Making rap beats has never been easier. Ten years ago, to make rap beats you needed a professional sound studio with lots of advanced (and expensive) sound equipment. To make rap beats today, you only need to find audio production software online for cheap or free, and you can make music on you laptop in your bedroom. One thing has not changed, however: knowing how to make rap beats still required talent, training, and practice. Many would-be laptop DJs open their audio software excited and ready to make hip-hop music, only to realize that they have absolutely no idea what to do, or even where to begin. If you're one of these people, this article will give a very brief introduction on how to make rap beats.
Step One: Before You Start
It's best to write your lyrics ahead of time, so that you know how where your song is going and how to build it. Make sure you understand the basic structure of a rap or hip hop song. Lyrical verses that are sixteen bars long is the industry standard. The instrumental hook at the beginning is commonly eight bars long. Keep this in mind when creating your rap beat.
Step Two: High Notes
The first thing you should do is set down your high tones. These are most commonly cymbals, but you can also use chimes, whistles, bells, etc. It doesn't need to be too complex. The main goal of laying out your high notes is to establish for yourself the basic tempo and BPM (beats-per-minute) that you will build your song around.
Step Three: Bass Line
Next, add your bass line, the "booms" or low tones. Using the tempo you established earlier with the high notes, flesh out the basic rhythm of your rap beat. Again, it doesn't need to be that complex-it just needs to regulate the beat of your music.
Step Four: Mid-Notes
This is where you add the various mid-notes, such as kicks and snare drums, to create the distinctive sound of your rap beat. If you want to create an intricate or complex rhythm for your song, now is your chance to do it.
Step Five: Instrumentals
By now, your rap beat should be mostly complete. Although you can still change it if you want, doing so will cause problems further down the road. It's best to make sure you're happy with your basic rap beat at this point before moving on.
So far, you just have a beat line. No matter how good it is, it is not a song. Adding instrumentals is where you add the melody of the song. For your first sixteen-bar segment, start with eight bars of pure beat, just to establish the rhythm. Then, in the next eight bars, add an instrumental hook to establish the melody and grab the listener's attention. Next, extend that instrumental melody to a full sixteen bars (the length of a lyrical verse), and loop or it for the duration of the song.
Step Six: Lyrics
Now it's time to add the lyrics. It's best if you record them while listening to your, as it will match the rhythm, melody, and energy of the music better. It's also a good idea to keep them on a separate track-that way, you can easily adjust or even replace them later quickly and easily.
Step Seven: Audio Effects (Optional)
This is the point at which the final mix of the song occurs. Use audio effects, such as reverb or echo to help establish the mood and atmosphere of your song. Adjust your equalizer settings, volume levels, speaker balance, and so on.
Remember, this is just a very brief tutorial on how to make rap beats. It's a good staring point, but if you really want to learn how to make rap beats that will get radio play, read books on music theory, take lessons from professionals, and practice, practice, practice. Just knowing the basics of how to make rap beats don't mean you know how to make rap beats for the next platinum hip hop album.
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