Mixtapes are a huge part of the hiphop genre and have been a known tradition since the emergence of the genre.
If you’re thinking about dropping a mixtape many questions usually arise and one of those pertains to how many songs you should put on the mixtape.
This actually is dependent on what you want to achieve, therefore your approach should be based on this.
Now I know you’re wondering where I’m going with this. With that said,
How many songs should you actually put on your mixtape?
The minimum number of songs you should put on a mixtape are 10 tracks, the maximum being 20. If you have full length songs with a duration longer than 3 minutes songs then you might want to consider having around 10 to 12 songs. However if you have a mixture of short songs and longer songs then 15 to 20 can work well for you.
But then again, this all depends on the artist and what kind of music they do.
As a guideline I’d call any song under 2 minutes short. So decide on how many records to put on your mixtape by taking into account the duration of the songs you plan of having on the project.
Points to Consider when determining Mixtape length
Genre is one of the things that has to be heavily considered when figuring out the length of your mixtape.
For certain genres like EDM, you don’t really need a lot of tracks on your mixtape.
Most of the EDM mixtape projects that have been put out usually consist of less than 10 songs. Which says a lot about the genre.
Other genres on the other hand like Hiphop have been known to have mixtapes consisting of even more than 20 tracks.
So you have to take consideration of this.
However, you can experiment with the number of tracks that you could put on your mixtape depending on your genre but I think 10 is a good bet.
I say 10 because it’s a solid number and gives the audience enough material to take them on a journey.
Your audience is another heavy key factor that you have to account for and this pretty much stems from the genre you’re in.
Depending on your audience and the content you’ve been giving to them, you’ll structure and determine length according to this.
This is where analytics can play a huge part, if you have music on streaming platforms you can easily dig into your reports and find all the necessary data.
You can look at your previous releases and check the number of streams you get from the first track to your last track.
For example, If you have more streams on the 5 first tracks on your previous release that have a lot of streams that decrease as you go beyond track 5, then you now have an idea of your audience’s attention span…and you can turn know that a 5 track mixtape can be well received and can do numbers.
Such information can be very useful that’s why I recommend using Soundrop for distribution because they send very detailed reports that can help you understand your audience better.
Your prepared tracks
Another key factor in determining how many tracks to put on your mixtape is the number of tracks you have prepared.
If you have a lot of recorded material that you’ll never use on album then compiling them and putting them on a mixtape can be a great way to make use of them rather than have them sitting on your computer.
You can then decide depending on your prepared material on how many tracks you want on your mixtape.
For example, if you find yourself with 20 tracks that are prepared won’t ever be used on an album.
You can decide to either release a 20 track mixtape or two 10 track mixtapes. In such a situation you can even go as far as releasing one 10 track mixtapes and two 5 track EP’s.
Therefore the amount of music you have should be a determining factor on the overall number of songs you end up with on your mixtape.
This probably the most important point of them all.
The overall goal you have for your mixtape should very much affect how many records you put on it.
If you’re looking to prove a point, you might as well have more than 10 tracks on your mixtape.
If your goal is to provide immense value to your audience so they can reciprocate it to you when you release an album.
Then you might wanna have a good number of tracks on the mixtape, possibly 15 or around that number.
All in all my point is, every release should be for some specific goal and based on that goal.
In which case all other decisions like the number of tracks can be extracted from the specifications of the goal or goals.