Synthwave Song Structure: How To Structure A Song To Keep People Listening

Creativity

 minute read

How do you go about structuring a synthwave song?

Where do you put the verses and choruses/hooks? 

As it turns out, there are really two main ways to structure a synthwave song:

The first synthwave song structure is a "Pop" structure, with alternating verses and choruses; the second is an "EDM" structure, following a build-up/hook format. In each case, the final chorus/hook should contain the most energy.

Structure #1: Pop

A classic Pop song structure typically has 3 peaks in energy (choruses), which are off-set by sections which have a drop in energy (verses/bridges). 

Overall, the song should increase in energy over time, with each new verse and chorus containing more energy than the previous one. 

This should all climax with the final chorus, where there is the most energy.

The most common version of this structure is:

Intro > Verse > Chorus > Verse > Chorus > Bridge > Chorus > Outro

Variations To The Pop Structure

Within the Pop song structure, there can be several variations. 

You can add in pre-choruses between the verses and the choruses to help build up to the peak of the song. 

Or, you can have a post-chorus or musical interlude section to help build down from a chorus back into a verse. 

You can also vary how many verses you have, or whether or not you include a bridge section.

Synthwave Songs That Follow The Pop Structure

If you're looking for a good examples of a synthwave songs that follows this structure, a couple of great ones are:

Because The Night - The Midnight

Summer Of Heat - Mitch Murder (FT. KRISTINE)

Structure #2: EDM

Another great, and common, song structure to follow for synthwave music is the EDM or "Banger" template. 

The EDM structure employs a couple of builds and drops, rather than using standard verses.

This structure usually has two main builds where tension increases over time before being released in the hooks. 

What's key here is the use of rhythm to create tension and build energy between the hooks. 

These two builds and peaks are typically broken up by a bridge section in the middle of the song. 

Synthwave Songs That Follow The EDM Structure

Here are some great examples of synthwave songs that follow the EDM/Banger song structure.

How To Add Energy

Free Synthwave Drum Sample Pack

Just click the button below to download them!

Now you might be wondering...

Just how do I go about increasing and decreasing energy in a song? 

Well, there are a lot of ways to do this, but here are a few of the best ways:

1. Add Instruments

When you have more instruments playing, you add more energy to your song. 

This doesn't even necessarily mean adding new parts. This could just mean layering up sections you already have playing

2. Speed Up The Rhythm

You can also speed up the rhythm of your track. 

If you have notes hitting at the 1/4 or 1/8 intervals, you can speed this up to 1/16. 

A common example of this is having the high-hats hit on every 1/16th note to increase the perceived speed of a song or section. 

3. Increase The Pitch

Increasing the pitch of your instrumentation is another great way to increase the energy. 

This could mean moving your chords up the scale, or even moving your melody or other instrumentation up an octave. 

The 8-Bar Rule: Keep People Listening

A universal songwriting and arrangement principle you can use, no matter what song structure you use, is the "8-Bar Rule". 

This rule states that you want to change something up in your song every 8 bars. 

This could mean adding in percussion, changing the percussion, changing the melody, adding in a new instrument, changing the chords, etc. 

Something just has to be different every 8-bars. 

The reason for this is that it keeps the song fresh, and keeps the listener from getting bored so that they listen all the way through the song. 

You're going to have sections that repeat in your song, and this is good because that familiarity keeps the listener grounded, and repetition is catchy. 

However, even as you repeat sections, if you can make some subtle changes to fresh them up, this will strike a perfect balance between novelty and familiarity...

Which leads to a catchy song with great re-listenability. 

How To Write A Hit Song

Another thing you might want to try is writing a song the way hit-makers do.

I've studied what top hit-songwriters all tend to have in common with their songs and put together a free guide that covers those commonalities.

In fact, I discovered that all of the hit songs tend to have 9 key elements in common.

If you're only having to follow a 9-step formula, you may find that song writing gets a lot easier and faster.

This doesn't mean you have to follow this formula for every song, but it can help you get the ideas flowing.

Write A Hit Song!

Click below to download my free Hit Creation checklist which demystifies the songwriting process and boils down the techniques hit songwriters use into a simple 9-step formula. 

I hope you got value from this post on How To Structure A Synthwave Song.

If so, feel free to share, and let me know in the comments below:

What is the #1 challenge you're facing right now with your music?


Reagan Ramm


Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm

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