The 4 basic elements of electronic music are much the same as any other type of music.
You have your;
1. Drums or The Beat
2. The Bass line
3. The Melody
4. The Vocals
Now just to get one thing straight, A LOT of DJs/producers don’t sing in their songs, (probably because they can’t sing, like I can’t hehehe). Some get guest singers to sing but most just don’t do any vocals at all so don’t give up straight away because you can’t sing! In this article, I won’t discuss the vocal aspect of electronic music. If anyone would like me to though, please feel free to put in a request 🙂
Lets start with the Beat.
Almost every electronic song has a beat in it of some sort. Whether it be house music with a straight beat, or a breakbeat with different combination’s of different drums and cymbals, sequenced together to create a beat. A great beat can turn a mediocre song into a great song, but a mediocre beat could turn a great song into something not so great. I personally spend just about most of my producing time making sure that I’m happy with the beat.
Depending on what style of electronic music your making, generally the 2 main drums to consider are the bass drum, also known as the kick, and the snare drum. These 2 drums are the driving force behind a beat and they are then filled and polished around the edges with things such as percussion sounds and cymbals.
Electronic music usually runs in counts of 4, with the kick drum falling on the 1 and 3 and the snare falling on the 2 and 4. Some electronic music like house, trance, tech, and numerous others which use a straight 4 beat, have the kick drum fall on all 4 counts. Other styles like hip hop and break beats have different combinations of the kicks and snares and other sounds falling on different varieties of counts, but always counting in 4’s.
Most drum beats in electronic music are created on drum machines or drum sequencers in music software programs.