Undermining chorus 1 will not make chorus 2 sound cooler by comparison
I just wanted to take a quick moment today to address an extremely common rookie production mistake: undermining the first chorus of a song in order for the second chorus to “build.”
First, I want to say that I empathize with this thought process. It’s natural and good to want there to be evolution in your arrangements!
But don’t go about it backward. And don’t get confused about a basic truth: chorus 1 is the most important chorus. It’s the first one that people hear! If you’re not completely grabbing the listener with the first chorus, you’re not doing your job.
If you’ve come up with an irresistible chorus arrangement, use it. Use it for the first chorus; use it for every chorus.
And if you need chorus 2 or 3 to go somewhere even better, then invent what that is.
Undermining the first chorus to make subsequent choruses sound better by comparison is a scarcity mindset. Saving the better chorus arrangement for chorus 2 is saying tacitly that you don’t think that you have enough good ideas to go around.
But you do! Being a continual source of good production ideas is your job description. What we are aiming at in our creative lives is not scarcity but abundance. We spend our good ideas immediately, confident that more will arise to take their place.
So use the great chorus arrangement immediately. Use the great verse arrangement immediately. There’s no rule that says songs have to start small to end up amazing. That’s boring. Your songs can leap out the gate amazing from bar 1 and then get even better. You can wow people. Your productions can overflow with creative ideas. Your listeners deserve it and you deserve it.
Aim higher. You don’t get bonus points for holding back on the good stuff.
Life is short — jamie