A Simple Contemporary Song Tip for Musicians

A Simple Contemporary Song Tip for Musicians

Song Flow
Some pieces of contemporary music can be complicated – containing introductions, verses, refrains (choruses), bridges, repeats, codas and multiple endings all jumbled up as if thrown into a Vita-mix blender. It seems like some of these pieces require schooling in music just to decipher the code. My solution – I will often write out the song structure on the top of my sheet music, for example:

Listed in order:
Intro (played by Ruth) – Verse 1 (sung by Stella), Chorus (all), Verse 2 (Steve), Chorus (all), Bridge (layered vocals; first Ruth, then Ruth and Stella, then all three of us), Chorus (all; no guitar), Ending (Ruth – softly)

Use Highlighters on Your Music
I also will often use highlighting pens to indicate the flow. For example, I usually highlight the repeat markings, the coda markings and the “dal segno” marks which we refer to as “da sign!” (inside musician humor). The highlights quickly draw my eyes to the place where I need to go. For really complicated songs I’ve been known to use different color highlights as well. So the start of Coda for example is highlighted in green and I get to it by highlighting the D.S. al Coda in green as well.

The Bulletin
By the way, we also have our church secretary print a simplified “map” in our bulletin as well so that our congregation can easily sing along, for example:

Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Ending

Now you know the rest of the story!