What's your ideal song time length?


Country Gent
May 20, 2019
Brisbane, Australia
Was listening to youtube on the way to work and a song came on with a massively long video clip for 3.5 minute song, so it made me think about putting this question up.

So what is your ideal song time length? whether it be listening to or writing?

Me personally, I am good for 3.5/4 minutes otherwise I start to loose interest, don't get me wrong there are a few songs that I don't mind and will listen too that go for 9-10 minutes but not many.

What are your thoughts?


Aug 28, 2011
First define what is a song

If pop depends on the song - is it just a simple hook - verse same as chorus - no bridge

So anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour and a half

Echos by Floyd

Bruckner's 8th Symphony 3rd movement

Hey Jude is too long as it is repetitious

some jazz numbers are an hour and a half long - Davis, Taylor, Sun Ra, etc


Aug 11, 2020
Years ago, I always wanted to write that.....magnum opus song.....the "Thick as a Brick" ala Tull, or more realistically, "Stairway to Heaven" ala Zep, or "The End" ala Doors.....

But....lately, whether it's recording covers with a friend, or playing for some folks......I prefer ridiculously short songs....2:30 or under....that "kick you in the face" from the get go, and it's over.......leave people wanting more, rather than wishing you'd wrapped it up ten minutes ago....lol


Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
Monkey Island
Depends. I'm fine with a 2 min Ramones song, but some songs by Queen or Led Zeppelin wouldn't have worked if they were cut any shorter. Bohemian Rhapsody is about 6 min and Stairway to Heaven is closer to 8.


Country Gent
Jun 11, 2015
Portland, OR
Hey Jude is too long as it is repetitious

Couldn't agree more, one of my least favorite Beatles songs for that exact reason.

I remember when In-A-Gadda-da-Vida came out. OMG! It took up the whole album side! 17 minutes! Brilliant ... or so I thought so as an 11 year old. I still like it 50+ years later, great fuzz guitar tune.

Guided By Voices has a ton of really short songs - lots of them under a minute. Robert Pollard seems to subscribe to that Talking Heads philosophy: Say it once, why say it again!?

I don't mind a long tune if it's not repetitious. It can't be like Hey Jude - just drawing out the chorus out over and over. There's certainly enough prog rock stuff out there that works as long pieces.

But otherwise, yeah - for my own playing, I stick to that 2-4 minute range most of the time. That's long enough to cover a musical idea and make it stick.

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Country Gent
Do kids nowadays write lyrics?
I thought it was all just a hook.

Watching late shows, rarely is the closing musical act anything I even remember DURING the performance, let alone afterward.

You don’t need long tunes for a song that doesn’t evolve, especially lyrically. Crimson & Clover. Over & Over & Over & Over.

OK. They wrote this 40 or 50 years ago, too.
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