At the moment, I feel like my choruses are, in fact, just a slight and arbitrary variation in harmony from the verse. Switch to the ride cymbal and maybe play straight eight notes on the guitars, and BOOM--a mediocre "chorus".
Is a chorus (in the context of pop and rock) simply a) a strong melody combined with a strong progression? Or, is it b) a specific structural moment that has to be appreciated in the greater context of a song?
I've tried to think about choruses differently (akin to the second posited definition). Perhaps the chorus is the consequent to the verse (antecedent)? And so the verse progression should end on a weak cadence while the chorus ends on a strong chorus? This approach is promising, though I find ending a progression in the chorus with a PAC to be very predictable and stale.
Similarly, an obvious harmonic flow from the verse to chorus would be: end the verse or bridge with dominant harmony and make the downbeat of chorus tonic harmony. The issue here is a) this is also quite predictable and while sounds promising, the excitement/momentum/energy vanishes once the tonic is gone.
I feel like my dream chorus neither begins nor ends with tonic harmony, but also feels like a significant moment in the context of the song.
What theory/structures/forms/harmonic or melodic devices/etc. should I be aware of to achieve my goal?
There is one example of a "chorus chord sequence" that a user on this stack exchange provided:
(IV -> V -> vi and then I -> I(1st inversion) -> IV)
It works like a charm. The only problem is, I have no idea where it came from, how it works, or how to modify it!
Do you have any suggestions for creating a catchy chorus sequence like the one above?
Note: Every now and then if I hear a catchy song on the radio or something, i'll try the progression in one of my songs, and they NEVER hit the same way. I heard a song recently with a killer chorus. The progression was
iii - vi - ii - V. I played around with the chords for hours, and I was never happy with it. Aside from the production/performance aspect (which i'm sure is vital), I am wondering if the a) preceding verse or b) my arrangement/melodies are to blame for the chorus falling flat in my tune but sounding huge in another.
Also: In classical music there is sentence structure . . . there are presentation, continuing, and conclusion schema . . . can/should these phrases be adapted to contemporary/pop/rock music?
So many questions . . . so many . . .
If you can suggest an edit so that my questions are condensed into one, that might help this post from being closed by the admins!
Thanks as always!