Shuffle The Deck To Beat 2nd Verse Hell



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.

“2nd Verse Hell” is that lovely place you reach at the end of the first verse and chorus where you stare at the page for an hour, pulling out your hair and trying to figure out what to say next. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.

Sometimes the solution to 2nd Verse Hell isn’t what happens next. Sometimes, the solution is what happened before.

Think of each section of your lyric, or even each thought, as a single playing card out of a deck. Shuffle the deck. Take what you thought was your first verse and move it to the second verse. Now what needs to be said in the first verse? Or maybe verse two is really the chorus and the chorus is really verse two.

Don’t be afraid to shuffle the deck several times. If you don’t like the result, you can always put the cards back in their original order. Go ahead. Give it a try.

Shuffling the deck just might change a losing hand into a winning one.

God Bless,



What about you?  Do you struggle with 2nd verse hell?  What ways have you used to fight it?  I’d love to hear from you!


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8 thoughts on “Shuffle The Deck To Beat 2nd Verse Hell”

    1. Bridge: great if you need them. Skip if you don’t have something interesting to say (lyrically and melodically). If it’s long, you’d REALLY better be saying something awesome. All the other stuff depends on what the song needs.

  1. OMG! That’s exactly what happened to me yesterday! I’d been struggling with a second verse for almost two weeks and finally put it away and was determined to pick it apart piece yesterday and finally decided to to tell what happened “before” like you just said and I ended up using one of the wordplays that I had written and it all fell together perfectly!! It really works!!

  2. “Hell” it is in these moments. I’m just now comfortable with “changing things up” and it’s taken 20 years to get to this point of “oh… I can change what I write?” What creatively and naturally comes to me doesn’t mean it’s what serves the song best. Tough lesson for me to learn and still learning…and still have to consciously write through. Thanks for the reminders guys.

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