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Top 5 Instruments in Dance Music

| September 26, 2016

Dance music has an amazing flexibility to it. Any kind of musical instrument can be repurposed to make an incredible danceable sound. Throughout the years producers have experimented to see what could be made. 

We've reached a point where if done correctly, any instrument can be a fundamental part of dance music. That includes either being used in a live show or the original creation of a song. Here are the top five instruments being used in dance music today. 

5. Electric Guitar

What was once the core staple of rock music has spread into dance. There's just something about the shrill licks of a guitar that make it a perfect accompaniment to other sounds. 

There was always the potential for great dance music to be made from some electric shredding. Jimi Hendrix's legendary riffs could be danced to with ease. Come on baby light my fire, don't leave that guitar out of the rhythm.

Zhu's live show comes to mind as a guitarist worked the stage, bringing the National Anthem to life. There's still limitless potential for the electric guitar to unlock.

4. Drum Machines & Pad

A rhythmic backbone of the beat, is the drum. Drum machines and pads carry all of the unique kicks, thumps, and booms you could dream of. It's all packed into the machine to create that foundation. 

Sequencing thousands of different cultural beats and mixing and mashing is the basis for countless genres. The drum machine is a mainstay in the studio and on the stage. Artists like Disclosure, Keys N Krates, and Porter Robinson use live drums to bang out that emotion in each percussive hit. 

3. Sampler

Button pushing taken to the next level. Sprawled across a rectangular box are buttons galore. To the uninitiated, it looks like some kind of foreign technical control mechanism. 

For the enlightened, this sampler holds anything you could dream of pushing into an abbreviated sample. In the right hands, a sampler can transform a song on the go in an instant. It's the perfect live remix tool, while having an undoubtable quality to having it in the studio. 

2. Saxophone

It looks like those middle school practice lessons paid off. The saxophone is sweeping the dance scene. It's had a revival that hasn't been seen since the 1980s.

A saxophone has an undeniably ironic sexiness to it. Where would we be without that seductive saxophone chorus and in all of its brass glory. A live component gets the crowd moving and performers sweating. It's synthesized backdrop is the cause for Trap music and it takes its roots from Jazz. The Saxophone is a welcomed addition to dance. 

1. Synthesizer

The synthesizer laid out anyway you want it, on a full length grand piano mock up or down to guitar keyboard. Fit it in your bag or lay it out on stage. The synthesizer is the Godhead of dance music. Samples taken from the keys reverberate across almost every popular dance song.

Chord progressions painstakingly created in dim lit studios make their way to the main stage. Some musicians decide to bring the instrument on stage. Synthesizers possess other-worldly sounds, by being able to capture natural sounds and synthesize them into some else entirely. Synths are the premiere instrument and one of the top instruments in dance.

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