The Structure of pop songs helps singers memorize songs. This is helpful to know if you have several songs to memorize quickly. Inside this video I’ll make memorizing pop songs easier so you can spend your time polishing your performance.
Hi I’m Chuck Gilmore, International Vocal Coach and Founder of Power To Sing.
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My passion for singing began in musical theater. When I started singing more pop music I had no idea there were similar musical structures shared between songs.
This is very helpful when faced with learning and memorizing pop songs.
Here is the standard structure of many pop songs; Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Ending.
Introduction: Often a short instrumental introduction
Verse 1: Establishes the tune or melody
Verse 2: Usually the same tune as verse 1 with different words.
Chorus: The words and music of the second chorus are often the same as the first.
Bridge: The bridge in the song may be an instrumental break or a combination of the chorus and verse, or something completely different from anything else in the song. Sometimes there’s a key change in the bridge. Often the highest notes of the song are in the bridge.
Chorus: The third chorus is often a variation of the first and second chorus with a key change and can be repeated several times until the end. It’s not unusual for the last chorus to have the highest notes in the song.
Ending: Often as simple as a fade out of the last chorus.
From song to song there may be slight variations of this structure…but usually you can still find a pattern.
Here’s a list of Billboard’s Top 10 Pop Songs of All Time. Half of the songs follow this predictable structure.
Copyright laws prohibit me from playing the songs. I recommend you pull them up on Youtube and listen for yourself. Try and identify the structure in the songs.
The Twist – Chubby Checker – This follows a predictable structure
Smooth – Santana – This follows a predictable structure
Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
Mack the knife is a song of verses without chorus or bridge. Each new verse begins with a key change…which holds your interest until the end.
Uptown Funk! – Bruno Mars
If you listen to “Untown Funk” it’s harder to follow any structure because there seems to be a pre pre chorus…”I’m to hot”…before each pre chorus…”Girls hit your hallelujah” (whoo) before the actual chorus…”Don’t believe me just watch” uh. Then a 2nd verse and repeat of the pre pre, pre chorus and chorus. Then what seems to be a bridge..”.Before we leave
Lemmi tell y’all a lil’ something Uptown funk you up”. Then a short verse and chorus and the ending is a repeat of the bridge…”Uptown funk you up” to the end.
How Do I Live – Leann Rimes, this follows a predictable structure.
Party Rock Anthem
This song has structure but it’s not typical. It’s like this: chorus ..”Party rock is in the house tonight” , pre verse, verse 1. Then chorus, a bridge, the pre chorus…”put your hands up” and chorus until the end.
I Gotta Feeling – Black-Eyed Peas – Dance Song Structure
Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – Dance Song Structure
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran – This follows a predictable structure
- Physical – Olivia Newton John – This follows a predictable structure
When memorizing a pop song, first analyze the structure of the song. Does it follow the predictable structure?
If so, start memorizing the chorus first. Once this is memorized, you almost have half of the song complete because it’s repeated three times. Next, memorize the bridge. Why? Because frequently, the bridge has the highest notes. Get the hard part over early. Last of all memorize the first verse and the second will quickly fall into place.
It’s surprising how understanding the structure of your song makes memorizing faster and easier.
What tricks do you use to help you memorize songs faster? Let me know in the comments section below this Youtube Video.
If memorizing songs was all it took to being a strong and confident singer, singing would be easy. However, how you sing the high notes and the quality of your tone establishes you as a great singer..
How do you develop great technique so you can combine it with your well memorized song list?
Start by doing exercises for your vocal type. Your vocal type is not whether you’re soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type describes what your voice tends to do as you sing higher. For example, do you tend to strain, or break or go into falsetto, go breathy, or maybe mix?
To discover your vocal type, download this free PDF entitled “Get Your Vocal Type”. You can get it here, or in the description area below this YouTube video.
This PDF contains links to a vocal test. Take the test and get your vocal type.
Then watch the videos about your vocal type and download the exercises for your vocal type.
This PDF will give you links to vocal cord exercises to help you sing anywhere in your range with your natural singing voice.
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I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power. I’ll see you inside the next video.