I heard once at a sales seminar how “seven times repetition equals 33% retention”. I remember it A) because I pay attention the first time and listen when I am spending money to attend a seminar, and B) because the man said it seven times during his presentation with laughs all around as the repetition became funny rather than the insult it should be.
Now turn on most modern radio stations, especially country or pop, and voila you will hear repetition. It is not done artistically, nor for a particular effect, or affect. It is done because it has become the formula for “success”. Don’t you enjoy repetition? Don’t you enjoy repetition? Say it again, Don’t you enjoy repetition?
Now Blues may get a pass, I say blues may get a pass……… that’s right blues may get a pass, cause … BLUES ……. has got a pass —- Key Change on rare occasions, take it up one, and bring it… Blues may get a pass.
So how does this all matter in singer songwriting. For me, I challenge myself to let a lyric come to me based on the musical melody as if it sprang from my emotional center while listening to it in the shower… or humming the tune while enjoying a left rotation spin in my biplane. I try not to fall automatically into verse chorus, and/or repeated line chorus unless there is a damned good reason for it. Like good writing, and the editing thereof, less is more, and critically deciding which items needs to go for the less to end on the recipe for the best stew.
Thus end-eth the lesson.