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4-Bar sections and the power of repetition

Ghost uses repetition, an uneven roadmap, and unexpected changes to create this moving anthem about missing your loved one.

Justin Bieber
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D Maj
Jon Bellion, The Monsters & Strangerz

Key Takeaways

  • Song Structure: The song follows a strict 4-bar organizational structure that's typical in pop music, but it divides the sections up in a less common way. Verses are 12 bars ending with a 4-bar pre-chorus.
  • Repetitive Melody: The melody from the chorus is introduced within the first few seconds of the song, played out on a big retro 80's synth. Introducing your hook as quickly as possible is always a good idea! 
  • Chord Progression: This song uses the same progression in every section except for the pre-chorus. This makes the pre-chorus really stand out as a turning point in the song before the drums drop out and this random acoustic guitar drops into the song. One way they break up the redundancy of this looping progression is by changing the instruments in the chorus (it's so different it almost sounds like a different song, in the best way possible).
  • Instrumentation: Acoustic guitar drops into the song unexpectedly during the choruses and gives the song a sort of punk feel almost. Something about it just works, though. It's so good.  

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