The main 3 parts of a basic song are verse [V], chorus [C], and bridge. Typically, these are 3 different chord progressions, even though they might use some of the same chords. The intro and outro can be anything, including the verse, chorus, or bridge riff or progression. In letters for each part of the song: ABABCBB (intro/outro can be anything).
And, so much more can happen within a song. We can have interludes, transitions, pre-chorus’, verses after the bridge, re-ordering/removal/addition of parts, and/or anything else an artist dreams up. Imagination can take place within this basic song form, or in more complex versions.
As we listen to songs, we listen for the structure. Over time, all guitarists should start writing progressions. And, with more time, these progressions turn into songs, which will have a form.
We will revisit the specific contents of different chord progressions later in our sequence. For now, we are looking at form from a wide view. It is a container that can be filled with whatever our creative minds can dream up.
And, there are many other form than this basic pop format…strophic (AAA), through-composed (ABCDE…), ABAB, etc. Common forms don’t have guide all of your songwriting. New forms will emerge, just like styles and techniques. One thing I’ve been experimenting with is asymmetrical choruses (different lyrics and even melody on 2nd or 3rd or 4th chorus, or any combination – this is much like how verses work).