Music Production Tutorials
Ebony Red Music Group
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Dance Track Song Structure

Each of your tracks should have a fixed structure and form. This makes it possible for listeners to follow the track while maintaining their interest. Once played on a dancefloor, it will have a much greater impact when the audience can easily follow the varying intensity of the music.

STEP 1 - INTRO

This is the first part of the track. It should be between 30 seconds and 1 minute long. This section consists of drums / percussion building up in layers with parts of the main melodies / basslines / vocals of the track. This makes it more ‘DJ friendly’ and easier for DJs to mix the track into another.

Song Structure


STEP 2 - BUILD UP

This section is designed to build momentum and drive to the peak of the track. It can be any length you want. Use long build ups for the biggest effect or short high impact builds to get straight into the body of the music. Try using sweeps, rising pads and drum fills to build tension. Experiment with the instrumentation, sound content and rhythm to maximise the effect of this section.

Song Structure


STEP 3 - MAIN SECTION

This is the peak of your track with all the main ideas and hooks. It will normally be between 1 and 2 minutes long. Depending on your style it will vary in intensity but should still be the most interesting and exciting part of your track. Use variation to keep a high level of interest in the track, try strong or subtle breaks and fills every 4 bars.

Song Structure


STEP 4 - BREAKDOWN

After the high intensity of the main section, follow up with the breakdown. Try removing the drum parts, develop melodies and generally give the listener a pause or break.

Song Structure


STEP 5 - BUILD UP 2

Build the track back up using the previous ‘building section.’ This drives the track on towards the main section after the lower intensity breakdown.

Song Structure


STEP 6 - MAIN SECTION 2

Repeat the main section here to get back into the exciting part of your track. This section can be twice as long as the first repeat to emphasise all the main ideas in the track.

Song Structure


STEP 7 - OUTRO

Designed for DJs to help mixing in the next track. Give the DJ clues that the track is coming to an end by gradually reducing the instrumentation down to just the drums before its conclusion.

Song Structure