As I wrote yesterday, the Bridge is my nemesis. I could live without it. But in every feedback session I’ve been in, both group and individual, the mentor tells us to include a Bridge.
But then I read this article, Bridges: A Songwriter’s Rule of Thumb. Songwriting, like all aspects of writing, seems to have different “rules” that different people want to enforce, depending on what’s “in.” I suspect these mentors know or believe that in commercial songwriting, aka songs played on the radio, a bridge is a necessity. And why? Because the average mainstream listener is perceived as having a short attention span and can only listen to the same melody for so long – apparently for only 2 verses. The third time around, you’d better change it up.
Well, I agree with the article – it really depends on the song. I’ve tried adding a bridge to my current song and have decided it just doesn’t need one. Not only doesn’t need one, adding one is like adding one element too many – like too many fonts on the page. Yes, I come from a publications design background.
In fiction writing, the rule most enforced is “show, don’t tell.” Well, one wise person pointed out that it’s “show, and then tell.” The problem is, people hear the first rule so often, they begin to believe it’s true no matter what and will judge your work accordingly.
In the end, you, the artist, must decide what’s right for your song or book, for that matter.