Trance Song Structure And How Does Uplifting Trance Song Progress

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Trance Song Structure

In this tutorial I’m trying to explain what kind is typical uplifting trance song structure and how does it progress. I’m using one of my own songs as an example. I have to say that the song is quite old and trance sounds a bit different these days, but the basic idea is pretty much the same.

In the video, I slice up the song in to 16 bar sections and I try to explain the progression section by section.

Let’s begin. (Remeber to check out my guide on how to make electronic music as well).

The Trance Song Structure

I mentioned bar. Some may wonder what is a bar.  1 bar = 4 beats. If you listen to a dance music, you can hear the basskick beating. Four of those beats forms a bar. Take your favourite dance song and listen to it carefully. If you start counting the beats from the beginning of the song, you notice that usually after 32 beats (thats 8 bars) something happens: new sounds comes in, other fades out, etc. That’s how the song progresses. Every certain amount of time something happens. That’s how you keep up the listeners interest.

So when you start to compose your very first trance song, try to progress in 8 bar sections. (In my example I’m using 16 bars because I wan’t to build up things slowly).  Add a new sound after every 8 bars or fade out current ones. Something like this:

[bars 1-8: kick drum]-

[bars 9-16: kick drum + claps]-

[bars 17-32: kick drum + claps + hihat]-

[bars 33-40: kick drum + claps + hihat + bass]-

[bars 41-48: kick drum + claps + hihat + bass + pads]-

[bars 49-56: kick drum + claps + hihat + bass + pads starts to fade out]-

[bars 57-64: BREAKDOWN and everything stops. Introduce your idea (usually some nice melody) and build a tension towards the “release” / “climax” / “drop”]-

[bars 65-72: Your idea in it’s full power and the tension is built to maximum… the tension is very close to it’s “release” / “climax” / “drop”!]-

[bars 73-80: “release” / “climax” / “drop”- highlight of your song where everything plays together: your idea, drums, basslines.. everything! make it “explode”!]-

[bars 81-88: “release” / “climax” / “drop” continues!]-

[bars 89-96: maybe start to fade out sounds a bit.]-

[bars 97-105-etc-etc :Outro. fade out sounds, fade out and fade out even more]-

Below is a very rough visual description of a trance song structure. The picture is a waveform from one of my own songs “The Wall” which I’ll be using as tutorial example in the video at the bottom of this article. Click the picture to see it bigger:

Trance Song Structure

Here’s the video:

You will get the hang of the structure when you start to compose your own song. Hopefully this tutorial gave you an rough idea how the trance song structure usually goes.

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About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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69 Comments on "Trance Song Structure And How Does Uplifting Trance Song Progress"

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Jon W
5 years 6 months ago
Hey man you have some great in depth tutorials. I use FL studio but I’m still able to follow along with the non FL programs. But thank you very much for spending time to go IN DEPTH!! It’s so hard to find in depth tutorials that aren’t littered with junk and all that non-sense haha. I’ve only been making music for about a month now, I really want to get into some hard trance but for now I am trying to just make slow trance to get the hang of it, basic structure and all. Anyways thanks again and looks… Read more »
Jon W
5 years 6 months ago
Haha I will!!! I’ve already added it to my favorites 🙂 This may or may not help you out…But since I’m a begginer, the tutorials I really find helpful, (and I would assume this for all begginers, or even more experienced people) are song structure, basic build up with instruments, when to use minor/major scales, chords, and transitioning from lets say the verse to the melody, with out making it sound plain, but also making it sound right, I like snare fills, they are easy and sound good with some genres, but I over-use them :/ lol. Sorry about rambling… Read more »
Jon W
5 years 6 months ago

Sorry again…but do you have a youtube channel by any chance?

ABDUL MOSIN
ABDUL MOSIN
5 years 5 months ago

hey man i should admit that you have done exceptionally well.i have been searching for these kind of in depth tutorial that an amateur can understand.keep’em comin’ dude…love yo work..

best regards from india

tintala
tintala
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial not much on the web in terms of writing structure of trance or electronic… like to see more please.

dj dance4life
dj dance4life
5 years 1 month ago

Who are you ?? AVB must be your student right ??? Awesome tutorial…………And i will be NEXT !!

last_name_left
last_name_left
5 years 1 month ago

Excellent stuff. Love the tune. Thanks for taking the trouble to post it.

Party large! WooWoo!! hehe

Arturo Cerezo N
Arturo Cerezo N
5 years 22 days ago

Dude! This is the must fkn useful thing all around the internet! I was searching for something comprensible on every word! not only for write/speak a lot, for something easy, short and useful… now I know what page to recommend to all my friends that are FL Users .. BTW: I’m not a FL User, I’m and Ableton User, and this helps me a lot!
Thanks for DOING THIS LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN!! 🙂

Obsoulete
Obsoulete
5 years 20 days ago

It’s great to see you put such effort into your tutorials. Ive been searching non stop over the internet for clarity and depth in tutorials. I, a newbie, really appreciate what your doing and look forward to every tutorial i read and analyze. By far this site is the most informative and useful website i have ever come across…ever.
So keep it up, I’ll admit it… I’m addicted….addicted to howtomakeelectronicmusic.com

Tonny
Tonny
4 years 11 months ago

I’m blown away by your professionalism.
structure is the key!!!
i have so many ideas, but I’m newbie.
thank you
regards Tonny

Ps. maybe I’m asking to much, but why no video tutorials with your voice ?

Slava
Slava
4 years 10 months ago

Hey! If I will follow your tutorial and end my track on the 105th bar at 140 bpm, then I’ll get 3 minutes uplifting trance track 🙂
So, your scheme does not work. You have to multiply bar durations minimum by 2.
By the way, great tutorial, thanks!

ryan
ryan
4 years 9 months ago

Great track ! Where can it be found for download 🙂

Arghadeep
Arghadeep
4 years 9 months ago

Awesome tutorial man……….Really helpful……

Arghadeep
Arghadeep
4 years 9 months ago

Oh…one more thing I want to ask…..While producing trance…where I should begin creating the theme of the song?….from Basslines or from Leads or from Pads(chord progressions) ?

Eduardo
Eduardo
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks so much for your tutorials… lots of youtube tutorials helped as well but there is something to be said about reading it and then doing it… now I have a better understanding as to WHY the modifications are made! You guys rule man!! Gracias again!!

Arghadeep
Arghadeep
4 years 8 months ago

I usually starts building my trance track from chord progressions…..now a chord (triad) consists of root note, third and the fifth…….then If I want to create my bassline track….which note of the chord I should pick?

Kevin Tan
Kevin Tan
4 years 8 months ago

OMG thank you so much for this tutorial!! I needed it a lot

Mike Rodarte
Mike Rodarte
4 years 8 months ago

excellent tut! i have been over thinking my structure alot lately and this helped lots! thank you=]

Yazzan
4 years 8 months ago

hi thanks for the info but i was wondering if you can upload an flp just to see the automation and the bass .. etc how it’s combined together

Kiran M Sajeev
Kiran M Sajeev
4 years 7 months ago

Awesome in-depth tuts man…Am a beginner..Also,i wanna be specialise in TRANCE music production .And mind having tus on Scale(Major,Minor) and music theory and stuffs like that in your own words??Also,it would be a lot of help if you could show us remixing on the fly,creating melody,pads,bassline and such things..

Thank you once again for such in-depth help for beginners like me..Keep up the good work..

Kiran

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