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I am stuck with one of my songs, and I believe this question relates to form--an area which I don't know much about. The form of the song was as follows:

  1. Intro
  2. Verse
  3. Bridge
  4. Chorus

This part is then repeated one time to create the song. Each section contains a different progression, so there are 4 different progressions.

Now, the issue:

With this set-up, the song is shorter than I would like. It is brisk and catchy, but comes in at like 2.5 minutes. In trying to lengthen the song, I added yet another section (different chords) in between steps 3 and 4 during the second go-round. This is where I got stuck. The song that was quick and catchy all of a sudden felt confused/watered-down/lost/directionless.

I really like the new section I wrote, but I am afraid that the new progression is leading the song as a whole astray and diminishing the impact of the other parts. That being said, I am afraid to use chords from the other sections for this part because what if the song then sounds repetitive? I am wondering if you have any suggestions for lengthening my track using a bridge section in between steps 3 and 4 while keeping the song focused and punchy. Doubling the length of the bridge, beginning the chorus early, using the verse chords, etc. are all suggestions you may have.

If this question cannot be answered without knowing what the progressions themselves are, then please indicate so in the comments and I will edit them into this question. Thank you for the tips.

-286642


Update

I have decided on the following form:

  1. Intro (iii-IV-ii-V)
  2. Verse (iii-I-vi-IV)
  3. Bridge (V-ii-V-III)
  4. Chorus (I-vi-ii-V)
  5. Intro
  6. Verse
  7. Bridge
  8. Chorus
  9. Outro (I-vi-IV-V)

Note that sections 5-8 are identical to the first four sections.

By making my new section (#9) an outro, I avoid disrupting the flow of the song, since it can't be disrupted if the song is already, in a sense, over!

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    What’s wrong with a song being 2.5 minutes long? If it sounds good at that length, I would just leave it. – Todd Wilcox Jun 12 at 18:36
  • This is a good question in the abstract, but a link to the song you had in mind might still be interesting..? – topo morto Jun 12 at 21:13
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    You mention nothing about lyrics. If you add more sections, don't you need new lyrics for those? If you don't want to add new lyrics, why not use an instrumental repeat of some sections. If you are going to add more lyrics, why not just do a third repeat of the whole structure? – Michael Curtis Jun 13 at 14:23
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    I think adding the progression will be helpful – Michael Curtis Jun 13 at 14:25
  • @MichaelCurtis Per your suggestion, I have added the harmonic structure above. Thank you. – 286642 Jun 19 at 14:25
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I think it's just a matter of where to put this new part. Of course there is no right answer, but most commonly this part would fit after the second chorus, before the very last chorus.

Your new form would then be:

  1. Intro
  2. Verse
  3. Bridge
  4. Chorus
  5. Intro
  6. Verse
  7. Bridge
  8. Chorus
  9. New part
  10. Chorus (maybe twice?)

Wikipedia has an article on Song structure, that also cites something like this:

A song employing a middle eight might look like:

Intro-{Verse-Chorus}{Verse-Chorus}-Middle 8-{Chorus}-{Chorus}-(Outro)

For clarification, what Wikipedia calls "Middle 8", or "Bridge" would be item 9 in our example. What you call "Bridge" is what they call "Pre-chorus". (I don't think there is actually a consensus in this matter).

Anyway, there are endless songs that use this general form, each one with it's own details, for example, repeating Intro before the second verse in your case, sometimes there is not a Brigde before the Chorus, sometimes there is no Intro, sometimes there is a Bridge before the last Chorus, etc..., but the "Middle 8" is always there after the second chorus, and it may be a good idea for your new part to be a "Middle 8".


Another option could be to toss the new part and maybe stretch one of the parts, or repeat the Verse or the Bridge if you really want it to be longer. Chandelier by Sia for example follows more or less your current form: Verse - Chorus - Post-Chorus(?) and repeat.

Oor, you could also leave it as it is. There is nothing wrong with 2.5 minutes :)

  • I appreciate the advice--but I tend to stray from three-chorus songs. Thank you though! – 286642 Jun 19 at 14:22
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  1. When writing a song, say what you want to say then stop. 2½ minutes is a perfectly good length. Elvis' hit 'Teddy Bear' clocked in at 1'46".

https://happymag.tv/the-seven-shortest-1-songs-to-ever-hit-the-charts/

  1. If you've written a new section but it doesn't fit the song, you've written something that may fit in another song, but not this one. Save it up for a future project and write something else. (If you need to - see 1. above.)

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