Allister, Phil, and Neel
Allister, Phil, and Neel

All about bridges with Allister Bradley

Allister Bradley, Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and technical director of the Song Studio Songwriter’s Workshop in Toronto, and co-host of the Hooks & Ladders youTube show with Blair Packham, joined us to talk about three songs with great bridges.

We talked about:

  • How the bridge differs from the verse and chorus
  • How a good bridge changes the viewpoint, the key signature, or uses something you haven’t used in the song yet
  • How do you know if a song needs a bridge or not?
  • Short songs vs. long songs
  • How modern songs lack contrast between sections, especially harmonically
  • Is a breakdown section a bridge?

The song selections:

  • JEALOUS by Labrinth
    • The massive key change and tone change going into the bridge
    • Using unconventional, jazzy chords in the bridge
  • THE MAYOR OF SIMPLETON by XTC
    • How the bridge can be the energy and emotional high point of a song
    • Changing up the lengths of your song sections can be one way to contrast them
    • How the bridge lyrics are less story and more feeling, and look at the story from the “side”
  • EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE by The Police
    • How Sting turned conventions around by not including a chorus and making the verse more like a chorus, and how the “B” section is more like a bridge
    • How the bridge turns the narrator from a creep to expressing his feelings of loss for the relationship

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