A dance track is all about energy and emotion. To get that type of emotion on your tracks there are some essential elements your track must have. If you want to make a powerful EDM track you really need to include these elements in your track.
Catchy Melody In EDM
To start things out it is important to know that a dance track needs to have a catchy melody that people will be attracted to and feel emotion from. They melody of a dance track sets the emotion for the track. Different chord progressions and notes give different feelings such as happy, inspirational, sad, powerful, etc. The melody combined with chord progression will drive those feelings.
Repetition In EDM
EDM is built on repetition. This means your writing must be very likeable. Listeners should get a great sense of emotion listening to an EDM Track.
With EDM it is important to create uplifting sounds.Something that sounds epic, makes them want to move, gives them chills, and excitement. Without that the repetition part of EDM can become bland to the listener. But with the right melody and groove repetition makes the listener love the track. The melody gets stuck in there head and they want to move to it.
Anticipation in EDM
A dance track will also have various elements of building up and coming down and these build ups and anticipation are an extemely important part of the overall EDM track structure. To get the build up effect you need for an EDM track you have to find ways to create anticipation. You want the listener to anticipate that amazing break they are about to hear. You want them to get a feeling that main loop of the song is about to drop as you build things up.
To build anticipation you start slow and simple. Slowly add in elements as you build your way to the next part of your track. This can be done with various types of percussion, snare rolls, basslines, adding more synth parts, etc. It is all about building up to that next part. You can also use volume pans and filters to get a build up effect.
Emphasis And Impact In EDM
Emphasis is about making an impact when your track transitions. An easy way to emphasize your parts as you transition is using what I like to call a drop out effect. For example, you might drop the bass out during a fill right before the transition. This makes the next part of the track hit hard when the bass comes back in.
Another thing to experiment with is impact samples that hit on the first beat after your build up. This can make the first beat of the next part really hit hard. Many people try to do this with a bass sound. However, I have found that impacts with more high end and punch have a more dramatic effect.
All of these elements will help you make a powerful EDM track. While some of them sound simple they are often overlooked or not focused on enough. People are more concerned with making that insane drum loop, or technical lead and forget the small essential pieces that make an EDM track powerful.