Rhyming The Line Before The Chorus

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Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

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The line right before the chorus is one of the most important lines in your song- it sets up the chorus and helps determine the impact the top of the chorus has on the listener. (In basketball terms, you could say the last line of the verse or pre-chorus throws up the alley-oop so the chorus can dunk it.)

But sometimes that line, instead of serving the song or chorus, is trapped into serving the rhyme that comes before it. For example, a writer can get too focused on, “The line above ends in ‘blue’ so I have to write the next line so it ends with an ‘oo’ sound.” This can result in a line that’s weaker than it should be.

To avoid this trap, I’ll often figure out the IDEA of the set-up line, but intentionally leave it unrhymed before moving on to the last line of the chorus. I’d rather have the more important line dictate the rhyme of the less important line. This frees me up to focus on finding the strongest idea for the last line of the verse- on finding the best idea and figuring out the best way to say it. After I have that figured out, I can go back to the set-up line and figure that one out. Hope that helps!

God Bless,

Brent

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4 thoughts on “Rhyming The Line Before The Chorus”

  1. I was in a conversation with James Dean Hicks a little while back and he talked of how he’d have those key spots in the song mapped out first and go back to fill in the blanks. Put the best parts in the spotlights. Good stuff!

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