How To Write A Good Chorus:

I thought I would share a question that came in the other day:

Hello Shamir,
I have a question. During my song writing I usually can write verses and bridges to songs (this includes melody for voice and chords for guitar) fairly easily, but the one aspect of writing that always stumps me is writing a good chorus. Since this is the most catchy part of a tune, I would like some feedback/advice as to how do write good choruses. Thanks for your time. – Craig

Hi Craig,

As already pointed out, a chorus is the most catchy part of a song. It’s probably the part that most of your listenters will latch on to, and sing in their minds – sometimes endlessly, to a point of absolute annoyance (we’ve all been there in our minds).

Surely enough, if this can be achieved, this is a good sign.

A good chorus can be broken down to a piece of melody which sounds good enough repeat many times over. Commonly, many great ‘hooks’ in history have been written this way. For example, if you listen to Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, the chorus is one line that is repeated over twice. They use the same melody – and the hook line, ‘I Don’t Want Miss A Thing’ is also sung at the end of both lines.

Take another example, Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’. The line is repeated at least three times in the chorus, each with a different chord behind the melody. Sounds simple, (excuse the pun) and you’d be right, it is! But it works like a treat. Remember, the genre of music isn’t important here. You can integrate this system is whatever type of music you write in.

Most songs follow this system. Why? Because it works. Billie Jean, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Purple Rain …all the songs that are coming into my mind at this precise point have this system in place. Your job is to take it and integrate it in your song. Remember, a melody worth repeating twice can be a chorus, and can be subtly repositioned with a different chord in the background. This causes a tiny mood change depending on what your song is about.

One other thing to point out is that many writers I know actually start off with writing a chorus, and then build the song around that. This works very well too. I know that it’s not always easy doing this, but if you can, I think you’ll find other elements will fall into place.

This is especially true for lyrical purposes. How? Well, breaking down the chorus into more details can easily be the bases for the verse and/or bridge .

Lastly, I’d just say this. A chorus will never be as good or as bad as you may think. You can only write it, sing it over our loud a few times and check out in your gut if you resonate with it. You may write a great chorus now only to find out that the next chorus for your new song that you write may be even better. Edit, modify, tweak, and move on.

Kind regards,


77 Responses to “How To Write A Good Chorus:”

  1. Sam says:

    Hello Shamir,
    I can write a melody for my song quite easily but I can’t find lyrics that go with my song. Also sometimes when I have made a song and try to play it on guitar it is too similar to the vocals/other instruments. Hope you can help- Sam

  2. Johnny Lin says:

    This is just so cool, Shamir. I am just so sorry for not buying you Professional Songwriting Secrets. I just can’t waste my money on this kind of stuff cause my mom’ll just kill me, would you give me some advice?

  3. Johnny Lin says:

    Another thing i wanted to say is which comes first, lyrics or melody?

  4. Brunilda Davila says:

    Dear Shamir:

    In my heart I have a deep desire to write song, but I dont know where
    I can begin. Give me some recommendations. I am a worship Leader.

    Brunilda Davila

  5. Beverly says:

    Dear Shamir,

    Do you think it’s okay to write the lyrics first, & then the melody,because that works best for me. Also do you have any advice on what i can do when i have writers’ block? There are times when there’s just no inspiration.

  6. Willy B says:

    I have often thought a song could be more focused when writing the chorus first because it should be a summary of exactly what the whole song is about.
    I think this is a great tip and I’m going to give it a try.

  7. Luyanda says:

    Hello Shamir

    I Have a problem…. i only seem to be able to write love songs and i would like to venture to other types of storylines in terms of songwriting….i wuld also like o learn how t write gospel songs, i have tried and all i have achieved is ” i love you JESUS” lOl…. would you call this a problem or would you just call me a LOVECHILD… I know tha Alicia Keys Mostly has love songs on all her albums…

    Yours Trully

  8. shannon says:

    Dear Shamir,
    I can never actually get my lyrics to flow right. They just dont sound right to me after i write them. It’s like every time i write something, i have this writers block.

  9. mphatso says:

    A killer punch is all that misses in many songs. I’ll try to sing my chorus over ‘n’ over and see what comes out of it.
    I liked your mail Shamir.

