Every year, thousand upon thousands of great songs go uncut because they aren't different enough to catch a publisher's ear. Songwriters are always looking for new ways of doing things that might make a great song stand out among the millions of other great songs in the world. To accomplish this, they've developed a bag of tricks full of special structural modifications that wouldn't occur to most of us unless we spent a long time thinking about structure and how to change it.
The implied chorus is a neat little timesaver. Used in place of a second or third chorus, the implied chorus goes through any existing pre-chorus sections and starts the chorus normally (usually with the hook), but then doesn't finish, often going to either a bridge, verse, instrumental, or combination of these before going back to a full chorus. Since the listener has already heard the chorus at least once, a little bit of it makes the brain flash back to the previously received information, leaving the brain with the impression that it has heard another chorus.Merging and Cutting
Merging sections can yield some really cool results. You can try putting one section on top of another, like an extra vocal part singing a verse over the final chorus, or try using the beginning of one section and the end of another. A good way to do this is to write a two-line bridge and then finish it off with the last two to four lines in the form of a verse or chorus.
Sometimes, half a section is all you need to get your point across. This can be especially true of verses. If you've told your story in the first verse and chorus, try writing half a second verse that moves into a bridge or chorus. This move surprises the listener, helps keep his or her attention, and saves time. Remember that it can be a whole lot easier to write a short song than it is to make a long song shorter.
To find more modifications, listen to your favorite songs with a songwriter's ears, check the top-forty countdown, and anything else you can get your hands on. Now that you know what to look for, you'll probably find dozens of tricks and tools you never knew existed. You might also think up a few of your own.
A great exercise for understanding song structure is to analyze several different songs and write out the structure for each, noting any modifications. Start with your favorites and work outward from there. What patterns do your favorite writers use most often? Do you see certain kinds of structures more often in particular genres?
Wraparounds and turnarounds are often confused with one another. A turnaround is a song part that is simply a repeat of the end of the preceding section. Turnarounds are often used for intros, short solos, or instrumental sections, and end tags. A common turnaround heard in hundreds of old country songs is a 1 5 1 (or D A D in the key of “D”), but a turnaround can be based around almost any short series of chords, as long as they replicate those ending the preceding pattern. It should be noted that a turnaround may occasionally foreshadow, which is to say it will imitate the end of a part that has not yet occurred. This most often happens when a turnaround is used for an intro.
A wraparound is a literary device used by lyric writers. A wraparound consists of ending the song with the same line that begins it. The wraparound leaves us looking at the scene we came in on from a different viewpoint, having now heard the song. A fine example of a wraparound is the Montgomery Gentry song “Tattoos and Scars,” which is an ABABC song that modifies the form by ending the “C” section with the last half of a “B” section before using the first part of the initial “A” section for a wraparound ending.