music that will make the journey along with the story, so pre-choruses and such may not be apart of the landscape. Although, if there is a line or two that turn the story or set up the chorus, ill add a chord or two that may enhance what emotion the vocal/lyric is conveying. The change can also be rhythmic. Although they should, reading lyrics alone may not convey the passion that the writer suggests or these rises and falls that need to accompany it musically.

If I write the music first, it seems to be easier because the rises and falls of a prechorus are outlined, you should be able to hear the rises and falls musically.

Having a prechorus, my no means for me, is not a requirement. It can have great value though

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

The primary thing you deal with are "air of familiarity." We have had over 100 years of recorded music, longer for sheet music, or notated music. People have developed a certain ear and expectation of the song form. When something comes on the radio, and or they hear live and it is far outside the realm of what they are familiar with, it has the effect of "stepping off a curb." For the most part. "something doesn't 'feel right."

There are times, primarily in rock and alternative, where it works just fine. The artists are known for different types of approaches. In country, it is putting a square peg in a round hole. People listen to music mostly to find something they know. Sort of like "comfort food for the soul." you don't find a lot of divergence in the format structure wise. What you do find differently is subject matter and approach on any particular subject. Show don't tell" giving the visuals, conversational tone, giving the listener a connection with the singer, and a melodic hook that is memorable and they can instantly remember and want to hear it again, are the hallmarks of what most country writers do.

Even in people like Eric Church, Jamie Johnson, and others who many claim are on the "outside" of the format, actually still use the format. They bend rules around the inside of the format and make it work for them in their approach.

Again, when you get into hearing hundreds and sometimes thousands of songs over a period of time, you tend to tune a lot of things out that don't really fit the format. Most of them are trying to be different for the sake of being different, and that is not always a good thing. Many murderers and assasins are different too. Different is not always a good thing.

I would say it is about trying to stick to certain patterns but finding things inside that pattern that can set you apart. Pre-choruses are one element of that.

MAB

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

View PostMABBO, on 01 February 2012 - 10:53 AM, said:

"comfort food for the soul."
MAB


nice quote! laced with grace as always MAB!

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

I wrote a song recently and it has a pre-chorus in it. The lyrics I wrote didn't have it listed. It just sort of happened because I felt it as I was writing the music for it. I could see it going the other way too though. Lyrics are more about thoughts and telling the story. No reason why the lyricist couldn't indicate a pre-chorus as a connection of thoughts from the verse to the chorus. As a composer it would be up to you to carry that emotion musically. That being said I think a pre-chorus is generally shorter than a full verse or chorus but it's not a rule.

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:05 PM

I looked back at a few tunes where I used a pre-chorus and how I used it...

If the verse is very short and sounds like the chorus comes up really quickly and disjointed, this gives it a springboard into the chorus

The verse chord progression consists of a melody that’s similar to the chorus.

The verse’s last note needs to evolve to a much higher note at the start of the chorus.

It made me go back and see how and where I used it, so hope it helps
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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:39 PM

View PostLazz, on 25 January 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

MABBO said:

It "lifts" the tension, melody and action of a lyric and melody and provides a "build" into the chorus.

Exactly.
It is a musical event.
A normal regular everyday turnaround in the second ending.

So why would a lyricist hoping to attract a composer presume to dictate a musical event?



I appreciate that point of view. I often feel the converse as well though, why would I as a composer presume to dictate a change in the fundtamental structure created by a lyricist? I tread very lightly at first with a new collaboration, and I like knowing from the beginning that we have a similar or at least compatible vision for a song. Talking about sections is part of that process to me - so just as my own personal preference I like seeing them in the lyrics even if I might disagree or want to change them later. I do move things around, but I try to talk about things like that early on. Again I suppose different teams have different ways of working, but I want any collaborator to feel that "Yesssss!!" moment that the music expresses exactly what they were feeling.

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:37 AM

I think the real reason for lyricist's using pre-chorus' are the reasons for the bridges they use. A lot of writers just have a natural feeling of how a set of lyrics should sound. I don't see it as being a big deal but I don't use them just out of habit. Because you could say that the last few lines of each song is gonna be the rise/pre-chorus.

Which got me thinking of Faith Hill's "Like We Never Loved At All" and I thought there isn't a pre-chorus! And it doesn't sound like one but rather that the last few lines have been altered with a melody suited to a rise.



