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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)?

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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.

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California

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.

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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.

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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

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Liverpool, UK

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

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short and sweet like haiku ☆彡

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Gosford, Australia

whatever yo, depends on stuff!

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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

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UK, Leicester

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

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NC in the US of America

As long as it takes.

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Matthew Joseph Payne

IMHYIO*, cohesiveness is far more important than length.



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

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Montana

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.

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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.

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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

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hardcore, Australia

4:20 LOLOLOLOLOL BLAZE IT LOL