by Kim Copeland
One of my production and critique clients recently had an epiphany regarding song structure in today’s market that I’d like to share with you here, as it reaffirms some of my most frequently dispensed songwriting advice…less is more!
Approximately ninety percent of the songs currently airing on CMT have four lines of lyric before they hit the chorus. Of the remaining ten percent, I’d say that nine have a four line verse and a two line channel, and only one percent have eight lines of verse preceding the chorus.
If you are using lengthy verses to explain your story to the listener, you may be losing them before you get to the punch line (chorus). Try evaluating some of your eight line verses to see if they can be condensed into four lines. Determine which information contained there is truly relevant to the listener’s understanding of the story. Be sure to give only the important factual and emotional information without any superfluous words or lines that may confuse your audience or lose their attention.
It is very important to learn what is selling in the market you are competing in, if you want to succeed. The old adage, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” still rings true in today’s song market. With this one tool of learning to say more with fewer words you can take your songwriting to a new, more commercial level.