Today’s featured FAQ Friday question is: What’s the best song structure for the music industry at the moment?
This is a huge question! Song structure is a very broad term. This question made me think of all the knee-jerk reactions. One of those being chord sequences. There are a few chord sequences that are present in nearly every song on the radio, and in many, many great songs that have been written over the years. We constantly go back to these sequences because they are familiar, and they really do sound great. However, doing the same thing over and over, and doing the same thing as everyone else can get boring! While it is not a bad thing to use these sequences in your songs, especially as a starting point, don’t be afraid to break out of that and do something unique.
In terms of actual structure, the unwritten rule that has been present for decades is that a pop song for radio should be 3 minutes and 20 seconds, or less. Within this 3:20 format, generally you want to get to the first chorus within 45 seconds, and structure the song like this: verse, chorus, verse, second chorus, bridge, double chorus, and out. This is the most standard pop format!
This does not mean you absolutely have to stick to these guidelines all the time. The most important thing to keep in mind is accessibility to the average listener. If you challenge yourself to write within the guidelines that people respond to and are expecting, that can be a really great thing. Adding that challenge may help you to create an even greater song!
In the end, there really is no right or wrong way to write a song. Just keep in mind the requirements of the different platforms your song will be played, and what your listeners to respond to, and then really challenge yourself to write something amazing!
Watch the video below for the full answer to this question, and the answers to other great FAQ Friday questions!