What is your approach when tackling song orders?

avinu

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Hello all. I hope I'm not creating a duplicate thread here. So I'll be taking my first stab at constructing an album in the distant future and one thinh I'm dreading the most is trying to sort out the order of the songs. This aspect of the process seems vague to me but also very important. I feel like if someone writes "good" individual songs but can't string them together properly it can ruin everything. To me, the margin of error is small. The approach I've taken so far is establishing the opening track and the closing track and then meeting in the middle. The problem with this is that no matter what I keep running into having one track being the odd ball that wont fit in between two others. Anywho, just wanted to see what aspects other people here look for/techniques they use when deciding song orders. Hopefully myself and others can learn a thing or two from the vets here.
 

Rachmaninoff

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IMHO the first and second tracks are the most important. If I start listening to an album, the first track is the first I listen to (doh!), and if it's bad, I'll give the album a second chance by listening to the second track. If it's bad, I'll skip through the next tracks carelessly, just to make sure I'm not missing something.

So yes, your approach in choosing the first, then last, then meeting them is good, but be specially careful with the first two tracks.
 

avinu

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IMHO the first and second tracks are the most important. If I start listening to an album, the first track is the first I listen to (doh!), and if it's bad, I'll give the album a second chance by listening to the second track. If it's bad, I'll skip through the next tracks carelessly, just to make sure I'm not missing something.

So yes, your approach in choosing the first, then last, then meeting them is good, but be specially careful with the first two tracks.

Thanks for the insight. I guess starting off with two of the "stronger" tracks would hopefully peak the listener's interest enough to keep going until you sprinkled in another "stand out" track or two.
 

Cygnus

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Hello all. I hope I'm not creating a duplicate thread here. So I'll be taking my first stab at constructing an album in the distant future and one thinh I'm dreading the most is trying to sort out the order of the songs. This aspect of the process seems vague to me but also very important. I feel like if someone writes "good" individual songs but can't string them together properly it can ruin everything. To me, the margin of error is small. The approach I've taken so far is establishing the opening track and the closing track and then meeting in the middle. The problem with this is that no matter what I keep running into having one track being the odd ball that wont fit in between two others. Anywho, just wanted to see what aspects other people here look for/techniques they use when deciding song orders. Hopefully myself and others can learn a thing or two from the vets here.

I agree that the first few tracks should really grab the listener's attention. Especially in Metal - I want to know what the band is about and feel that energy right away. As for the rest of the album, try to put yourself in the listener's shoes. How do you want your listener to feel? What kind of journey do you want to take them on?

Think about peaks and valleys of energy. Songs could be sequenced so they build or maintain heaviness/intensity, but give way to the mellower songs too to give the listener a break.

Symphonies have movements - I think albums can too. :metal:
 


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