Before we begin the process of turning your loop sample into a full-fledged, unforgettable track, it is crucial first to discuss and analyze the parts of a song. In recent years, electronic dance music has garnered immense popularity among the masses and established its position in the music industry. For those of you who ardently enjoy listening to EDM, you might’ve noticed that its structure traditionally varies from that of the globally recognized pop songs we’ve all grown up listening.
In recent years, however, the dance music trend has spread like wildfire, penetrating even mainstream pop music — and for a good reason! Breaking the norms of the verse-chorus structure we are all deeply familiar with, EDM excitingly switches things up and changes the game by using the following structure: Intro, Breakdown, Build-Up, and Drop.
Beginning with the intro, an EDM track sets the tone with a stripped-down beat.
Following the intro is the breakdown — the introduction of the drums for some thrill and excitement.
The next element, build-up, vigorously boosts the energy and leads to the final component.
The drop is arguably the most impactful element, the fundamental climax — the leading hook and the ultimate dealbreaker. By familiarizing yourself with this standard song structure, you can then proceed to create a wonderful song of your own.
Now that we have discussed the key constituents of a track in detail, we can now begin to go over song structures. Essentially, the very core of EDM music is relentlessly energetic — and it is this sheer exhilaration that you must incorporate while arranging your song for exceptional results! Some common structures — all of which use alphabets to represent different sections are as follow
Frequently used in pop music begins with A — the repeated section used for the verses. It is then followed by B — the chorus. Lastly, it contains a third section known as the bridge.
Commonly used in EDM, this basic song structure begins with A — an amalgamation of the intro, the breakdown, and the build-up. The track then integrates the most significant element of all; the drop.
Slightly similar to ABAB, this song format begins to resemble the previous structure but differs in the third section. In this format, the C serves as either the extension of a breakdown or a novel section altogether, thus adding variety, unpredictability, and freshness to your track.
If you are new to the music-making process, we recommend one of these foolproof, widely recognized structures as your starting point. However, you are encouraged to embrace your creativity as well! Feel free to go beyond the horizons of tried-and-tested methods and experiment with unconventionality. In all honesty, the possibilities are endless!
Now that we’ve successfully discussed various song structures, it is also essential to take into consideration the fact that these structures vary from genre to genre in terms of length and repetition. For instance, the drop starts at the 55-second mar in trap and dubstep, leaving room for a 16-bar intro, an 8-bar breakdown, and an 8-bar build-up. In terms of song elements, build-ups tend to be longer in-house and techno than dubstep. Timing, too, differs from genre to genre; for example, whereas progressive songs range from 8-10 minutes, future trap and bass tracks are typically 4 minutes long.
Now that we’ve gone over song structures in-depth, it’s time to take your loop and work toward creating a song that nobody will forget! Firstly, it is vital to consider the placement of your loop before beginning to assemble the complete structure. You might want to listen to some of your favorite EDM songs to gain both inspiration and a deeper understanding. Establishing a framework paved the way for immense success! We urge you to take some time to think this through and select the structure that best enhances the tremendous potential of your loop.
A couple of scenarios pertaining to loop placement are as follows.
Say you’re beginning with a dance-worthy 8-bar loop; it is then evident that you’re starting your song with the unmistakable element of the hook! You can proceed by either splitting your drop loop into disparate sections or creating a second drop that slightly varies from the first, thus preventing repetition and ensuring instant captivation.
Following the insertion of the drop, you can then simplify the drums and successfully present the intro before proceeding to incorporate an 8-bar breakdown. Essentially, the key is to emphasize the drop and leave a lasting impression on the listener. Make sure to demonstrate consistency and smoothness in your track for the most impactful results!
If your loop possesses simplicity and a stripped-down beat, you’re inherently starting with an intro! However, if it contains more melody, it will be suitable for the breakdown. Considering the fact that the opening sets the overall tone and creates an atmosphere of sorts, you need to envision a drop that complements it. You should consider kicking things off with a drum loop and gradually incorporating new sounds to build momentum. Following the completion of the build-up, you will be able to decide on the direction you wish to take and maximize the potential of your intro-oriented loop.
If you still find yourself struggling with your song’s structure, you can receive brilliant ideas and gain immense inspiration from reverse engineering songs you’ve loved and cherished over the years. Upon listening to these arrangements with the utmost concentration and noting down vital information pertaining to its structure, you can then use these formulas to start your own project’s production!
Consider inserting one of these tracks into a digital audio workstation (DAW) for further scrutinization and use the software to identify constituents like the tempo and the inception of each section. Needless to say, such a map will provide you with countless beneficial tips and allow you to create both remarkable loops and thoughtfully structured songs.
Now that we’ve thoroughly conversed about the innermost workings of EDM songs, you are now ready to turn your loops into complete tracks and chase your dreams with unparalleled enthusiasm, rigor, and ambition. Use these tips to embark on the journey of a lifetime and exhibit the sort of influential creativity that makes millions of heads turn! We hope this guide has assisted you in the process of music-making, and we wish to see you succeed in all of your endeavors.