Writing a great second verse is often the difference in a good song and a killer song. Here’s are my tips for leveling-up your second verses.
Map out an outline of the song as soon as you decide on a hook.
Knowing where you are going helps you avoid saying too much before you get to the 2nd verse. Second verses are not that difficult if you have planned out what you are going to say in advance and you avoid saying those things earlier in the song. A map will help you do that.
Say ONE thing in each verse that supports your hook.
Don’t try to say 5 different things in the verse. Say one thing and elaborate on it to develop it well. If you communicate one clear message, you’ve done your job.
When writing a second verse answer the question “And then what?”
Think of your song this way: First Verse says “This happened” Chorus says “Because…” Second Verse answers “And then…”
Don’t settle when writing second verses.
Let your goal be making the 2nd verse even stronger than the first. If you keep people engaged and listening to the second verse and you knock that verse out of the park, you’ve probably written a really good song!
Write on! MD
Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting.