Me personally, I always first do the breakdown, the drop and then the buildup so I can fit them together better. These sections usually can give you a visual sign of some of the core phrases within a song. This is a total of 16 beats in a phrase. Part of honing your DJ skills is coming to grips with the structure of the music you play. Melodies can also be grouped in this way. AAS Chromaphone 3 – Physical Modeling Synthesizer Is Out! This beat is what sets the tempo of the song. For example, if the main beat runs in a 16 beat phrase there may be a vocal element that runs for 8 beats. There may even be a quick melodic hit that only runs for 4 beats. This is where the memories are made. In this sense, EDM songs are a bit like a rollercoaster. Having the knowledge of the familiar elements to look for will help in identifying tracks that stray from the formula. This section will usually have an arpeggiating sound. You’ll notice that any changes will fall at the start of a new phrase. Mixing Vs. Mastering – What Are The Differences, Best Free Synthesizer VST Plugins Of 2020, Black Friday 2020 Save Up To 97% (27-29 November), Beat Workzone Brings Bitwig 8-Track For Only 9,99 Euro, Beat Magazine #179 Is Out – 12 GB Of Free Sounds & Plug-ins. Amazon Associates Disclaimer:As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. In the buildup, you take all the melody layers in the breakdown plus some of the layers you’re going to use in the drop and build up the energy of your track. If you know where the outro phrase begins you can start the intro phrase of your next song for a smooth transition. This is the fundamental component of creating mashups. Required fields are marked *, HEXPRO MEDIA SRL EUID ROONRC.J33/1244/2018 RO39741859. When first starting out set cue points at major changes to help you see when new elements begin. It will often also have a building element within it that will lead to the next phrase. Each song will have clues to help identify certain segments in the structure of the song. Maybe have a reversed crash right before the buildup and a crash impact when you start it. Main elements from the Verse and Chorus are progressively removed as the song unwinds. The first thing to look out for are the low and high sections. Again, this is entirely up to you. It is the part where you introduce the melody and sound design, but also the part where you want the atmosphere to be calm. Only ‘House’ music genre can be divided into Tropical House, Progressive, Melodic, Bigroom .etc. A waveform gives you an instant visual representation of a song’s structure. Luckily most modern EDM does follow a familiar pattern. In this article, I want to tell you a little more in-depth about how to make and how to structure an EDM song. Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy. You now know everything you need to be able to identify the basic structure of an EDM song. The break or bridge is an effective tool to change the feeling of the song. These groups of 4 beats are generally called a bar. It may be repeated twice within the 16 beat phrase or it may only come back at the start of the next 16 beat phrase. The EDM song structure is designed to keep the energy flowing in a dynamic way, with high peaks and deep valleys. Now comes the good bit. Each major element in the song will have its own phrase length. With house songs, this is usually either a kick with some percussion and melodic elements to introduce the feeling of the track or a fade-in of a melodic layer. Just make sure the drop is the most energetic and memorable part of your track. When mixing timing is critical for a smooth transition. Sometimes, you’d like to add a ride to your kick in the second half of the drop or maybe even a clap. This should be the most mellow part of your track. Take some time to listen to one of your favourite tracks and count out the beats. It’s usually comprised of a kick drum and some other drum elements. While not a rule that is set in stone you’ll often encounter a Verse followed by a Chorus then another Verse and another Chorus. That part is entirely up to you. Having this understanding can help you spend less time looking at your software. Now, the best part of a song: the drop. A very common component of electronic dance music. The most important thing to take away from this guide is to pay closer attention to the music you play. It can build either down or up and can change in intensity. If you mix outside of the phrases it will be noticeable even to a casual listener. You can also begin mixing in a riser section towards the end of a chorus section to maintain energy. In a lot of EDM genres, you can easily copy and paste your breakdown, buildup and drop to the second part of your track. Understanding the various phrases in your music can also open up the door to creative mixing. Learning the different types of phrases you’ll encounter can help you identify which part of a song you’re at. You want to save all the energy for the drop. It can also help in placing cue points efficiently. The high sections will represent sections where a kick drum is present. It may match up with the phrase length of the beats or it may be longer. It’s often used before the main chorus section to help build tension. One of the most famous song structures is the ABABCB form. These beats are usually arranged in groups of 4. I've loved electronic music since the age of 12. Once again listen to some of your favourite music and this time pay attention to the other phrases located in the song. Pay attention to these changes. TIP: Add a high-pass filter effect to your master channel and intensify it as you progress in the buildup. This is usually the main bulk of the song. Become familiar with the core sections and you’ll be able to identify whether a track will be suitable to mix into your current song. It will usually be a repeatable chunk of music. With house songs, this is usually either a kick with some percussion and melodic elements to introduce the feeling of the track or a fade-in of a melodic layer. I really hope you learned something from this article and if you liked it feel free to share with your friends. Understanding the phrase structure of the song you’re listening to will help you find the right spots to set cue points. Copyright by Home DJ Studio. Your email address will not be published. This part is usually underrated, as it looks so simple, but actually sets the theme for the entire track. From listening to tapes on my walkman, buying CD's and now in digital format. This basic level of mixing will begin to bring in elements from the new track while the previous track begins to take out elements. This where the ‘four-on-the-floor’ term originated from and is used across all genres of music. As mentioned above beats are grouped into bars which in turn are grouped into phrases. Once you come to understand EDM song