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Song Structure
Written by Dan Carrone / Tip

Song structure is basically the layout of a track. As the producer, it is your job to create this structure. Song structure is nothing more than different sections of loops & riffs that you piece together with transitions. The song structure is part of the creative process and you can have a lot of fun with it. Many modern structures that producers copy from each other, at one time was created by someone. In modern EDM, most songs keep the same BPM with the same structure. So much so, you can overlap them in a DAW and see they are all the same. This does not mean the song structure should always be the same though. The structure can be in many different forms. And let's be honest, would you not rather be original than to have the same layout as every other producer?

The most common structure to modern Pop music is the old:

"Intro / Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus / Outro"

Now with different styles of music you will have different structures. Electronic genres will have structures that are not present in say Pop & Hip Hop music. Hip Hop can have different structures than Pop as well. With the change of style, so does the structure.

Electronic genres you can be a bit more creative than you can in say Pop or Hip Hop. You have more time for the track plus sometimes you do not have a main vocal. If you are writing an instrumental track, you can really get creative with your structure and transitions, creating ups and downs in the song for a moving vibe that changes as the song flows.

A basic structure for an electronic styled track:

"Intro Beat / Break / Build / Drop / Hook / Break / Build / Drop / Hook / Outro Beat"

The "break" is when the beat drops out and the song breaks down. The "build" is the build up of the track for the "drop". The "drop" is the explosive part of the track. It is the "hook" or what grabs the listener. You can also add a "change up" to your structure after the "hook" to help transition into your next "break"

"Intro Beat / Break / Build / Drop / Hook / Change Up / Break / Build / Drop / Hook / Outro Beat"

Every electronic track has a similar structure to this. Not all electronic tracks have a "break" or a "build". Especially if you are listening to vocal electronic music. It can usually be more like a pop styled track. Just depends on the creative process of the producer. Some producers will have a structure that has a "break" & "build" once to begin the song after the "intro beat". As I said, it is all about the creative process.

"Intro Beat / Break / Verse / Build / Drop / Hook / Verse / Hook / Outro Beat"

The first verse is played in the first "break" of the track. Then a transition to the build up facilitates the "drop". The rest of the song flows as the other verse and final hook is played. You can even add to this structure if you wanted the song longer.

"Intro Beat / Break / Verse / Build / Drop / Hook / Verse / Hook / Break / Build / Drop / Hook / Outro Beat"

Adding a second "break" after the second verse or second hook can allow you to create another build up for another drop. When I do this, I try to make both drops different. Be more creative than just copying what I already did.

Song structure as you can see is fairly easy thing to learn. What makes a structure sound good though is the transitions that you use to piece your segments together. These transitions must be seamless. They also help control your flow from one segment to the next. So they can make or break your track.

What is a transition you ask? A transition can be drum rolls, drum fills, synth fills and so on. It is the very end of a segment where you do something like a drum roll to introduce your next segment of your structure. So it is very important to learn how to create these transitions so that your track flows seamlessly.

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