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Author Topic: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!  (Read 4925 times)

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Oliwerko

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The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« on: September 11, 2009, 22:18:41 »

Hiya there fellows.

I'll get straight to the point:
I still have hard time choosing the right amount of repetition of my songs.

I can come up with some ideas, but the problem arises in either of these two cases (most of the time):

a) I want to make the song at least the standard 3-4 minute length and don't really know if I have enough ideas not to make it sound repetitive, or if it's actually better to repeat a bit. I simply don't possess the right "feel" how much is right, how much is too little and how much is too much.

b) I absolutely love some section/sound and tend to overuse it, because I just want to listen to it again and again.

I noticed that some of my most favourite songs (e.g. Reptile & Sky modules) are only about 2 minutes long; however I tend to hate short songs and that contributes to the overrepeating issue.

Do you have any similar problems? Do you have any tips on how to solve it? Any "mental guidelines" how to repeat in a healthy manner? Or is it only experience? You know, I hate to ruin a good track just because a stupid issue that the (in other aspects good) idea repeats too much.
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Saga Musix

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Re: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 22:42:57 »

I don't really have such a problem, my tunes automagically turn into 5 minutes monsters! ;D
more seriously, though, repetition doesn't have to be a bad thing - try to reuse patterns slightly modified. however, it's pointless to extend a tune if you're running out of ideas. don't continue to reuse patterns then. maybe try some slow buildups.
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usrfriendly

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Re: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 09:14:42 »

I've written some chiptunes recently that I just ended up sticking on a loop, because it worked better than anything else I had at the time, but that might or might not apply to the situation at hand.  I usually just slap together what sounds good, and get something averaging from a minute and a half to two minutes, three if it's a particularly productive day.  :-\
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Saga Musix

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Re: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 14:36:28 »

well, for chiptunes it's pretty normal that they're short and looped.
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Oliwerko

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Re: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 21:16:31 »

Maybe it's just the fact I hate short songs and try to prolong them even when I don't have enough ideas...
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CommanderKeen

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Re: The ultimate SONG DURATION question!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 11:07:16 »

The perfect song duration is 3:31

J/k ofcourse, but most of my songs are around that mark. I guess that's just a result of the way I work and the type of music I like.

I have a rule of thumb that I want one musical idea plus one per minute of music. So, for three minutes of music I want at least four musical ideas. This is just a silly rule of course, but it's a guideline that works for me. A "musical idea" could be a new melody, a new chord sequence, or a drastic change in arrangement (so simply adding some extra drums to a part wouldn't count).

It also helps me to think about song structure. For example, a song could consist of an intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. That's four musical ideas right there, so this would be a good structure for a three minute tune. I would change the arrangement for each repeating section, so that the song builds up to some sort of climax and the listerener doesn't get bored.

Of course, these "rules" aren't set in stone, but simply considering them could give you some ideas on how to improve your songwriting.
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