structure you can use it to enhance your mixing capabilities. The common pattern in dance music is to have 4 in a bar and 4 bars in a phrase. This will not only help to transition from the breakdown to the drop, but also, it will make the bass in the drop hit much harder. All Rights Reserved. It’s used to give some time for the DJ to mix in the next track without all the energy disappearing. You will then be more prepared for these tracks when you do come across them. In dance music, it can be a vocal component. They can be melodies or vocals as well. For example, you may encounter a pad that runs for 64 beats. Generally, it will be in a certain increment that is divisible of the main 4 beat bar. This way you’ll go from one high energy phrase straight into another. When analysing your music within your DJ software you can use these highs and lows to identify key moments within a song. It’s not just a case of playing one song after another. It can also help if you are digging for the next track and your mind recognises that you’re approaching the end of the current song. If your track is all about melody, make sure the best and catchiest melody is in the drop. Add a buildup snare and a pitch riser for some extra energy. Understanding EDM song structure will make your time on the decks more enjoyable. Waveforms are another excellent way to identify a song’s structure. Everyone layers their drop differently and it also really differs in what style you make. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. If you know where the outro phrase begins you can start the intro phrase of your next song for a smooth transition. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For example, there may be a basic kick drum for the first 16 beats and then a hi-hat is introduced for the next 16 beats. You can also choose to introduce a new melody or chord progression. This will result in a pleasant sounding and natural mix. It will also highlight where some of the optimal mix-in and mix-out points are. The ABABCB song structure is divided as follows: A – Repeated section used for the verse; B – The chorus (chorus) This results in building up the energy, then dropping it back down, only to repeat the process again. It is often called the ‘drop’. If you want to change it around, all of the tips I put above still apply. As you become more experienced you’ll come to recognise these change in phrases instinctively. If your track is played on a party, this is the part where the people are not very energetic, but that’s a good thing. The human ear and mind are very good at noticing patterns. It will often strip back elements of the track like removing the kick drum. This part is usually underrated, as it looks so simple, but actually sets the theme for the entire track. But what a lot of these genres have in common, is that the structure is very set: Intro, Breakdown 1, Build-up, Drop A, Breakdown 2, Build-up, Drop B. BLACK FRIDAY SALE  UP TO 97% OFF  27-29 NOV. The buildup isn’t just for building up energy, it’s to glue your track together. For most songs, this tempo will remain constant throughout the song. There are many different genres in EDM. The next phrase following a Riser is usually a climax to the energy built. The EDM song structure is designed to let the energy flow in a dynamic way, by building up voltage and then reducing it again. Nearly every single electronic dance track has a consistent beat. Phrases are not limited to groups of beats. Once you come to understand EDM song structure you can use it to enhance your mixing capabilities. These beats are usually defined by the kick drum. You can jump to the main break to see how the song builds to its climax. Learn More. This phrase tends to be like the Intro but in reverse. Over time you’ll subconsciously become aware of them. As the music evolved so has my experience and I'm passionate about sharing my journey with you. Blade 2 – New Software Synthesizer Released by Rob Papen, Shure MV7 – New Dynamic Microphone Based On The SM7B, Bitwig September Giveaway With Beat Magazine, 12 Differences Between Studio Mixing & Live Mixing. Keep in mind that not all electronic music sticks to these patterns. You want the phrases to match up. This phrase tends to be basic. It will also open up the door for more advanced mixing techniques. Having a good understanding of how electronic dance music (EDM) is structured will make your mixes sound more fluid. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about basic EDM song structure. This basic level of mixing will begin to bring in elements from the new track while the previous track begins to take out elements. This structure is most commonly used in pop music. It can also be melodic or drum based. This section will help set the tone of the song as well as build to the next phrase. It can also be made up of a basic melody that builds to the start of the next phrase. More importantly, you know how to use this information to create smoother mixes. However, I’ve seen this error being made constantly: Keep the transitions flowing. The chorus section of the song will contain the main hook as well as any primary vocals. Having these initial phrases set as cue points will help you mix at the appropriate time. The low section will represent a section of the song where there is no kick drum. Beats, Bars and Phrases are the foundation of most electronic music genres. All the information visible in a waveform can be processed in the blink of an eye. Your email address will not be published. The art of DJing isn’t as simple as some may have you believe. This is how most dance music is structured. Mark the first few phrases in your software with cue points as well as some of the last few phrases. You don’t want to just end the breakdown and start a buildup. We use cookies on this site to optimize site functionality and give you the best possible experience. Master identifying them and you’ll be well on your way to better mixes. Here is a summary of the main phrases you’ll find in dance music. You’ll also learn how to use this knowledge to improve your sets. Having this visually represented can prepare you for a mix with a quick glance at your software. This can help speed up the process of assessing the song. The basic drum based elements help DJs beatmatch music without too many other elements to distract the ear. Changes to instruments or to the key help give this section a separate feel to the rest of the song. You can layer a vocal phrase over the top of a break or even another non-vocal chorus. This maintains a consistent level of energy as it builds to the new songs next phrase. Also, what I said about having some drop elements in your buildup, fade them in so you can connect the breakdown to the drop better. In dance music, this is where the most energy will be found. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.