How to Create an Electronic Dance Music Song Structure

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


This is a guide on How to Create an Electronic Dance Music Song Structure.


Since the early 2010s, electronic dance music (EDM) has become one of the most popular genres in the world. From its humble beginnings in underground clubs to its current status as a global phenomenon, EDM has undergone a remarkable transformation. And yet, despite its massive popularity, there is still a lot of confusion about how EDM songs are structured. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the different elements that make up an EDM song structure and how you can use them to create your own unique tracks.

One of the most important things to understand about EDM song structure is that there is no “right” way to do it. Every artist has their own unique style, and as a result, every song is going to be slightly different. However, there are certain elements that are common to most EDM songs. let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

The bassline is one of the most important elements in an EDM song. It provides the foundation for the rest of the track and gives it its characteristic thump. Basslines can be simple or complex, but they should always be catchy and easy to dance to.

Drums are another essential element of an EDM song structure. They provide the rhythms and patterns that keep the track moving forward and make it easy for listeners to dance along. Drum patterns can be simple or complex, but they should always be tight and well-executed.

Leads are melodic phrases that provide contrast and interest within an EDM track. They can be simple or complex, but they should always be catchy and memorable. Lead melodies often take center stage during key moments in a track, such as dropdowns and buildups.

Vocals are not always present in an EDM track, but when they are used, they can add a lot of emotion and energy to the mix. Vocals can be sung or spoken, and they can be used to deliver both positive and negative messages. When used correctly, vocals can add a whole new dimension to an EDM track.

The Basic Elements of an Electronic Dance Music Song

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, has skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade. This genre of music is defined by its pulsing, high-energy beats and synthesized melodies. If you’re interested in creating your own EDM song, there are a few basic elements you’ll need to include. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a basic EDM song structure.

The Kick

The most important element of any EDM song is the kick. The kick is the low frequency drum that gives the song its danceable rhythm. It is usually the first sound you hear in a song and it sets the pace for the rest of the instruments. Without a strong kick, a song will not make people want to dance.

The second important element is the melody. The melody is what makes a song memorable and catchy. It is usually played by a synthesizer or piano and it is often the part of the song that people sing along to.

The third important element is the Bassline. The bassline is what gives a song its low end frequencies and makes it sound full. A good bassline will complement the kick and make people want to move their bodies.

The fourth important element is the lead synth. The lead synth is usually a high-pitched sound that stands out above all of the other instruments. It is often used to play the melody or to provide an interesting counterpoint to the melody.

The fifth important element are drums. While they are not as important as the other elements, they can add a lot of energy and excitement to a song. Drums can be used to create different rhythms and patterns that will keep people moving on the dance floor.

The Clap

The clap is one of the most essential elements of an electronic dance music song structure. It helps to create a sense of rhythm and unity amongst the various elements in a track. A good clap should be punchy and have a clear attack. It should also be placed on beat one of every bar in your song.

The Hi-Hat

In drumming, the hi-hat, also spelled hihat or high-hat, is a pair of small cymbals mounted on a stand, used by a drummer and played with the sticks. A music industry term that has come to be synonymous with “electronic dance music” (EDM), Hi-Hats are one of the basic elements in an electronic song structure and are typically produced by a synth or drum machine.

The hi-hat is most commonly associated with funk, disco, and hip-hop music, but can be found in any genre where drums are used. The hi-hat creates a “chick” sound when it is played with a stick or mallet. When played with the foot pedal, it can produce a range of sounds from a gentle “tss” to a sharp “crack”.

Hi-hats are typically placed on the offbeat (the second and fourth beats in 4/4 time) and can be used to accentuate the snare drum or bass drum. They can also be used to create movement in a phrase by playing rhythmic figures between the two cymbals.

The Bassline

The bassline is one of the basic elements of an electronic dance music song. It is usually a repeated phrase that provides the foundation for the rest of the song. The bassline can be created with a synth, a sampler, or a drum machine. In some cases, the bassline is created with a live instrument.

The Melody

The melody is the most important element in an electronic dance music song. It is what will hook the listener and keep them coming back for more. A great melody will have a strong hook, a catchy riff, and a memorable melody. The best way to create a great melody is to start with a simple idea and then build on it. Once you have the basic idea down, you can start adding in different elements to make it more interesting.

Building Your Song

In order to create a great EDM song, you need to have a strong song structure. This means that your song should have a clear intro, verse, chorus, and drop. Without these elements, your song will likely sound disjointed and unfinished. Let’s take a look at how to structure your song so that it sounds great from start to finish.

The Kick

The kick drum is one of the most important elements in any EDM song. It provides the foundation for the rest of the song, and if it’s not right, the whole track will suffer. In this article, we’re going to break down how to create a killer kick drum that will make your track sound professional and polished.

There are two main types of kick drums: sampled and synthesisers. Sampled kicks are created by taking a recorded sound and then manipulating it with a sampler such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro. Synthesisers are kick drums that are created from scratch using a synth such as Massive or Sylenth1.

When it comes to creating a professional sounding kick drum, it’s important to use both techniques. A kick drum that is solely created with a synth can sound thin and weak, while a kick that is solely sampled can sound flat and lifeless. The best approach is to use both synthesisers and samples to create a well-rounded sound.

Here are some tips on how to create a professional sounding kick drum:

1) Start with a good sample. Spend some time finding a high-quality sample that has the right tone for your track. If you’re using ableton live, there are some great libraries of samples available online.