  10. Dorothy Massenburg says:

    Could you write a chorus for me to study in Amazing Grace
    Thank for your time

  11. Nacho says:

    “One other thing to point out is that many writers I know actually start off with writing a chorus, and then build the song around that. .. I know that itโ€™s not always easy doing this, but if you can, I think youโ€™ll find other elements will fall into place.”

    yeah i have the chorus but have no idea what else to say, is like my chorus says what i wanted to say, and i don’t know what can i add to that…

  12. Davey says:

    Hi Shamir,

    I have no problem writing verses and choruses, but what I struggle with is getting a bridge from the verses to the chorus. Somehow the bridge never seems to fit in.

    What do I do about it?

  13. Edmond says:

    Thanks Shamir for this piece of info on chorus writing. Everyday, we learn more and more.

  14. Robert says:

    Thank you for posting this. Mostly, writing the chorus/hook comes easy for me but I’m challenged when writing the verse and bridge around it. The key is getting the melodies to fit throughout the song. I enjoy the struggle and accept it as part of the creative process.

  15. Craig says:

    Take it from a man who always seems to write #1 hits, Toby Keith. He will tell you that he writes the chorus first and then he can fill in the story line around the chorus. I started doing it that way acoust 3 mo’s ago and it seems to be producing better chorus’.

  16. Donald says:

    When ever I am writing I have to be at a place of quietness, then the inspiration comes naturally, having the title in the chorus I am writing about in mind and try to get the chorus to flow and be catchy. then let the verses fit around it.

  17. darren sanchez says:

    Hi shamir… I’m from philippines i don’t know how to avail of your product so i still really cannot buy, although i really want to…

    btw, it sometimes happen to me that one line or two with its melody just struck my head and i just try to continue the rhythm. But when it comes to the verses, it sometimes getting messy or ugly (if that’s the right term). And i don’t really have any knowledge on those chord structures using instruments….

    is it included in your product??? how can i get one in our country?

  18. Donald says:

    please I want to learn how to write songs

  19. KAT says:

    I issues in writing like most people do of course. I write something could be a line, but then i think of something else to write. Possibly another song. I guess you can say im all over the place. Oh and the worst one is i feel like all my songs sound the same. Help me i couldnt be any more lost than i am now.

  20. Jennyma says:

    Have a look at this dear…will be very useful…:)

  21. David R. Henry says:

    Hey guys. I have written over 100 songs and have had a lot of them sung in my church. One was even taken to Canada and performed there. Although I am not a professional, I feel my abilities are good. I write primarily Christian music but have a few songs that are not of this nature. When I write, I come at the song from many angles. My most recent one, Beautiful Home. was written away from the guitar. This allowed me to take the melody and rhythm where I wanted. Once I had the song written, I went back to the guitar and figured out the chords. I got the phrase “Beautiful Home” first and the thought of what it would be like in Heaven. My verses came out of thinking about what is taking place now and what it will be like once we get there. Here is the chorus: Beautiful Home where we’ll live for evermore. A beautiful place where we’ll walk by the Golden Shore. Beautiful day when He washed my sins away. A Beautiful life , a beautiful place, a beautiful home. You can see that I repeat the title in the chorus. Another way to write is from a chord progression. Use the melody of the chords to create your song. A lot of mine are done this way. You can check me out on Youtube at Spagman63. Best wishes, David

  22. john boakye says:

    Thanks a thousand times.

  23. Somayeh says:

    Hi Shamir,

    Thank you for this…

  24. Riaghan says:

    I was just wondering is bad to write chords lyrics and melody all at the same time? because I tend to to this alot of the time but there is only 1 out of 20 times that I ever get a song but they always tend to be my best. when I write lyrics first I tend to loose the original sound that I was intending.

  25. Aaike says:

    Tank you for all your advice !
    It’s great !
    Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Sha says:

    hay thanks 4 you help i really need it ive been on the same song for a long time

  27. Hayley says:

    Thank you Shamir.
    I was wondering if you might be able to give any tips on starting the verse after the chorus? I can do the starting verse then chorus, and then get stuck on how to make it fit the composistion of the rest of the song. I feel I can’t just start blabbering about any random stuff it needs to fit with the first verse.

