The Most Commonly Used And Effectives Ways To End A Song

Discusses the techniques and ideas used by popular musicians in the endings of songs.

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The End. The Final Curtain. The Grand Finale. The Finish Line. However you think about it, the ending is one of the most important parts of the song. The most important thing about the ending of a song is that you finish on the root note or the note, which the scale is named after. The easiest way to end a song is just sustaining the last note but there are many other ways to end a song and I have listed some below.

Fadeout

A very commonly used technique which is a gradual decrease in volume until the song can no longer be heard. It sounds as though the music is walking away from you. Fading can be quick or slow and is usually used on guitar solos, intro's used as endings or the chorus.

Dynamics And Tempo Changes

Used in every ending to some degree. Either getting louder or softer or faster or slower. Obvious. Yes. Simple. Yes but it's what happens so I don't care if you say, "Tell us something we don't know". Anyway next point.

The Texture Of The Sound

The number of instruments you can hear playing at the end can increase to the whole band or decrease to just vocals.

Key Changes

Leading up to the ending of a song a key change may be introduced to make the melody sound different to interest the listener but not changing the notes.

There is also a technique where the music suddenly stops and you don't expect it to. It's like the music crashed into a brick wall. I don't know what its called but you get the point.

There is also that huge climatic ending usually used at live concerts where the drummer goes nuts, the guitarists use tremolo picking and strumming, the lead guitarist rips out a monster solo, the bass player wakes up out his deep sleep and would either play tremolo or follow the lead guitar and the singer would scream till his throat is sore and red! A great way to end a song and a favourite of mine. (It usually makes the hair on my back stand on end but in a good way!)

Or like a Pink Floyd album, you dont even need to end the song but just play through to the next song or play sound effects etc, just listen to one of their albums and note how they do it. It is very effective and you often wonder "Which track am I listening to now!!!" I'd also like to add that Pink Floyd are a great band and Dark Side Of The Moon is one of the best albums I've heard (As well as AC/DC's Back In Black, Green Day's American Idiot and System of a Down's Mesmerize etc)

That's all that I can think of for now, I have more than likely missed out some important and obvious ones so if you have any please post them below the article (it is my 1st article so don't be too harsh).

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    a_rush_of_blood
    SOAD? I was about to say good article but oh well.. 9 out of ten. Covered things well without being too complex.
    Riffdex
    This gradually turned from an informative article of how you can end a song, to long ramblings about Pink Floyd/etc. Don't get me wrong, if I was gonna ramble about a band, Pink Floyd would be in the top 10.
    Wickedcarny
    How could you possibly name SOAD and Greenday with Pink Floyd? DO you actually listen to music or just whats on the radio? Pink Floyd is an amazing band and have many more amazing albums besides Darkside of the moon, but SOAD and Greenday are poor examples of good music and are both horribly overrated. I wonder if people will ever stop pushing the same cliched bands over and over and discover something new.
    The Crying Orc
    congratulations. you are a jackass. why write an article if you don't at least have a firm understanding of it? and yeah, the favorite album list was a bit retarded, especially for the contents of it. and i'd like to welcome pgoose to being a jackass as well, he's earned it as much as the writer of this article. "System of a down are probably one of the greatest bands around right now" Yeah! and Bathory is going to tour next year.....
    AxeMan88uk
    ermmm a wee bit pointless, sounds a bit noobish though... and was their really any need for your fave album list at then end... (im not gonna complain at you comparing DSOTM to SOAD and Greenday... oh wait... I just did)
    tHewHiteHendrix
    darkside of the moon should be the only one on that list. love acdc but darkside is genius composing and mastering. none of those compare.
    pgoose
    SOAD? I was about to say good article but oh well.. 9 out of ten. Covered things well without being too complex.you my friend are an idiot system of a down are probably the greatest band around right now
    Spanky Lynch
    for your first one, its alrite. u should give more ideas about the ending of songs, maybe some more examples and its a little short... 6/10. And if you think that Greenday's American Idiot is up der wiv Darkside of the Moon and Back in Black, den ur horribly wrong.
    guitar_guru_28
    NOTE TO ALL: THE FOLLOWING WAS A TYPO Pink Floyd are a great band and Dark Side Of The Moon is one of the best albums I've heard (Behind AC/DC's Back In Black, Green Day's American Idiot and System of a Down's Mesmerize etc) IT SHOULD READ Pink Floyd are a great band and Dark Side Of The Moon is one of the best albums I've heard (As well as AC/DC's Back In Black, Green Day's American Idiot and System of a Down's Mesmerize etc) I typed "behind" the first time and changed it in the UG Contribution thread but it appears the article has been published with the typo. I meant to say "As well as" Back in Black etc. I am not stupid enough to think that American Idiot is better than Darkside. NO F**CKIN WAY!!! Sorry for any inconviniences caused.
    local_hippy
    what are you su*ka... yer comparng darkside of the moon with americon idot.are ya nuts..and do you watch 30 seconds to fame..30 seconds wud be the approximate time to write dis artile...1 outa 10
    greensand
    what about the 5 seconds it took you to type that? I wouldn't say the article was pointless.. it's just basically stuff anyone who listens to music already knows!