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Popular Song Form

Popular Rock/Pop Musical Form:  Intro A B A B C B B Fade Out - OR restated as Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus, and  Fade Out   Each section is usually 8 bars.  There can be additional sections, such as a short 1 to 4 bar section that acts as a lead in to a chorus, or other sections.  
Usually, the chord progression from the end of a verse to the chorus is V to I or in the key of C,  V = G chord whose notes are G, B, D  to  the  I = C chord whose notes are C, E, G.  The V to I progression is the strongest pull in music.  So, bar eight of the verse is usually a V chord, pulling to the I chord in the first bar of the chorus.
The different sections should stand out as distinctly different pieces of music with different chords, different instruments, and different drumbeats.   A song should BUILD over time and increase in intensity.
For Example:
Intro –  A flashy guitar lick, a unique drum fill, a bass slap, or a unique sound effect:  DO SOMETHING to get the listener’s attention, then go off into the groove of the first verse.
Verse 1 – KEEP IT SIMPLE, bass, guitar, keys, bass drum, snare, and hi hat. – Set the Feel:  ATTITUDE!
Chorus 1 – Again, SIMPLE, but add a tambourine or perhaps some auxiliary percussion,  perhaps change the bass sound to a more intense faster attack type of sound. (Example: finger bass in verse, slap bass in the chorus)  Don’t forget to change the beat and rhythm!  Change the guitar sound and keyboard sound.  (Example: use a muted guitar in the verse and a distorted guitar in the chorus.)
Verse 2 – Re-Record all the parts, they will end up slightly different (it will sound great!)  BUILD the song add a soft pad in fifths or fourths in the background.  Add a handclap or tambourine on beats 2 and 4.
Chorus 2 – Do everything you did in the first chorus, but add a prominent string pad and more cymbal crashes, and use the crown ride cymbal! (great sound) even add SLIGHTLY more drum fills + percussion etc..
Bridge – You have three (or more) choices for this section.  IT SHOULD BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE VERSE OR CHORUS.  (Some composers use musical fragments from the chorus and develop them here)
(1) Continue with the energy from the previous chorus and BUILD to the next chorus with new music and instruments.
(2) Break down the drum beats, or go into a half time feel section
(3) Play a solo, guitar, organ, vocal syllables etc…
Chorus 3 – Everything as before and throw in the kitchen sink!
Chorus 4 – In this final chorus, save background oohs and ahs, for this section and kick it into a higher gear by saving the crown cymbal sound for here.  Perhaps raise the strings up and octave and of course write a different string part!
Fade Out – You can simply fade out, or some slick writers have added an additional section of music that no one has heard and fade out on that part – (Example: a new drum groove or guitar based lick.)
The above form is just ONE method for writing a song!  There are MILLIONS of different instrument combinations, song forms, and musical genres.  That is what makes composing FUN!

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