[Help] How to work from a Chorus idea into a verse

Hi all,

I often find myself with a musical phrase that I think sounds great for a chorus, but then I will also get a little stuck in finding a preceding verse to lead to it.

Wondering how people work it out, and how scaler could help with kind of working “backwards”.


Hi @AlexY I’ve taught many things to students across several universities and countries but if there is one thing you cannot teach is exactly what you (and millions of the rest of us!) are after as musical expression in the form of a completed track is so subjective.
I’ve found the best way to get out of the ‘loop’ mentality is to aim for a section A and a section B. This takes the pressure of having to create the perfect arrangement and also allows you to experiment freely. It may mean more of a chorus 1 / chorus 2 but it can lead to ideas being born. I usually aim for a melody line in / out. Vocal in / out. Chord variation. Effects such as filtering. Percussion in / out etc etc. When I have that loop playing nicely in the background with the A and B section feeling like it’s constantly going then It is easier to get ideas for the final arrangement. That works for me, interested to hear what the other producers and composers do around here too…


You can write MIDI notes that come to mind.
Then make some adjustments to help you generate more new phrases.

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Hi AlexY,

Using the same chord progression, try to use the last melody motif (with a few changes) of the chorus as the beginning of the verse. I do this sometimes.
I also try to find another melody line for the same chord progression used in the chorus and see what happens.
Eventually, I change the chord progression (maybe the last 2 chords) a little and try another melody line.
And I totally agree with davide, this issue is very personal.


matching the fierceness of the first verse with a second verse or finding a verse, bridge whatever to go with a chorus, these are among the hardest things in songwriting because there really are no tricks; you must put in the grunt-work of composing now that inspiration has struck. It’s often just a case where trial and error and dumb luck are your only friends.

One lesson I’ve learned over years and years is to work fast. It’s counterintuitive to be sure but the longer you take trying to match the heat of the initial spark, the more in your head you will get with this daunting creative task.

Of course this isn’t helping your current situation with this unfinished ditty. Another thing to keep in mind is the qualities of a section and how that can be contrasted by the next part. What qualities? As songwriters all we have is faster, slower, bigger, smaller, busier, simpler, dense, empty, etc. So let’s say your chorus is busting out with a hundred syllables a line, super busy and intricately chorded, well what’s the opposite of that? Maybe “spacey”, laid back, simple diatonic chording structures or even just one chord and lots of space between the phrases. This is just one example. Try to figure out what are the qualities and contrast that as much as possible. Because two similar sections can be pretty monotonous. We’ve all heard songs where it’s hard to discern between parts and thar can be a super boring listening experience.

Lastly, most of us have backlogs of recordings from more unfinished or even finished work we can poach. Try going through the old material and see if you find something that might fit, if you put it in the tempo and key of your current song.
We’ve all been there and it’s not fun. So I hope one or more of these suggestions spurs you on to finish your tune.

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Sorry for the late reply, everyone. I really appreciate that you all took the time to answer. Every answer was something I needed both for the short term and the long term.