Five Different Endings You Can Use in Your Songwriting

As with our post focusing on several different types of intros you can use for your songwriting, we’re also taking a look at a variety of ways you can end your songs. As with any part of the songwriting process, there are no hard and fast rules you have to follow. The ideas below are endings that are common, have been shown to work brilliantly many times over, and which highlight some of the “easier” ways to conclude that track you’ve been working on…with nothing ever being actually easy in music.

Ultimately, you can end a song however you want and experimenting with different versions, conclusions, lines and hooks can help lead to dozens of other examples beyond the handful listed here.

In This Article:

  • End With The Chorus
  • End With A Chorus Modulated With A Key Change
  • End With A Final Verse
  • End With A Coda
  • Tag At The End

End With The Chorus

Everyone knows that the most memorable, and therefore most important, part of any song is the chorus. This has been true for decades, ever since radio came into play, and it is even more crucial these days that a track features a chorus that people won’t be able to forget.

One of the more common songwriting closers is to end with your chorus. Ending with a chorus helps reinforce that section of your song in the listener’s mind one last time before the tune ends. If your chorus is catchy enough, this option is a great way to make your song more of an “earworm,” and many, many hits utilize this plan of action.

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End With A Chorus Modulated With A Key Change

As is stated just above, ending a song with the chorus is a tried-and-true method that has been employed by countless hitmakers, but if you try this out and it doesn’t feel quite right, though perhaps close, there are things you can do to freshen things up a little.

Try modulating the chorus with a key change, perhaps in the entire thing, or just with a line or two. Maybe just one word needs to be altered, and that’s enough to make the same lines and melodies seem interesting again. This plan is a great way to hit the listener with something unexpected at the end of the song. 

Singles like “Perfect Illusion” by Lady Gaga, or “Love Story” by Taylor Swift both feature choruses at the tail end that modulate up.  This tends to create an explosive and uplifting finish to the song and leaves the tune (musically) on a high note.

End With A Final Verse

Maybe your song tells a complete story, and it progresses throughout the several minutes. This isn’t the most common idea to tackle in one tune, but it’s certainly not unheard of, and if you’re going this route, you will likely need to wrap things up before the next tune begins.

For these types of songs, you may choose to finish your song with a final verse instead of, say, a chorus. This may be where a twist ending occurs or where you can add a sense of finality to the story – much like the afterword of a book might.

End With A Coda

For those who don’t know, a coda is a part of a song introduced to the listener near the end, and it is usually used as a way to wrap things up nicely. The Beatles make heavy and beautifully harmonized use of these types of conclusions throughout their catalog, as both “Hey Jude” (Naa, Naa, Naa) and “All You Need is Love” (She Loves You Yeahh Yeahh Yeah) finish with codas.

Codas can be fun and memorable, and though they may at first seem easy, due to the simple lyrics, getting these right still takes skill.

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“beatles help” by SixtiesGirl1964 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tag At The End

Another very common way to end a song is to tack on a tag, either a key line of the song, the hook, or something completely new that ends it, being completely the opposite of the separate intro. You will typically see songwriters repeat the last line of the chorus or the last line of the ending verse, as again, this is another tactic to get words, phrases or melodies stuck in the minds of the audience. The more you can craft something that people will not only remember, but crave to hear again, the better chances you will have at scoring a hit.

When your songs are finished, work with Planetary Group to promote it! Our calling is to support those who want to share their art with the rest of the world. To hear more about the full array of radio promotion or online publicity services Planetary Group can offer to musicians, call (323) 952-5050 today.