How Does The Beat Fit?
In this installment of Be A Better Rapper Now I discuss how to improve rap flow by establishing rhythm, I refer to this as “trying on the beat”. I like to call it trying on the beat because I think of it as trying on clothes. Every beat fits you differently just as every piece of clothing does. If you are wearing skinny jeans so tight that people know how many quarters you have in your pocket it may determine what activities you partake in that day in comparison to you wearing sweat pants ya feel me? So you will need to adapt to each beat based on how much room (time/tempo) and the fabric (feel & emotion) of the song in order to keep your style fresh and interesting. You need to find something that fits you well and that you’re comfortable flowing to that complements your style. Basically when you are trying on the beat or establishing your rhythm you’re trying to see how it fits and how well you can move around in it.
Don’t Be Predictable
When learning how to rap establishing rhythm is so important because it’s going to give you direction throughout your whole writing process allowing you to have a clear vision on what it is that you are trying to accomplish. When creating rhythms you want to create as many of them as possible so you can switch it up throughout your verses to keep it interesting to the ear. The more repetitive your rhythm is the more predictable it is to predict and can consequently cause your verses to be less interesting. So switch up your rhythm as often as possible and of course it’s totally dependent on what you feel is right for the song.
How Many Beats Are In A Bar?
When you are creating variations in your rhythm you also want to work on creating variations in your tone and volume of your voice. This will give your performance more feeling, emotion and attitude. While you are coming up with all these variations you may be afraid that you might forget them. If so simply record them on your mobile device or whatever is most convenient for you to reference to later. When you are establishing your rhythm you should be finding the quarter notes on each bar. Remember the kick usually falls on the 1st and 3rd beat of a bar and the snare usually falls on the 2nd and 4th beat of each bar. Use these as anchor points to guide you as you’re creating your rhythms. You don’t have to necessarily be speaking on top of each kick or snare but you should be in time with them. Remember 4 quarters make 1 dollar so 4 quarter notes makes 1 bar. Please don’t loose sight of what you are setting out to do. You are a drum kit and your words are mimicking the percussive elements of the beat. Every single syllable represents a hit on the drum kit. So be that drum kit and beat the breaks of it!
When you are establishing your rhythm you don’t even have to be saying real words. I often just mumble some gibberish to begin establishing my rhythm and flow as I see what feels comfortable to me for the track I’m working on. This is just laying down the foundation before you start writing. This doesn’t have to sound cool, perfect and polished. At this stage you are simply experimenting with the beat. I hope this gives you a little more insight on how to rap. Please leave a comment below on your thoughts. I would love to hear your perspective on this topic as well. If you haven’t already make sure you watch the video at the top of this page so you can have a better idea of how I am putting these techniques into practice. If you would like to stay updated on when new articles are posted & receive a free copy of my e-book entitled “The #1 Fundamental to Rapping CLICK HERE