  28. James says:

    Since this guy will not remove my name from his mailing list after repeating over and over… I might as well say that, all this information given out by this guy is the most basic songwriting tips, just go write songs. Study great songs. Write a great chorus, and tell a good story. The only hard part about it and coincidentally, the only factor in whether or not you will ever be good at songwriting, rests solely on actually writing songs and learning while you do.

  29. Laila says:

    great advise! I always find the lyrics simple to write if something can relate to me. If you asked me to write abour YOUR partner leaving you, I just couldn’t. I know it’s selfish haha but I find the emotion I feel brings in my chorus. Although my real problem is the melody. I tend to sunconsiously copy part of a song and maybe mix it with another diffrent song’s chorus. So my issue isn’t the lyrics (which I truly enjoy!) it si in fact the melody…
    Once again thanks! Great work keep it up!

  30. Good Job says:

    Please how can i write a lyrics, with meaningful words?

  31. michael says:

    another great pieces of help people with writing thier songs

  32. kaye says:

    hi there,i really appreciate cooz ur advise leaves an impact

  33. Kustin says:

    Funny, there are some choruses I wrote that are supposedly meant to repeat melodically, but I probably wasn’t aware of it.

    Remember, fellows, you may use your experiences as one of your sources of inspiration. Whatever happened in the past, what bothers you the most and such… I know progressive artists tend to use different lyrical themes, such as conceptual ones, abstract, or something based in fantasy. I’ve been inspired a lot by progressive rock/metal bands and tend to write about my view of life, dreams, psychology and conceptual themes.

  34. carmelita says:

    I need help writting any part of a song and I am a rap artist so it’s all about the right ryme for me and the right message

  35. Phalo says:

    This is a great tip because I always get stuck after the first verse and keep thinking that my chorus won’t ever be good enough to go with the rest of the song. Thanks, Shamir!

  36. Trevor says:

    Great advise Shamir!

    For all those who’d like some advise, you can contact me on my youtube: and I’d be glad to help. Though I’m young, I know A LOT about songwriter! =) Feel free to conact. I WILL reply.


  37. Jimmy says:

    I find it easiest to write songs about things that provoke strong emotions; love, life, death, and anger, for example. If I don’t feel strongly about something, I can’t write anything good about it. Is this good or bad?

  38. Shamir Rele says:

    Thanks for all the comments guys ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep them coming…

    Luyanda, there is nothing wrong with writing love songs. In fact, there are artists and bands out there that have built their entire careers on nothing but that! So if this is something that comes naturally to you, then I’d say just continue to write great songs in the theme of love.

    Remember, love is a VERY broad theme. There are many faces to love. All you have to do is look at someone like Sting or Elton John to know there you could write about a gazillion things in relation to ‘love’.

    Love can include feeling of joy, loss, despair, excitement, resentment, guilt, jealousy, frustration, ultimate pain, curiosity, great pleasure, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

    James, unsubscribing from my newsletter is very easy. There is a link at the bottom of the emails I send out. Just click it and check ‘unsubscribe’.

  39. Ylenia says:

    Shamir i wrote like 5 or so songs thanks you your emails but i don’t know how to record the songs or melody. I play the piano and one time i wrote down something and the next day it sounded like a cartoon theme song and it was just embarassing. Any idea how i can record my own songs with a program or something that works and if so which one can i use? thanks, Ylenia

  40. Emma says:

    This is great advice for writing words/ melody to a chorus
    but the melody seems to be harder to find than the words for me anyway

    do you have any tips on writing the melody?

  41. Elia says:

    Helo Shamire

    let me start by thanking you for your great writing tips, i am on my way to becoming a proffesional song writer, i began writing songs at an early age of 9 i’m now 24 i would love to take my music seriously to another level; i would like to by the book on song writing secrets dond you have a better method of how i can provide the payement? i dont want to give out my banking details online; i am in namibia and i was hoping perhaps i can use wertern union for the transfer of the mopney into your account than you mail the book to me. i have sold a few songs to artists since reading your tips. i am currently helping out some upcoming artists in coposing their songs, i also sing myself though not at a proffesional level, as i only feature on peoples albums thus i see getting the book as a good chance for me to enhance my talent.

    please respond
    from Elia ( Namibia, Southern Africa)

  42. Linzi says:

    I always find your posts interesting and easy to comprehend.

