Having a non-restrictive structure to your tunes will help you construct a track. There are five elements to a tune, which I try to ensure I have covered in every piece I write.
This is self-explanatory. A solid rhythm track is the main foundation of a tune.
Again, fairly obvious.
The drums and bass will give every tune its rhythm and groove but most up tempo tracks will have some kind of guitar, synth, arpeggiator part driving it along. This would be commonly referred to as a riff. It should compliment your bassline and give the track more of a dancefloor feel. Ordinarily these parts are quite heavily effected and eq’d so that they don’t interfere with the other elements of the track.
For me this is usually the starting point or the inspiration of my tunes. It could be a vocal or a chord progression or a pad etc etc. It sets the tone of the tune and should remain your focus for the entire time it takes you to finish a tune. Without a vibe a tune is going to lack any kind of emotion or direction. Many producers create a track with beats and bass and then find a vibe.
This is what will make your tune memorable and set it apart from the rest. Try and find a distinctive sound, like a spoken vocal for example. Anything that someone could refer to the tune by. Character is also the sweeps, fills, filter effects and all the other gloss and sheen that will keep the tune interesting.
(Originally written in March 2006)