The 4 Foundation Elements Of A Classic Dance Track

The 4 Foundation Elements Of A Classic Dance Track
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The 4 Foundation Elements Of A Classic Dance Track

Furaha by Sahil Madaan launched on differed records earlier last year. It’s got a groovy sound that instantly gets you hooked & has proved to be popular with house music enthusiasts. But what I find far more interesting is the simplicity behind its production. The track is a great example of how you can produce a great tune sticking to the basics.

The track is very reminiscent of early house tunes that relied on nothing but a four-on-the-floor drum beat, a simple melody, a 16-bar loop & a vocal hook. This is the golden recipe & has been the foundation of countless classic house tracks over the years.

So let’s have a look at each of these elements individually & then look at how they come together.

4 Essential Elements

Drums

If you’ve been listening to house music; or any form of electronic music really, chances are you’re already familiar with the drum pattern. If not, open your DAW, add a 909 kick on every beat, add a clap on the second & fourth, then a closed high-hat on every half beat. Voila! You’ve just created one of the most popular drum patterns in house music. A classic.

There’s a lot more I can dive into here – complexities that give the drum sounds added character, including snares and so much more. But for now, all you need to remember is that an overwhelming number of chart toppers have been made with the simple four-to-the-floor beat as their secret sauce.

Bass

The bassline. Simply put, a well done bassline will never fail to bring a smile to your face. These lower frequency notes offer a great bridge between the highs and lows, often dictating the mood we feel when listening to a particular track.

It’s often said that bass is harder to hear but easier to feel. It’s the vibrations from these low frequencies that get our feet tapping & resonate deeply with dance music fans across the globe.

Melody

I can’t overstate how integral melodies are to a solid dance track. After all, every track is made up of a rhythm & melody! A Melody is a sequence of notes you hear as a single entity.

Catchy choruses & infectious guitar riffs are examples of melodies that define the music you know & love. This is because they are often the part of the song you’re most likely to remember & hum along to.

When you sing “Happy Birthday”, you’re in fact singing just the melody of the original song!

Vocals

The term vocals is fairly self explanatory. This element of music is a solo voice or combination of voices that can add a complementary or contrasting layer to your dance track.

The human voice is the oldest and still most complex musical instrument. It’s in our DNA to respond to it. A voice can carry emotion without any kind of technical precision and can therefore add a very compelling element to your track.

Putting Them Together

Now, I’ve made a case that house music composition can be kept really simple and made easy. But of course, production, mixing & mastering a track to perfection is another game altogether. It’s here that you can flex your creativity & make things interesting.

In Furaha, Sahil has added layers to the track using effects like auto-filter, reverb and some delay. This creates depth in the track  & gives it character. You can listen to Furaha here:

Sahil Madaan – Furaha (Original Mix)
Differed Records

If you’re keen to learn more about electronic music production or even elevate your skills as a producer, you can check out our range of in-person & online Music Production courses on our website.

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