    Great stuff, thank you!


  43. Darryl says:

    Hi Shamire,
    Thanks for the great info. Good stuff! I am working on a Christian CD right now and hope to publish real soon. I do find your articles helpful.


  44. lAST ChAPtER says:

    hey shamir. I must say ur work is like god himself. Substantial to all of us as artiste. good thought on the chorus blog. i want too purchase ur songwriting secrets bit i dont have a credit card to pay online. Do u have any other payment methods i could use. i’m in Jamaica. Thanx for the support over the past periods. relly beneficial.

  45. nonofo says:

    lovely & informative. Thank you very much for that wisdom nugget. If you can, help me with reliable and reputable companies which sell good softwares and other equipment for a studio [websites & adresses]. i welcome any advice concerning setting up a music studio. God bless.

  46. Jason says:

    I have almost the opposite problem. I am ok with verses and choruses, but writing the bridge is something I struggle with. I always seem to lose the groove and the bridge often ends up sounding disconnected with the rest of the song.

  47. bluechipltd says:

    Hello Shamir,

    I love your advice. I have also had problems with writing a good chorus.
    With your advice i look forward to coming up with a killer chorus soon.

    Thank you.

  48. Manoura says:

    hey shamir,
    nice blog post, but i have a question for you, i can write lyrics incredibly easily, but when it comes to the melody, it sounds soo corny!!!! it’s sounds like a hannah montana song and i hate that!!! do you have any advice about that??? hard question, i know… anyways, i usually write my lyrics and my melody at the same time, the way it pops into my head, do you think thats a good way to go about it? or is there a better way??

  49. becky says:

    hey shamir,

    i find the lyrics to be quite easy the part i have trouble with is what chords to use for my melody etc.
    i play guitar and usually have a melody in my head as i write songs but when i try to interprate it into chords it just doesnt work.

    any advice?



  50. Suzie says:

    Dear Shamir,
    How do you add bridges in your song? I try so hard and I just can’t get it. Can you help me?

  51. terence says:

    I do agree that the chorus needs to be “catchy” and be a simply line. The easier someone can remember it, the better the song. terence

  52. Sarah says:

    Thank you Shamir.
    I am struggling with writing good lyrics to go with my melody, especially that I am speaking English as a second language. Could you please give me some tips about lyrics writing? Thank you so much.

  53. Bree says:

    I can write songs pretty well..its just that i can’t really play an instrument so i can’t really write music for the songs. I can kind of play the drums, but how is that going to help me?
    Some advice would be great.

    Thanks for you time,


  54. sal o. (darkrevotion) says:

    hey Mr. S,

    I have some troubles on writing some melody solos for
    my songs; could ya give some tips for me?

    thanks for the time

    seeeeeeee yyyyaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

  55. allan dannug says:

    hi shamir, i’m also a composer here in the philippines. sorry i’m not able to purchase your program yet…anyway like to share my some tips and techniques on writing a good melodic chorus line.
    1. pattern your melodies from existing hit songs and re-position the notes.
    – this technique is done i think by paul mcartney of beatles saying on one of his interviews he try to copy bass lines of other bass players and re-position the melodies backwards.
    – you can also copy 1 to 2 notes then variate and play those melodies into your own feel.
    2. put your melodic ‘hooks’ on words with vowels(a,e.i.o.u).
    – most of the hit songs(rnb, pop, alternative,etc) uses this method wherein you can put thrill, bends, scoops, pharsing, sustain, vibrato, repeated vowels, etc on (a,e,i,o,u)
    -while on the other hand novelty songs put melodic ‘hooks” on consonants
    3. 98-99% of hit songs has the same first 3-4 closely gaps notes.
    -wheter its a ne-yo song, pop or any kind of songs
    they employ the same formula or rule of the thumb technique. the first 3-4 notes dont jump. example do,do,do,re or re mi mi fa
    and eventually the other succeding notes after the 3-4th note can be varied and notes can be jumped.
    4. make your chorus sound interesting and simple.

