Transitions and fills can be defined as passages, riffs, rhythmic sections or sounds that connect contiguous musical sections together. You will have heard many of them - indeed, there was probably at least one in the last song you listened to, whether it was a smooth segue between verse and chorus, or an attention-grabbing fill before a drop.
Placing a crash cymbal on beat 1, muting track elements and inserting crazy drum fills are just three ways to join disparate sections of a song, but arrangement-bridging methods come in a vast array of forms, depending on the context in which they're used - especially as new plugins emerge and techniques evolve.
Having said that, there are many tried-and-true methods that, when employed correctly, never fail to connect with the listener - and we're going to show you ten of them here.
Our examples are by no means exhaustive, and we're certainly not trying to suggest that there's any 'one-size-fits-all' approach, as every track and situation is different. Rather, we're demonstrating a variety of ways in which you can bridge the gaps between separate sections in your tracks.
What's more, these techniques aren't at all genre-specific, so you can follow along and brush up on your arrangements no matter what style you're producing.
You'll find tutorial videos for all of our tips with issue 208 of Computer Music magazine, which is on sale now.