Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Verse without chorus form, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- The verse without chorus form is akin to…traditional strophic song form, and, as a result,…we see it frequently in folk music and popular songs…that derive from folk music.…Typically, songs that are a series of connecting verses…will make use of a refrain as an anchor.…In this way, the refrain serves as a chorus,…something for the listener to come back to.…Many of the songs of Bob Dylan…utilize the verse without chorus form and have a refrain.…Some famous verse without chorus forms that have refrains…are Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water,"…Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe,"…and Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line."…One of the hardest forms to execute properly…is the verse without chorus form…that does not have a refrain.…
Without a chorus or bridge to provide variation…or a refrain for the listener to pin their hat on,…these forms put a supreme focus and pressure on the lyric.…One brilliant example of this form is…Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."…He uses the same melody and chord sequence three times…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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