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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

View Postklo, on 12 February 2012 - 05:37 AM, said:

Which got me thinking of Faith Hill's "Like We Never Loved At All"


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:27 PM

Piling on to what MABBO said:

If you come to Nashville, it's a channel. Saying "prechorus" will get you either confused looks or eye rolls. Interesting how it seems to be such a common phrase elsewhere though.

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

View PostMABBO, on 25 January 2012 - 03:13 PM, said:

94% of modern country songs are:

Verse
Channel
Chorus/hook
Verse
channel
chorus/hook
bridge
chorus/hook
out

MAB



Its funny reading about the definite construction rules you basically have to follow in country to be succesful..

A brilliant song like 'Love Letters' for instance - which i've always assumed to be basically 'country' -follows none of those rules..Is suprising,inventive,moody and follows its own logic..
Why can't some modern nashville songs do musical things like that..Be chromatic and abit strange n left of centre ?
Wouldn't a modern country audience appreciate a song like that if it was written now..?

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:36 AM

I get the lyrical aspect of a pre=chorus, but how do you write one musically? I can't seem to get any good workable pattern down. If a the chord progression for verses is:

I-vi-IV-V

What would the lift be?
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

View PostThe Cracks, on 14 February 2012 - 10:36 AM, said:

I get the lyrical aspect of a pre=chorus, but how do you write one musically? I can't seem to get any good workable pattern down. If a the chord progression for verses is:

I-vi-IV-V

What would the lift be?
If I may give an example without using roman numeral notation, which for me is too restricting, how about,

F/ D bass - - C - - G/B bass - - F/ D bass - - C - - G

Then you could start the Chorus with a IV or F chord.
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:45 PM

View PostThe Cracks, on 14 February 2012 - 09:36 AM, said:

I get the lyrical aspect of a pre=chorus, but how do you write one musically? I can't seem to get any good workable pattern down. If a the chord progression for verses is:

I-vi-IV-V

What would the lift be?


Assuming the Verse chords were one bar apiece, a typical lift might be: IV | IV | V | V7

or you could use 4 bars of the IV then the 4 of the V - which is a simplified form of what Danny had.
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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:34 AM

Thanks everyone for tips on chords progressions for lifts. I will give them all a try again and again.
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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hi Lazz

I know, pre-chorus seems to be a new phenomenon in writers speak. I guess its the lines that are different melodically from the last line being the eventual hook or chorus. Or maybe its the minny bridge, but because its being repeated before the eventual hook line, its referred to as a pre-chorus. I think I'm guilty of the that too.


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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

a prechorus is either the musically different end of the verse leading into chorus of the musically different lines which start the chorus. If verses and choruses are written to closely complement each other, such inventions are not required. But if a lyricist hears a slightly different melody in a line or two between these two components and chooses to point them out to the musician, where's the harm done?

A good musician will recognize them for what they are, without needing an arrow pointed to them.

I can't ever remember using one or at least, not needing to spell it out for the musician.

If a rise is needed to lead into a chorus, a musician will find a way to develop one with the lines provided. For a lyricist, it's probably best to wait for a musician's input into whether or not one is needed or welcome.
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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

Some of the designations come from old writing circles.
The term "Lift" usually comes from Broadway in the theater, where a lyricist and composer would work with a Libretist, who did the dialogue and stage direction used in a play. There would be notes in the "action" of a script, calling for the music to "lift" the action, to another place, increasing the tension in a scene.

The term "Pre-chorus" was used a lot in Los Angeles, and often in the 60's "rock and roll" era.

Nashville has simply used the term "channel" as it builds a "channel" from one part to another, usually the verses to the choruses.

A "bridge" primarily is done from one chorus to another at the end of most contemporary songs.

There are going to be more definitions, but to my knowledge, these are the most common.

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

The audience defines the format, not the other way around. Many people come out with plenty of different takes on the format, the listeners are the one's who either hook into it or not. Like any form of music, anybody can write whatever they want, however they want to write it. That is their right. With millions of artists and writers on the Net, billions of songs out there, there is no shortage of "different" anywhere. Labels even release different things all the time. Most of it simply doesn't gain traction. Now you can blame that on whatever you want to. Complaining about anything never really does a lot of good.

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