  56. allan dannug says:

    – like what the great composer dianne warren says (my idol) on one of her interviews even if the chorus melodies are complicated make it sound simple.
    -make a very interesting melodies that even a common person or a child could possibly understand and sing.

  57. Jake Toohey says:

    Hi Shamir,

    I write a lot of songs but only some are good. I have ok guitar chords, leads etc but lyrics are hard can you help me.

  58. younvill says:

    Hi Shamir,

    um i write alot of song the chorus, hook, bridge and the verse and it all easy but it hard to put it togther in sentences becouse i keep useing the same words in every single song, and also i wanna learn how to use a big words and harder instead of Small and easyer can you help me out with those probloms.

  59. Southern Swagger says:


    Hello guys and gals,

    Write now I am persuing a career in country music. I have many mentors and i actually grew up with guys like Jake Owen and Scotty Emrick.. They both went to my highschool.. I was a turntablist for many years with a band called Prophecy Collective that toured with bands like Rob Zombie, Puddle of Mud, Gravity Kills and so on. We almost got signed and then we were dropped due to some unfortunate circumstances. So I thought my music career was over.. So I went to the Navy and i discovered something. Something hidden deep that I know some of us feel.. That desire to share our thoughts and feelings with the world. Up until then i was just a turntablist.. A DJ. We do some pretty cool scratch tricks and shout creative hype that lasts less then 10 seconds over a Mic and its done. But now, I’m in the middle of the Ocean and I have nothing. No guitar to piano no turntables no NOTHING! Not even a friggin Kazoo!! lol.. Anyways so what did I have to ease my musical addictions and frustrations? I began to write. Now they say that only humans will evolve at the presepus of life and civilization and i believe that in some cases this is true in other facets of life. So i drew from everything i could wrap my mind around. Love, Hate, emotion, death, happiness, promotion, succession, dismal meaning, hurtful pain and so on. But you have to ask yourself. Can you perceive into situations of life in such a way that u can write about it in a sense that everyone can understand? And the answer is YES! Everyone can. Unless you are an anti social caveman or woman that longs for nothing but a black utterly lifeless existance. Which basically means you have no experience in life. And from my standpoint even a 4 year old child has enough experience to write about things in life that other people can relate to.. So we all have it. Make it dark and decieving or happy and strait forward. Ask your friends, relatives, a person or stranger on the buss or subway. Or maybe the pizza man. The fact of the matter is that people that write songs mostly want to be heard in a sense.. So use whatever might be at your disposal. Im talking about PEOPLE here. Don’t go asking your cat, dog or goldfish if your songs sound good. Cause we all know our pets are our number one fans. lol.. Now i dont claim to but some brilliant writer where subjects and words come to me flowing like the great Niagra. I just am enlightened enough to recognize my goals and focus on them while strengthening my weaknesses.. And you dont need to be Vain.. Lord knows u aint gonna get anywhere with an attitude like that. So kick some ideas around. Write now im talking with some pretty heavy hitters in the Country and southern rock industries and i hope one day my stuff can be heard and i can share it with the world and make millions of folks happy. So as I bid you farewell and wish every songwriter and artist my best wishes of luck, I ask you to do me the same. Musicians are all family members no matter what we can always learn from each other. goodbye my friends…

  60. Katrina says:

    Friends forever

    We are friends and nothing can part us as long
    as we are friends forever
    friends never part they are one part of life if
    you lose them then you lose part of your life
    friends stick together forever even if its hard
    friends don’t leave each other when you’re sad
    friends don’t say things you don’t want to hear
    friends don’t want to hurt you but some times they do
    friends are so kind
    friends are so loving
    friends don’t care what others think of them
    friends help you if your getting made fun of
    friends don’t get along but most of time they do
    friends are forever and nothing can get in they way
    friends are forever

  61. logan says:

    im still confused

  62. Joan Vaughan says:

    I’m in the same boat as Bree. I write the words, but don’t have any ability with an instrument. Can’t play an instrument, read music, or sing. So what do I do with the words? What is my next step? Any ideas?