2) Layer your sounds. Once you have your main sample, layer it with another sound to add depth and character. A common approach is to layer a harder hitting synth bass with a softer kicking sound. This will help fill out the low end and add some body to theKick .
3) Use EQ to shape the sound. Once you have your layers in place, it’s time to start shaping the sound with EQ. Start by cutting out any frequencies that are not needed. For example, if you have a harder hitting synth bass layered underneath your Kick , you may want to cut out some of the low end so that it doesn’t muddy up the mix. Then, boost the frequencies that you do want to hear such as the high-end for Attack or the low-end for Body .
4) Add effects sparingly . Too much Reverb or Delay can ruin an otherwise great sounding Kick . Use these effects sparingly and only when they are needed. A little goes a long way!
5) Automate your effects . By automating your effects, you can add interest and excitement to your Kick . For example, try automating a short Decay time on your Reverb so that it starts off small but then gets larger as the Kick goes on. Or try automating the feedback amount on your Delay so that it starts off clean but then gets more chaotic as the Track progresses

The Clap

The clap is a snare drum layered with a sharper, harder sound. It usually functions as an on-beat percussive accent. It’s often used to give the track a bit more snap, or to keep things interesting when the snare is used too frequently.

The Hi-Hat

In electronic dance music, the hi-hat is one of the most essential percussion instruments. It’s a way to keep the rhythm going while also adding a bit of flavor to the song. In this article, we’ll go over how to build your song around a hi-hat, and what other elements you can add to give it more depth and texture.

The first thing you’ll need to do is find a nice, catchy hi-hat loop. You can either create one yourself, or look for one online. Once you’ve found one that you like, it’s time to start building your track around it.

If you’re not sure where to start, try adding a simple bassline that compliments the hi-hat loop. You can also add some chords or melody if you want to give the track more of a melodic feel. Once you’ve got the basic foundation laid down, it’s time to start adding in some other elements.

A common technique in electronic dance music is to add a second hi-hat loop that comes in on the off-beats. This gives the track more of a groove and helps to fill out the sound. You can also add in other percussion elements such as claps, snaps, or even vocals if you want to give the track more of a human feel.

Once you’ve got all of your elements in place, it’s time to start mixing and matching them until you find a combination that sounds good. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things! The possibilities are endless when it comes to electronic dance music production.

The Bassline

The bassline is one of the most important parts of your EDM song. It’s the foundation that everything else is built on, and it sets the tone for the rest of the song. There are a few different ways to approach writing a bassline, but in general, you want to start with a simple melody that you can then build upon.

One common approach is to start with a basic four-note melody and then add embellishments as you go. You can also try starting with a more complex melody and then stripping it down to its essentials. Whichever approach you take, make sure that your bassline is catchy and memorable. It should be something that people can’t help but dance to.

Once you have your basic melody, it’s time to start layering in different sounds. A typical bassline will have several different elements, each playing a different role. The first layer is typically a deep, subby bass sound that provides the foundation for the rest of the song. You can then add in some midrange elements for added texture, and finally some high-end details to make things sound more exciting.

As you’re layering sounds, it’s important to keep things interesting by varying the volume, pitch, and rhythm of each layer. Otherwise things will start to sound boring and repetitive. Experiment with different sound design techniques and don’t be afraid to try something new. The goal is to create a bassline that’s dynamic and engaging from beginning to end.

The Melody

Great melodies are the heart and soul of any song, and electronic dance music is no different. A good melody will stay with the listener long after the song is over, and can be the difference between a hit and a flop.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a melody for your EDM track. First, the melody should be memorable and catchy – this is what will make people want to listen to your song over and over again. Secondly, the melody should complement the rhythm of the track – it should flow nicely and fit in with the rest of the elements in your song. Lastly, make sure that your melody is original – there’s nothing worse than a generic sounding melody that has been used a million times before.

With these things in mind, let’s take a look at how to write a great melody for your EDM track.

One of the best ways to write a memorable melody is to start with a simple hook or phrase that you can repeat throughout the song. This could be anything from a single note or chord, to a short phrase or riff. The key is to make sure that this hook is catchy and easy to remember. Once you have your hook, you can start building the rest of your melody around it.

Another great tip for writing catchy melodies is to use ‘leaps’ – this means starting on one note and then moving up or down by an interval of more than one semitone. This creates interest and tension in the melody, which can make it more attention-grabbing and memorable. Just be careful not to use too many leaps in your melody, as this can make it sound disjointed and unfinished.

Once you have your hook or main phrase, it’s time to start fleshing out the rest of your melody. Start by adding some simple phrases that complement your main hook; these could be shorter or longer than your hook, but should still flow nicely together. You can then start playing around with different variations of these phrases, adding embellishments and hits where needed. Remember to keep things interesting by varying both the length and dynamics of your phrases – if everything sounds too uniform, it will quickly become boring for listeners.

As you’re writing your melody, you should also think about how it will fit with the other elements in your track; specifically, the drums and bassline. The rhythm of your drums should complement the melodic content of your track; for example, if you’re using mostly fast 16th notes in your drums, you’ll probably want to use shorter phrases in your melody so that everything fits together nicely. Similarly, if you’re using slower 8th notes or quarter notes in your drums, longer melodic phrases will work better so that everything flows nicely together. It’s all about finding that balance between rhythm and melodics!


Now that you’ve learned about the different parts of an electronic dance music song structure, you’re ready to start creating your own tracks. Remember to experiment with different arrangements and combinations of elements to find what works best for you. And most importantly, have fun!

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