The US dance scene has been exploding as of late with thousands of brand-new EDM (electronic dance music) fans and cutting-edge artists, like Skrillex, who has both respectively established his identity as an EDM producer of dubstep-style pop music with explosive bassdrops and snarling electro-style staccatos, syncopated bass swells, and plucks, or Avicii with his trademark big arena uplifting house sound that’s easily recognizable by the use of his catchy leads, deep basslines, and boomy, pounding bassdrums.
Of course, there are several artists and producers out there that have made big names for themselves, and there are hundreds if not thousands more that are vying for a spot to have their material listened to by willing fans.
Today Anyone Can Be a Music Producer
In the past, when music production was largely confined to professional studios or individuals who could afford to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of studio equipment and house it within their private studios, it was much easier for DJ’s to make a name for themselves because the technology wasn’t as accessible, but nowadays, as music production software and technology has become more accessible and affordable to the masses, DJs are often expected to be able to produce their own music if they wish to have a fighting chance at getting gigs or winning over fans.
There are various methods, techniques, schools of thought, and genres that comprise electronic music production, though the basic concept is fairly straightforward and easy to understand if you have a basic grasp of music theory.
How Is a Dance Song Created?
Most dance songs consist of a “four-to-the-floor” bassdrum (a.k.a. kickdrum), a snare or clap hit that accents the kick every 2nd and 4th bar within a 4-bar phrase; syncopated drums such as toms, shakers, bongos, or congas; hihats or rides that accent the upbeat (boom-ting-boom-ting) immediately following the kick, various effects including reverse cymbal crashes or white noise swooshes, and, of course, instrumental elements such as a baseline, a lead, a riff, and perhaps a set of strings or pads that provide a sort of atmospheric backdrop for the duration of the track.
Styles Determine Arrangements
Arrangement styles will vary from genre to genre, but many EDM (shorthand for ‘electronic dance music’) songs are often based on one primary motif that’s easily identifiable throughout the entire song.
EDM songs are kept simple in light of the fact that many clubbers or partygoers who frequent nightclubs like to hear music that gets them excited, pumped, and elated with a sense of ectasy and awe while being relentlessly throttled with super punchy beats and basslines.
All in all, the best way to get started with producing is to listen to various types of dance music and figure out what style draws you in the most. You can also get on YouTube and Google and type in phrases like ‘how to make dance music’ or ‘how to make a dance beat’ and you will come across sloughs of tutorials and guides that will walk you through the process from A to Z.