Arad, Romania

So I decided to sort out my projects based on what album I want to put them on (each one follows a particular narrative about events that took place in the past) and on the year that they were started in. After I deleted all the junk that I couldn't do anything with, I wound up with 199 unfinished songs. Those are all the songs I've ever written (except for the files that I lost or intentionally deleted) and none of them are even 50% complete.

The crazy thing is that I gathered 105 songs in one folder, for one album, because they are part of the same narrative. This is when I came up with the idea for this thread. I like long songs—the longer the better—and I intend to never write anything shorter than 4 minutes because I think that I'm wasting a song idea if I make it shorter than that. This means that this 105 track album will be more than 7 hours long. It will take me a few years to finish and it won't be the first thing that I will release but it is a crazy long album and I don't intend to reduce the number of tracks or length in any way. I wouldn't really know what to do with the songs otherwise.

As for preferred length for releases, I must say that I like albums the most, but I guess EPs are fine too. Anything shorter than that seems like a waste of time or just not long enough to tell a compelling story. So I generally want to release stuff that's at least 6 or 8-tracks long and there's no upper limit as you might have gathered from the previous paragraphs.

So what's your preferred length for individual songs and releases (EPs, albums, etc)?

Brighton | Portsmouth | UK

I try and write songs under two minutes where possible. I've become really fond of the idea of fitting as much as possible in a tiny space whilst it still functioning as a structured song, and I've yet to write a track this year longer than 2:00. It's not a golden rule, it's just how I write, I'm not a huge fan of mass repetition in my own work.

Also I prefer releasing EPs as if you ARE writing tracks all around 1:30 long then 30 of them lumped together would be tiring as to listen to, so I'm grouping by 7/8 tracks at the moment.


3-4 minutes for a song because that's when I usually start to run out of ideas/song memory.

25-30 minutes for an album is where I usually end up, and I find that at that length it feels substantial but is still short enough that I can listen to most of it in a single sitting. If it's longer than that I often end up stopping partway through and then starting from the beginning again the next day, which means the later songs don't get played as much.


I've always written short songs. Sometimes a song can be under three minutes and still feel pretty full to me. Maybe it's the way I write and / or a lack of progression. Seems to work out fine, though... I've also written some longer songs with my more recent releases, so if I can do that and still keep things interesting, why not?

I guess I'm not a big fan of really long chip music albums... I also love EPs, even if they're short. As long as they're good.

Boise, ID

I used to write 2-3 minute songs, now my songs end up being like 10 minutes long and I have to cut them down :I

I enjoy longer than average songs, as long as there's enough progression and variation to keep it interesting

Liverpool, UK

Song length - 3:16 or 4:20, 6:66 for a long song.


short and sweet like haiku ☆彡

Gosford, Australia

whatever yo, depends on stuff!


Most of my songs are 1-3 minutes, but sometimes I'll write a 6 minute track that will stay in the depths of my cart forever

UK, Leicester

either 1:00-2:00 or 5:00+ but those are hella repetitive, even if I do like the way they sound

NC in the US of America

As long as it takes.

Matthew Joseph Payne

IMHYIO*, cohesiveness is far more important than length.

*I just made that up, it means "in my humble yet informed opinion".


My songs are almost always in between 1-4 minutes. I could never make anything longer, even though I try, repetition just kills the song.
I really don't have anything against album/EP length as long as it stays interesting.
Also the rule I go by, with track numbers, 1-6 songs = EP and 8-20 = album, but that's accounting for the length of my songs.

Youngstown, OH

For a long time I'd write video game-like loops which ended up being like 1 to 1 1/2 minutes before looping. Then I got tired of that and started trying to get over 3 minutes. Even if it meant tacking on a a new outro section at the end and letting it ride for 45 seconds to a minute. Now my tunes usually get up to fourish minutes and as long as the material is interesting, varied and cohesive, that's about where I'm happiest.

Brunswick, GA USA

I forget exactly when, but I try to have three major musical ideas in any song. I try to avoid having more than that (too long, break it into multiple songs or create a suite of songs) and I won't consider anything that has less than two (since one idea is the same as just taking a beat and releasing it with little embellishment.)

Within three major ideas can be three minor ideas, and that's how stuff gets long.

I am not considering the length of the song while I compose, but I've noticed from the "magic" of streaming statistics that most newcomers won't listen for more than a minute. I want to experiment with the notion of fitting three major ideas under a minute in the near future. I expect failure. wink

hardcore, Australia