Structure is the thread that holds your rap song together, as it connects every part of the song and keeps things organized. Today, we are breaking down the components of a rap song so that you can improve your structure!
Know the Basics
There are 5 core components of every rap song:
The verse is typically 16 bars. This part of the rap song displays your skills and the core message of the song. While 16 bars are most common, you can use 8, 12, 16, or 24. The chorus is the best place to quickly wrap up the message of the song, deliver a hook to keep the listener engaged, and transition to the next part of the rap song.
The intro/outro portion of the song is not always present or needed. If they are there, they are often 8 bars long and incorporate something interesting to draw the listener in or lead them out. The pre-chorus is becoming more common in rap songs. It’s a 4 bar hook that helps to get the listener into the chorus and make the song even more memorable. Finally, the bridge is stuck between two choruses near the end of the song and contains totally independent lyrics. It’s a way of keeping the listener’s attention a little bit longer before the end of the song.
How to Structure Your Rap Song
Here are some of the most common structures for rap songs (keeping in mind that there’s always space for you to innovate and do something else!):
- The traditional structure: 16 bars of verse, 8 bars of chorus, 16 bars of verse, 8 bars of chorus, 16 bars of verse, and 8 bars of chorus
- A pop-style structure: 4 bars of pre-chorus, 8 bars of chorus, 4 bars of pre-chorus, 8 bars of chorus, 4 bars of post-chorus, 8 bars of verse, 4 bars of pre-chorus, 8 bars of chorus, 4 bars of post-chorus, 8 bars of bridge, 4 bars of pre-chorus, 8 bars of chorus, and finally 4 bars of post-chorus
- The story structure: 24 bars of verse, 4 bars of chorus, 24 bars of verse, 4 bars of chorus, 24 bars of verse, and 4 bars of chorus
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