BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in June 2005We've left it here for reference.More information


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Sold on Song. Classic songs, covers, songwriting and more. Listen Live.

 Full Schedule
-













Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
Songwriting Guides
Writing a song
Endings

If the way you start a song can be compared to how you first greet a stranger, the way you end a song is how you say goodbye. You want to leave a good impression with your listeners so they'll listen to your songs again.

There's nothing worse than a band sounding like they've fallen apart at the end.
Steve Hillier

It is often said that in any given situation, human beings remember the first and last things that happen to them most clearly…the things in the middle don't often make anywhere near as much of an impression. With that in mind, you need to make a musically satisfying impact at the end of your songs.

Here are some ideas:

  • Repeating a chorus 'to fade' at the end of your song is fine when you're making a record, but doesn't work when you sing it live. Repeating your chorus two or three times at the end of a song is fine, but make sure you know when to stop!
  • With that in mind, make sure your endings are well rehearsed; there's nothing worse than a band sounding like they've fallen apart at the end of a song.
  • How about ending on a chord that is not the root chord of your key? For example, if your song is in the key of C major, ending on the chord of G major will sound like there's more to be said on the subject matter of the song. This leaves the audience wondering what's coming next.
  • The last line of your song could be a twist on the subject matter. For example, 'Save Your Kisses For Me' by Brotherhood of Man appears to be a simple love song until the last line, when we discover that the object of his affections is "…only three". Quite a surprise.
  • Using the opening line of the song as the last line can be very musically satisfying; it can feel like you have taken the listener on a musical journey. To be extra clever, make sure the line is also the title of your song!
Send us your views or read other peoples'
Send us your comments on: Endings








Steve Windass/Hull
have always loved it when a song has that twist at the end, it shows someone has either thought about it , or was just plain lucky.

Songwriting Guides Writing a Song Genre Structure Verse Chorus Melody Tempo / Rhythm Harmony Lyrics Beginnings Endings Ideas Rhyme Middle 8 Hooks Performing Working with Other Writers In the Studio Publishers Record Companies Management Staying on Track
 The Songwriting Game
Songwriting Game Pick a chord
Play with chords and find out what kind of songwriter you are with the Songwriting Game.


 DON'T MISS
Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy