So you’ve written some dope lyrics to some nice cadences only to discover that your vocals sound like hot garbage! Stop beating yourself up and lend me your attention momentarily as I share my thoughts on how you can improve your rap voice. I have much to cover so let’s cut the crap and get straight to it!
Why does your rap voice suck?
I would be doing you a disservice to answer such a loaded question with a simple answer since there could be a multitude of factors contributing to your rap voice sounding less than ideal. So this will be one of several articles I will write covering this in depth topic starting from the most obvious issues to the not so obvious ones. You will certainly find one or more of the following points to be your issue. If you follow the solutions I provide you’ll be well on your way to getting your rap voice to sound much more polished and pleasing to the ear. Now let’s explore what one of the major culprits are!
Lack of Emotions
When you write lyrics down they are simply just lyrics but when you start rapping them you need to bring them to life! This is the process of converting text you’ve written into a vocal performance which is known as delivery. Delivery is simply the manner in which you are delivering your cadences and lyrics with character, personality, feeling and emotion.
Think of this as what an actor does with their script. They practice their lines over and over again while saying them with different vocal tones and energy to ensure the meaning and intent behind the lyrics are effectively being conveyed with their voice.
If you feel like your rap voice is lacking emotions ask yourself what your song is about? What emotions are you getting from the music? What emotions did you feel when you was writing the song? What emotions do you feel will accurately represent the intent and meaning behind the lyrics? What do you want the listener to feel when they hear your song for the first time?
Emotions just like our everyday lives are dynamic. Everyday isn’t sunshine and rainbows and we all have ups and downs. Think of your emotions in a song in the same manner. Your emotions can change as often throughout the course of a single song as you feel is necessary to compliment the lyrics.
In fact our vocal tones naturally adjust with our emotions while we engage in our daily conversations. However it can be kind of weird rapping your lyrics with some of those same emotions because you likely may not feel those emotions in that moment.
Being A Performer
However this is precisely what a performance actually is; rehearsed actions and behaviors that we’ve disciplined ourselves to memorize so we can perform them with consistent results. No different than perfecting your jump shot on the basketball court, mastering that hard level on a video game or learning your rap cadences so that you can flow like water.
Start trying to transfer the natural vocal fluctuations you experience from your everyday conversations into your rap delivery. Have fun and experiment with over exaggerating your emotions to see what you come up with. Study your favorite rappers and take note of how their vocal tones change throughout their song along with the differences of emotions from one of their songs to the next.
Make note of all the different emotions you can think of and practice acting them out. Here’s just a few to get you started; happy, sad, bored, cocky, humble, confused, humerus, psychotic, mellow, crunk, upset, flirty, disgusted, sincere, deceitful, passionate and angry. Also consider learning more about acting by searching YouTube for tutorials or seeing if there are any local workshops in your area.
Too Much Emotions
Yes there is a such thing as too much emotions! The reason we usually consider someone to be a bad actor is because they over exaggerate their emotions too much and it comes across as being fake and unnatural. Sometimes less is more so always keep that in mind when you’re trying to apply some polish to your rap voice.
Your voice is an instrument and just like all instruments there are limitations. Start with what I like to refer to as a baseline. This is where your natural vocal tone sits at and then gradually go up from there until you hit a sweet spot. Consider recording yourself doing multiple takes if possible so you can compare and contrast them together to see what you love and what you can improve on. This may take a little experimenting and practice just like learning any other instrument and that’s perfectly fine.
Check out the next article in this series How To Improve Your Rap Voice With Control
How Did I Do?
Did you find this article helpful? Have a question? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!