Writing a Chorus that Tells a Story

Writing a Chorus that Tells a Story


Writing a chorus that tells a story is one of the essential skills that a songwriter should master. The chorus is the part of the song that typically gets stuck in the listener's head, repeating over and over again. As such, it should be a memorable and engaging part of the song, capable of conveying the song's essence in just a few lines.

The Basics of Writing a Chorus

Before diving into the tips and tricks of writing a chorus that tells a story, it's crucial to understand the basic principles. The chorus should be memorable and catchy so that listeners can easily sing along and remember it. It should also be slightly different from the rest of the song, so it stands out.

Lyrically, the chorus should be simple and straightforward. Try to convey the main idea of the song in just a few lines, and avoid using too much imagery or metaphor. The chorus should be easy to understand and relatable to the listener.

Lastly, the chorus should be emotionally charged. Try to write lyrics that evoke strong emotions in the listener, whether it's happiness, sadness, nostalgia, or excitement.

Tips for Writing a Great Storytelling Chorus

1. Use Specific Details

When telling a story through your chorus, it's crucial to include specific details that help paint a clear picture in the listener's mind. The more detailed and specific your lyrics are, the more vividly the listener can imagine the scene you're describing.

  • Example: Instead of saying "I miss you," say "I miss the way you used to laugh at my jokes and hold my hand during long walks."

2. Incorporate Sensory Imagery

Another way to make your chorus more engaging and memorable is to incorporate sensory imagery. This means using language that appeals to the listener's senses, such as sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

  • Example: Instead of saying "I love you," say "Your sweet smile brightens up my day, and your soft touch sends shivers down my spine."

3. Change Up the Melody

To make your chorus stand out from the rest of the song, try changing up the melody. This can mean adding or subtracting notes, using a different rhythm, or changing the pitch. By making the chorus musically distinct from the verses and other sections of the song, it becomes more memorable.

4. Use Repetition Strategically

Repetition is a powerful tool in songwriting, but it's essential to use it strategically. Instead of repeating the same phrase over and over again, try changing it slightly each time. This keeps the listener engaged and interested in the story you're telling.

  • Example: Instead of repeating "I love you" in every chorus, try changing it to "I need you," "I want you," "I'll never leave you," etc.

5. Write from Personal Experience

One of the most effective ways to write a chorus that tells a story is to draw inspiration from personal experiences. By writing from a place of authenticity and emotional depth, you can create lyrics that resonate with listeners on a profound level.

  • Example: If you're writing a song about heartbreak, draw on your own experiences with a breakup or romantic disappointment.


Writing a chorus that tells a story is a crucial skill for any songwriter. It requires a balance of lyrical simplicity, emotional depth, memorable melody, and engaging storytelling. By following the tips and techniques outlined above, you can create a chorus that captivates listeners and leaves a lasting impression.