Theory Made Easy - Time Structures 7

What is a Bridge ?

There are different types of bridge which makes defining the term a bit tricky.

A bridge can mean a linking bit between two parts of a song - so for example you could have an 8 or 16 bar verse followed by a 4 bar "prechorus" followed by the chorus proper. This 4 bar link could be called a bridge giving the structure Verse / Bridge / Chorus.

This type of bridge isn't necessarily 4 bars but it is usually quite short - it can make the transition from verse to chorus smoother or it could allow the music to build before the chorus.

Take Me To The Bridge

When James Brown gave this instruction to his band he meant take me to the "B" part of the tune.

The "A" part of the tune in this case would be a 16 bar " loop ".

The "B" part is another 16 bar loop either in a different key or with different chords.

This "B" section has the same function as a middle eight in that it provides contrast to the rest of the song but doesn't follow the middle eight structure laid out in the previous lesson and may be longer than 8 bars.

To sum this up - any "B" section that is not an obvious middle eight can be called a bridge. More on "A" and "B" sections in the next lesson.


Take yourself to the bridge! - or listen to James Brown 's "Sex Machine"