Steal this:http://audio.tutsplus.com/articles/gene ... song-form/
Don't be afraid to follow the advice exactly. Particularly be aware of it, and LISTEN to all your favorite songs.
Make an Ableton arrangement with colored MIDI clips on the top that are labelled and colored for section.
Take a few of the most obvious of the songs and break them up in line with those sections (make sure there is space between each section so you are able to account for variable lengths of parts).
Not everything will fall into the categories.
This is something I've been obsessing over this past week, as, I'd always been only half aware of structure until I heard this turd playing mainstream country music off his iPod at work.
I realized that there is indeed a primary structure for all popular music, and it is your job to decide how closely, or remotely you follow it. NO DISRESPECT if you follow it EXACTLY, because chances are you'll get something that sounds great without even trying. And the whole point is to Get songs finished, and then through that find your Way.
Intro (might get busy just before it goes to the..)
Verse (sometimes teases towards pre-chorus)
Pre Chorus (you'll know it when you hear it in all the songs)
After Chorus Jam (I like to call it that, it is this insanity, or space, or anything that happens after the chorus, offsets the world, and drops you eventually into the verse. It can be 2 bars, it can be 16. Listen to songs, you'll know what I mean) [anotjer thing to note about this is that sometimes it is vocal, it depends on what you're 'selling' if you're a pianist, this is your chance to show it, if you're a singer, you can echo echo echo your heartbreakand confusion]
Verse (might be hotter)
After Chorus Jam..... but here's where it'll get cray cray
MIDDLE 8 / SOLO / Alternate Vocal Lines
(This one is funny) MINIMAL BEAT Chorus. A lot of artists will throw you for a loop by making the clap along sing with me minimal variant of the chorus. But it is so predictable. Don't be afraid to use an exploit it anyway. This really cracked me up on all those country songs.....
LAST CHANCE, SHIT HITS THE FAN, CHORUS To infinity with all the ups and downs and echoes of devastation. You're breaking through to the end of this song, tooth and nail... The song itself doesn't want to LET YOU GO. So you wrestle it out of you. Be a hot shot.
Ending. Take a breather.
So yeah, make that into a tidy little map, and listen for it. Literally sit down and listen for it. Over and over and over again. You'll shit yourself. Then try it with your stuff. Then do whatever.
EDIT: btw, if you discover anything that I've missed or overlooked, please tell me. This is all part of my passion and studies of all kinds of music. I'm just starting, so any observations and insight would be great!!