Structure of a Beat

What’s In a Beat

Beats come in many different forms, styles and structures. Most beats will almost always have at least an intro, 1-3 verses and a 2-3 hooks.


Here is an example of a common beat structure (hooks usually 4-8 bars, verses 8-16 bars):

{intro} – {hook} – {verse 1} – {hook} – {verse 2} – {bridge} – {hook} – {outro} 

Parts That Make Up A Beat


The introduction is a unique section that comes at the beginning of the song.  Normally an intro will contain just music and no words, however, it is not unusual these days to hear callouts or artists talking, etc.  The intro can be followed by either a pre-chorus, chorus or verse.


The verse is the main part of a song. When two or more sections of the song have basically identical music and different lyrics, each section is considered one verse.  Each verse is typically 8, 12, 16 bars in length (but can vary of course).  Most beats have around 2-3 verses but this varies.


The hook (aka Chorus) is the part of the song that repeats at least once both musically and lyrically. This is usually the “catchy” part of the song (that’s why they call it hook, as it “hooks” you in to want to listen more).


The bridge (aka middle 8) refers to the section of a song which has a significantly different melody from the rest of the song.  The bridge is usually towards the middle or end.  It is usually about 8 bars in length (but can vary).  It is normally followed by a verse, a chorus or outro.


A collision is a section of the beat where different parts overlap one another, this is usually for a short period, maybe just a few bars.

Instrumental Solo

A solo is a section designed to showcase an instrumentalist or a particular instrument that is part of the beat (like a deep bass line or piano melody, etc).  This can be similar to a bridge.

Ad lib

This means “at will”, it a section of a beat/song that occurs when the main lead vocal or a second lead vocal breaks away from the already established lyric and/or melody to add melodic interest and intensity to the end of the song.  This is similar to an outro.


This is the end of the song/beat and usually the volume either fades out or instruments start to drop off.  It can be a chorus-outro or verse outro, etc.

Freestyle / Cypher

These types of beats are usually a bunch of verses right after the other one.  They are used to show off lyrical abilities, perform battles, competitions, etc.   The music here is usually repetitive, each verse is identical and some DJ type scratching might be used.


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