Skeletons. Framework. Structure. Outline.
These aren’t the most flowery or creative words, but they’re absolutely necessary for writing a good song. You have to have a road map, a plan, a means of communicating your message to your audience.
Have you ever seen a film that ended and you wondered what the director intended you to feel, think, or conclude when it was over? *cough* Dear John *cough* *cough* That’s what will happen to the listener if you write a song that lacks a backbone.
To get you started, here are some common song formats:
Songs often begin with an intro, end with an outro, and sometimes there will be a prechorus before each chorus. For an example of a song with an ABABCB format, listen to my song "Have We Become Silent" at www.AshleyGatta.com by clicking on the music player at the top of the page.
Now that you’ve got a skeleton for your song, you’ve just got to put some meat on them bones!