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Song Structures

Jeff Williams

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I'm about to start a notebook where I write down the structures/arrangements of songs. I think it'll be a great project to help get more ideas on how to work with my own songs and others people's songs that I work with.


Basically, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on writing down song structures/arrangements?


I want to get as detailed as possibly while keeping it simply at the same time. Using symbols like:


V: verse

B: bridge

gtr: guitar


I'm looking to build upon the simple and create a language that's easy for myself and others to understand.


Any ideas would be great.



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I used to do it lot and still do sometimes. I'll map out structure and put notes in verbal terms. That way the idea is more general and can be used without pilfering.



8 bars just drums and hook bassline.


V1: 8 and 4 bars(12)

Adds guitar rhythm and maintains hook bassline


C1: 8 bars

Vocal note range goes up roughly 1/2 an octave

Organ Pad and single note string line with vocal


C1-tag: 6 bars, 2nd repeat is absorbed into V2.

Like intro but with chicken pickin Keith guitar


V2: 12 bars,



The act of listening and mapping it out is really where it's at. It tunes up your analytical skills and builds up a nice catalog of ideas.


The structure of my tune below tapped into a lot of structure ideas I'd mapped out. The dropping of 2 bar sections, overlapping of sections, use of mini motifs/hooks in variations, etc



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