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

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Jon W
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 »
Petri Suhonen

Thanks, Jon, I appreciate that a lot 🙂 I’ll try my best to keep the tutorials as straight-to-the-point as possible.

Keep an eye on this site for more guides 🙂

jean-pierre

Hi Petri, great tutorial…you’re really talented….i’m just an amateur producer and i’ve just started using FL…Hope to be the same level as you one day….and be able to create one nice trance track…thanks for all your videos…i’m actually working on a prog trance track…may be i could send you the demo and have your feedback…

Petri Suhonen

Hey Jean-Pierre, and thanks for you feedback!

But to be honest, I still have a lot to learn in music production, though that’s what makes this hobby extremely interesting!

Also, feel free to send me your demo 8)

Jon W
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 »
Petri Suhonen

Good ideas, I think I will cover some of those in my upcoming tutorials 🙂

Jon W

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

Petri Suhonen

I have a personal channel which is devoted to my own music:

http://www.youtube.com/petrisuhonen1

Currently It lacks of videos. I had a bunch of videos there but I lost them all, but I will be uploading them back when I have a change.

Feel free to subscribe 🙂

ABDUL MOSIN

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

Petri Suhonen

Thank u Abdul! Keep an eye on this site for more tutorial very soon 🙂

ABDUL MOSIN

definitely i will..cuz i’m learning new stuffs everyday regarding electronic music…this one helps me the most on structures and all the basics…anyways thank you once again

tintala

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

Petri Suhonen

Glad you found it useful, more will follow 🙂

Latisha

Great airltce, thank you again for writing.

Petri Suhonen

Thank you Latisha, check out my other tutorials as well!

dj dance4life

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

Petri Suhonen

haha lol 😀 I’m just a electronic music hobbyist 🙂 Glad you’re liking the tuts!

last_name_left

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

Party large! WooWoo!! hehe

Petri Suhonen

thanks!!

Arturo Cerezo N

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!! 🙂

Petri Suhonen

Thank u Arturo, it’s very encouraging to hear that! 😀

Obsoulete

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

Petri Suhonen

thank you very much!

Tonny

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 ?

Petri Suhonen

Thank u Tonny! The reason I’m not using my voice in the videos is that my english accent kind of sucks so I find it easier to use just text 🙂

Slava

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!

Petri Suhonen

Yeah, you’re actually right about that, though that was just a rough example about the progression, but you’re right 🙂

My bad 🙂

ryan

Great track ! Where can it be found for download 🙂

Petri Suhonen

Thank you Ryan! ‘The Wall’ is a commercially released song and you can get it on: http://www.beatport.com/track/the-wall-original-mix/16814 for example.

Cheers!

Arghadeep

Awesome tutorial man……….Really helpful……

Arghadeep

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) ?

Petri Suhonen

Thanks for watching it !

To your question: every producer has his own approach, but I usually start from the bassline and build everything on top of it.

Cheers!

Eduardo

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!!

Petri Suhonen

Thank you !

Arghadeep

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?

Petri Suhonen

Hi, try following your root note.

Cheers!

Arghadeep

Wow!! Thanks a lot….

Kevin Tan

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

Petri Suhonen

No problem, Kevin!

Mike Rodarte

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

Petri Suhonen

Thank you Mike!

Yazzan

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

Petri Suhonen

I’ll check if I can find the orginal .flp somewhere, but I highly doubt it… 🙂

Kiran M Sajeev

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

Petri Suhonen

Hey Kiran, thanks for your feedback!

Unfortenately I’m not that good on the actual music theory. I’ve always played by ears when making music so I’m afraid I’m not able to create a tutorial on this one, sorry.

Also, remixing tutorial is a big project and my time is kinda limited so cant promise you this one either, sorry.

Cheers!

Kiran M Sajeev

Ah..I just put foreward ma suggestion..Thats all…..And no probs…but when you get time,do try because thats gonna be very helpful…

Manuel Schmidt
Yeah well its like Im kinda good in music theory, just did it mz whole life in school, with parents etc. and it aint helping zou at all. Well of course its nice to know how different hords are set up and it helps when doin a melodz that ya know how set up the notes fitting in the chords of the scale, BUT: Is many DAWs, you aint even have the ability to edit your score right, you just got this piano-roll-block editor. This piano roll editor is even nicer to edit simplemelodies for house or arpeggiated melodies, so… Read more »
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