Advanced Rhythm Techniques For Rappers: PART 1



Are you a rapper that’s able to stay on beat very well, but you struggle to stay on beat during parts of the instrumental where there are no drums?

If that’s you then hang tight because today I’m going to show you 3 ways you can overcome this issue so that you never feel like you can only rap over certain parts of the instrumental.

If you still struggle to stay on beat while drums are playing or aren’t even sure what the heck beats are to “stay on” then be sure to watch my video lesson called Establishing Rhythm Part 3 which will cover all the basics you will need before applying the techniques that I teach in this video.

BODY MOVEMENT

If you’re able to maintain steady body movement during parts of the instrumental that have drums then you should be able to maintain that same body movement during parts of the instrumental which don’t have drums, which will allow you to stay on beat.

But if you notice that your body movement tends to fall apart during parts of the instrumental without drums then that’s likely a sign that you haven’t developed enough confidence in your body movement and you’re relying too much on the drums to keep you on beat.

BARS ARE ALWAYS THE SAME LENGTH

Always remember a “Bar” is a musical measurement. Just like a “Mile” or a “Kilometer” is a measurement in the real world. The length of a bar never changes. It’s always the same length (4 beats). But the amount of time it takes you to drive a mile in a car will be determined by how fast you drive or your Miles Per Hour. 

The same is true in music. In music, your speed or “Miles Per Hour” is called Tempo or BPM (beat per minute). So for example you will travel across a bar much faster at 95 BPM than you would 65 BPM. 

So while your speed will factor in how much time it takes to travel across a bar, what never changes is the length of the bar which is 4 Beats. And each Beat is an equal amount of space from each other. Because the 4 Beats are dividing the bar up into 4 even sections.

#1 COUNTING ACAPELLA

To build up confidence in your body movement, try counting each beat within each bar for 4 bars without any music. This will test your ability to measure even distances between each beat for an extended period of time without any outside help. I like to do this by nodding my head to the beat, while clapping on beat, and saying the number of each beat.

#2 CHANGING GEARS

Once you feel comfortable doing this try switching up your tempo (speed) after 4 bars to go faster or slower and see if you’re able to maintain an even distance between each beat.

#3 JUGGLING

One final way to test how confident you are with your body movement is to try doing the same exercise but this time don’t worry about counting the beats out loud with your mouth or keep track of how many bars you’ve done. Instead, just keep track of the beats with your body movement while talking about something random such as what you’re planning to do in the near future.

This practice drill will test your ability to juggle two things at once which is essentially what you’re doing while you’re rapping. The entire time you’re rapping you must also be keeping count with your body movement. That way you never lose track of the beats and if there are parts of the instrumental where all the drums drop off you will have much more confidence going into those sections and maintaining your rhythm throughout them.

MUSCLE MEMORY

Don’t be discouraged if you struggle a bit doing this exercise. At first, it may feel like your left and right brain are going opposite directions from each other. But keep practicing because eventually you will build up the muscle memory from your body movement and it will become as second nature as tying your shoes or driving a car.

QUESTION

Are you a rapper that struggles with rapping over parts of instrumentals that don’t have drums? Did you struggle with any of the practice drills that I showed in this lesson? Do you think any of these tips will be helpful to you? If so, which ones?

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