Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?
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Old 24-05-2016, 08:35 PM   #1
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Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

I've been comparing my song structures to those of other songs to see if there's anywhere I can improve and I noticed that I don't really use prechoruses but many songs do. My typical structure is something like this:

intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus-outro and I use the last bar or two of drums to transition between the different parts.

Of the songs I've written so far, I've only used a prechorus in 1 track, but I don't necessarily feel like the absence of one is effecting my songs in a negative manner.

Do you think the prechorus is necessary and do you use one in every song or just whenever it fits right?

Last edited by oDDgOD; 24-05-2016 at 08:42 PM..

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Old 24-05-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

I have never heard of the idea of a prechorus. Id say the old saying "if it sounds good, it sounds good" applies here. But Im curious to hear any other opinions as Im trying to write more complex arrangements.

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Old 24-05-2016, 09:13 PM   #3
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

Absolutely you must and at 1:30 and at 2:55 exactly for a 4 min song!

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Old 24-05-2016, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

So, I've wondered about this, too. With catchy pop songs there is a definitive song structure and it's usually very easy to tell the chorus. I've never really bothered enough (yet) to try to disect some of my favorite tracks for their structure.

With vocal trance there seems to be a bit more of this going on. Most tracks I listen to generally seem to follow more of the approach of add new stuff until the box is full, change things up a bit and/or add a drop/break, rebuild, adding new elements as desired/required to not bore the listener. Fade out or build back is about 50:50.

Am I missing something?

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Old 24-05-2016, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

You don't have to do anything.

You sound like you're discovering ABABCB which is (along with variations thereof) a hugely popular song structure for arranging pop music. Though, in my opinion, getting caught up in it will take you down a silly path. If you're listening for things like that, instead of very statically listening to how the parts are structured and trying to replicate that because you think that this one simple rule will fill in the gaps in whatever you think you're lacking, listen instead for how each of the different sections enforce the ideas or feels that they're trying to get across, and how each of those parts is carried into each other to carry the flow of the song from beginning to end.

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Old 24-05-2016, 11:43 PM   #6
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

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Originally Posted by candlesayshi View Post
You don't have to do anything.

You sound like you're discovering ABABCB which is (along with variations thereof) a hugely popular song structure for arranging pop music. Though, in my opinion, getting caught up in it will take you down a silly path. If you're listening for things like that, instead of very statically listening to how the parts are structured and trying to replicate that because you think that this one simple rule will fill in the gaps in whatever you think you're lacking, listen instead for how each of the different sections enforce the ideas or feels that they're trying to get across, and how each of those parts is carried into each other to carry the flow of the song from beginning to end.
I dont really think in chorus and verse bc I make insturmental music, but I try to use juxtaposition as much as possible and make different sections sound enough different yet related at the same time.

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Old 24-05-2016, 11:49 PM   #7
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

you don't really have to use anything whatsoever in music - not even sound, actually, as John Cage has masterfully taught us a couple of decades ago.

don't get caught on pre-imposed structures and stuff like this, just let your creative juices flow freely. if it sounds good, it's all good.

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Old 25-05-2016, 03:31 AM   #8
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

I don't really think of verse chorus ever. I do think ABCD etc.

A prechorus is essentially just a relatively short transitional phrase between two song sections. You can do this or not do this. I dunno. If you like em do it. Personally I think they can come off as cornier than fuck pretty easy with your listener being like "oh it's one of those goofy edm things".

Whateve floats your boat. I guess if you're trying to make club bangers that make people dance, that would probably be the best reason to use em.

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Old 25-05-2016, 05:52 AM   #9
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

I wasn't really consciously aware of the pre chorus until I started to work with singer songwriters and combine what I do with what they do. I don't really see the point in electronic music because we can do things like fills and transitory elements - sweeps, noise, silence, what-not. When you're just a guy with a guitar though it does help things to ease into the chorus, and cue the listener a bit more, which I do think is important in songwriting of any kind.

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Old 25-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #10
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

It's pretty big in metal too

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Old 25-05-2016, 12:54 PM   #11
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

No, you don't have to use it. Personally, I use it quite often though. But there are no rules.

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Old 25-05-2016, 01:45 PM   #12
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

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Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
I wasn't really consciously aware of the pre chorus until I started to work with singer songwriters and combine what I do with what they do. I don't really see the point in electronic music because we can do things like fills and transitory elements - sweeps, noise, silence, what-not. When you're just a guy with a guitar though it does help things to ease into the chorus, and cue the listener a bit more, which I do think is important in songwriting of any kind.
To me, when we're talking about this stuff, it is implied that we're talking about music that has a harmonic form to it... which most electronic music does not. Nowadays some people are starting to explore it, but still the majority of it is AAAAAA chords wise. So, if you're song is harmonically static, then I would totally agree with what you are saying, why think of it as a prechorus? Just throw in a noise sweep.

Now, if you have two different harmonic patterns going on for your "verse" and "chorus" it makes a bit more sense to have a "prechorus" (i keep thinking of this girl in high school who was talking about pre-cum.. add strikers again).

simple example:

verse: IV-ii-V-I

chorus: vi-ii-v-v

both of these chord progressions are going to repeat a bunch of times, so what you might do is thrown in a 4 bar section like this in between them

IV-IV-V-V

that would make things a little more interesting.

like I say, to me this stuff only makes sense if there are chord progressions going on. This doesn't apply to a lot of electronic music. How do you make a prechorus in an ambient track uhhhhhhh

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Old 25-05-2016, 01:47 PM   #13
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

oh yea, and when i was kind of dissing on prechoruses, earlier, I want to point out that I don't think they are bad. I use them some times.. more like just use them with caution so it doesn't sound contrived and corny

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Old 26-05-2016, 04:02 AM   #14
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

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Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
No, you don't have to use it. Personally, I use it quite often though. But there are no rules.
Pretty much this. I have a few songs that have a pre-chorus but I don't feel like I need it.

On a side note, if we were also talking about EDM and stuff, I like to think that the build up could also be considered a pre-chorus so I guess if you have that element in your song, you could say you use a pre-chorus.

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Old 09-06-2016, 11:05 AM   #15
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Re: Do you HAVE to use a prechorus?

I almost always do, but you really don't have to.

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