  63. mist says:

    i am good at writing lyrics and hooks but what about creating a melody? i am stuck on that ๐Ÿ™

  64. Allyson says:

    Hi,im 12 and love to sing,act and dance.I want to make a play but first want to write songs.Im not sure how to do it.My favorite type of music is pop and my favorite singers are Taylor Swift,Demi Lavato,The Jonas Brothers,the jackson5 and Miley Cyrus.But my #1 favorite singer of all time is Michael Jackson.I want to wright something simular to what he dose.If you can help at all then please e-mail me at Thanks-Allyson

  65. hannah says:

    Simply the best doesn’t repeat three times in the chorus. It’s only said once each time

  66. hannah says:

    And neither do the other songs you mention — the only one is the Aerosmith song

  67. hannah says:

    All this stuff about repeat this line twice, repeat that thing three times then write something different .. it’s all nonsense. Every song is different! And so no, not everyone can do it. We all see things but can everyone draw? No. It’s the same with music. We all feel things but not everyone can express it — and to express something deep in a few lines is even harder. A story is not a song. I can tell you a story, oh, my friend did this, then he did that .. I can go on for an hour. If you just heard one or two sentences out of it you wouldn’t understand, but if I talked for an hour you’d get the picture. But it wouldn’t be a song. I can then say something simple like “I hate him” or “I miss him” but that also would be a pretty boring song.

  68. Shamir Lee says:

    I can’t believe this

  69. Haley says:

    another way u can write a chorus is by not thinking about writing the chorus. this may sound strange but it works. what im saying is that just write words of the song and thn after your done writing the song box out ur chorus and thn add it in sections of ur song.
    i hope this makes sence to u!
    goodluck evry1

  70. pls have writting a chorous but i dont have a boody yet!

  71. ??? says:

    Your page is looks mercy, your graphics are good look, and whatโ€™s more, you use reference that are relevant to what you are saying?3$4

  72. Briane says:

    hey folks coz we riding tha same wheel(music), amma say this; to write comes without a guitar piano marimba or wherever. of the sweet accompaniment of your words is your pen paper and the feelings oozing there and then i tell ya. and melody wont resist you thereafter pimp.writers keep grinding always overtime and the best will bear the best. i liked her comments by the way kinda loliest!

  73. Bobby Light says:

    To write an excellent song, find a song that you really like or look up an artist that was number one on billboards for a while, now take that song and write down all the lyrics. Substitute every single word with one of your own so that it is most definitely not plagiarism, then take the melodies and change them little by little. Once you’ve got your own unique lyrics and unique melody just adjust the measures and bam! look at that!

  74. Christina VanWey says:

    Hey folks,I am 66 years young,I have always written traditional country…I love Honky Tonk songs…but no cheatin’no heartache,all fun.Sad to say I live in Nashville and unless it’s pop mixed with won’t fly here.So being very discouraged…I sat down and started with 2 words “GO SEE”..developed
    a tempo on my keyboard..and bingo the words just flew out..very upbeat,fun
    and something a kid would love: heres an example:
    CHORUS: She’s gotta go see
    What’s out there
    Waitin’ round the corner
    Mom and me can’t stop her any longer
    The world is full of endless posibilities
    She’s gotta go see
    What’s beyond the rainbow
    Blowin’ up the speakers
    Country on the radio
    She just turned 18
    A little drama queen
    In here skinny jeans
    She’s gotta go see
    After pitching it to 3 publishers it was picked up…it takes determination,a good
    cental nervous system,and a stong belief in what you write.Find out what the
    songwriting rules are then break as many as you can!!!!I got rhythm tempo from old disco soul and made it as fast as posible..BINGO!!!!!Good luck to all

  75. curk says:

    i have trobles writing a chorus can you help…here i show you what i have done so far..
    i know what its like to be left in the dark
    falling between every crack
    trying to get out
    not everyones equal not everyones the same
    i just want to find out on who i am
    id go the distance
    id go anywhere
    id cross the seven seas
    i have now over came my fears……..
    im stuck can some one help me please

  76. Surprisingly I almost are in agreement with all you’ve said. I guess it is good to re-look at the way you think simply because you get into lots of habits in the head. Appreciate the comments.

  77. Happy G says:

    Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I worked out how to use WordPress conditional tags I have cut development time by half !