The 20 Bar Power Chorus

This chorus structure appears time and again in hits written by the leading professional songwriters.

The best way to become familiar with it is to listen to these songs multiple times. You’ll soon begin to hear both why the structure is so powerful and internalise the elements.

This chorus structure is usually something like this:

1st Half
2 bars line 1 (may include lyrical hook) rhyme at end A
2 bars line 2 rhyme at end A

4 bars line 3 rhyme at end A or B
(note with line 3 the rhyme will be A if line 1 includes the hook)

2nd Half
2 bars line 4 rhyme at end C
2 bars line 5 rhyme at end C
4 bars line 6 rhyme at end B or A
4 bars Payoff line includes lyrical hook or title rhyme at end B or A
The final payoff line may also include a musical riff

The easiest way to internalize this structure so you can use it at will is to listen to and learn great songs that use it.

Hit songs that are good examples of this structure include:

Tomorrow performed by Chris Young

Where The Green Grass Grows performed by Tim McGraw

Who I Am performed by Jessica Andrews

Smile performed by Uncle Cracker

In A Real Love performed by Phil Vassar

But For The Grace Of God performed by Keith Urban

Just Another Day In Paradise performed by Phil Vassar

Live Like You Were Dying performed by Tim McGraw

Pray For You performed by Jaron

The Boys Of Fall performed by Kenny Chesney

Woman With You performed by Kenny Chesney

Anything But Mine performed by Kenny Chesney

The Good Stuff performed by Kenny Chesney


There are also many hit songs with structures very similar to this.

After internalizing these songs you’ll start to see them everywhere.