How To Write A Verse In A Song - 8 Techniques To Try Sunday April 9 2023, 11:30 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Write A Verse In A Song - 8 Techniques To Try

How To Write A Song Verse

Writing a hook seems to be all the rage in music, but there is a ton of skill and creativity that goes into creating verses in songs. 

Just like with all sections in song structure, there are no set strict rules when it comes to your songwriting process, especially if you're just trying to do it for fun. 

But if you're trying to get signed, gain a huge audience, or write for someone else as a part of your job in the music industry, there are several techniques that past songwriting greats have provided us with that we can use. 

Song verses can be the most creatively free part of your entire song structure, so it can be tough trying to figure out where to start and how to keep the flow going in subsequent verses. 

Popular songs tend to follow some of the same loose guidelines and techniques when it comes to verse songwriting.

I want to share some things to consider that I often think of when doing my songwriting work for hire and writing for my own releases. 

Related Post: Parts Of A Song - The Possibilities With Song Structure

Tell A Story

Your verses are the best sections to tell your story or give your song's message. This is usually the wordiest section of a song, so be sure to keep people's attention while still providing depth to your lyrics' meaning.

Your hook, also known as the chorus section, will likely have fewer words since it needs to stand out and be the most catchy part of the song, so your verses can have the bulk of your lyrical content. 

The more verses you have, the more story you can tell, but most songs stick to 2-3 verses so that the overall track doesn't go over 4 minutes long. 


Follow Up With A Prehook

Verses are sometimes followed by prehooks, which give you another chance to add a good amount of lyrics. Prehooks also give you a chance to write a catchy melody that will lead to an even catchier hook.

You often find this type of song structure in dance, R&B, and rock music, where the prehook gets repeated after every verse, which makes for an easier writing process and also makes your song more of an earworm. 

Be Catchy But Not More Than The Hook

Verse lines should grab your user's attention and include catchy melodies, rhythmic flow, and lyrics. You generally want your overall song to be at least a little catchy and follow a cohesive phrasing that doesn't leave a listener lost. 

While you want to make great vocal lines, you generally don't want them to stand out as much as the lines of your chorus.

Choruses are the focal point of a song, and a verse that sounds as catchy as a hook will just sound like a few hooks back to back. 

Related Post: How To Write A Chorus - 10 Things To Consider

Make Verses Just As Long Or Twice As Long As Hooks 

Verses are usually around 8-16 bars of a song in genres like hip-hop, R&B, rock, and country music.

A lot of people like to make their choruses and verses the same length to keep it simple, but it also works really well to have a verse that is 16 bars and a hook that is 8, especially if you have simple lyrics in the hook. 


Consider Similar Melodies In All Verses

When writing multiple verses, you may want to reintroduce similar themes each time to signify to the listener that they've reached another verse section. 

Many songwriters choose to keep the verse melodies very similar or exactly the same and only change the lyrics and maybe the dynamics or vocal approach to subsequent verses.

You could also just add a few harmony or adlib layers to subsequent verses while keeping the same basic melody as the first verse. 

To keep it even more simple, you could always choose to change the energy flow or switch up the approach while doing the same thing for all your verses. 

Slightly Change Instrumentation With Each Verse

Many songs are written so that the instrumentation comes in slightly different as each verse starts to give every verse its own unique flow. 

This can be due to adding new instruments that only occur in the verses or adding harmonies and layers, just like you can do with your vocals.

For example, if you have strings that play a chord progression throughout the first verse, the second verse can feature the same strings with an added higher string doing ornaments and adlibs in the background.

Related Post: Backing Vocals - 3 Ways They Elevate A Song


Consider Collaborations For Verses

Having a verse that a featured artist performs is always a refreshing thing to hear if they are as talented as you are. Getting a friend or a member who has vocal or instrumental talents can be easy, but make sure their voice meshes well with your vibe.

If you don't have a person in your network that will fit well, you can find people to collab with that are on the other side of the world through social media. 

Social sites, including Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud, are good places to find like-minded creators. 

Rhyme, But Feel Free Not Too

Sometimes, songwriters are too obsessed with ensuring we rhyme in our lyrics. When you focus too hard on trying to rhyme, you can mess up the creativity of your word flow and hinder the story behind the lyrics.

At the end of the day, the message behind the lyrics is more important than making sure they rhyme. And the chorus is a great place to show off rhymes, while verses have a little more wiggle room. 

If you find yourself spending way too much time trying to make things rhyme in your song, consider imperfect rhymes and similar-sounding words instead of following your rhyming scheme closely.

Most of the time, the listener will not even notice and will be more impressed with your general wordplay. 

Avoid adding rhymes that are too common and have been used over and over to the point where the listener may be annoyed by hearing them.

Also, avoid adding lyrics that don't even make sense in the phrase just for the sake of having a rhyme. It's never that serious! 

Related Post: What Is A Topline In Music? + Where To Find Quality Writers

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

Check Out My Latest Single Release Below:

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