Lyrics & Songs > Songwriting > Song Structure > What are Song Intros?

What is (it)? What are Song Intros?

Hi! My name is Joshua. Now although it's truly nice to meet you, this section is not about showing you how to make introductions in conversation.

It's about song intros and whether or not to add them to your song. But first, let's read a formal definition:

"The introduction establishes melodic, harmonic, and/or rhythmic material related to the main body of a piece" - Wikipedia/Introduction_(music)

Now that really helps doesn't it :/? But wait! Letís think about my introduction above and see how it ties to the formal definition.

What an introduction does for two people is similar to what an intro does for a song and its listener.

Consider when you meet someone new...

(Photo courtesy of Ant Clausen)Imagine you're in a public place, and someone sparks your interest. Maybe you walk up to them, or maybe they walk up to you, and you both start a conversation.

The first thing most people typically do is introduce themselves. They establish the basics of who they are so they can make a connection with the other person.

That is what song intros do; they establish the basics of what the song's about to make a connection to the listener. After hearing the intro the listener will decide if they want to listen to the rest of your song.

Usually song introductions build anticipation for the listener so that when the main section of your music floods through (or it's hot), it creates a small "shock" to the system.

Should you include Intros in your song's structure?

Well to be perfectly honest, it's 100% your choice. But most of today's popular songs (called "pop songs" case you didn't know why :3) have an intro in one form or another. And if you're trying to make a hit song I suggest you follow their lead.

Some intros contain only music. Others are made up of one or more bars of the song's main key. Then there are also introductions that are pieces of other parts of your music (like your verse, chorus, or baseline).

Some are even made from just your drum beat or pure melody. You can even dedicate a few lines of your lyric to your intro - sung A Capella.

{Image courtesy of}

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All the best,

- Jeezy

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