Have you recently embarked on your musical journey in hopes of one day becoming a “Rap God”? Just like any other trip you may take, you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take you to reach your destination. Well, after reading this article you will certainly have a better understanding of how long it actually takes to get good at rapping. Let’s get straight to it!
I have been personally training and developing rappers 1 on 1 via my coaching service for the past 3 years and I’ve certainly noticed that some of my students grow faster than others.
As a teacher, I asked myself, “why is this happening?”. To be quite honest it was bothering me because once someone pays me to train them I take ownership and responsibility for their growth as a rapper very serious. Teaching is something I’m very passionate about and I love to see my students grow.
Well, after I did a little investigating I figured it out! Have you ever struggled to understand something but once you did you were like, “duh! Why didn’t I already think of that?” Yeah, it was one of those kinds of moments. lol!
What I realized was my students that were growing the fastest were putting in more practice hours on a weekly basis than the ones who were not seeing much improvement.
Here are some numbers for you. My students that were growing the fastest were practicing for 10-15 hrs a week. Which is about 2-3 hrs per day!
My students who were seeing very little improvement were only spending about 2-3 hrs per week!
It has been said that it takes about 10,000 hours to master something.
If this is true, if you practiced rapping for 3 hours a day it would take you around 3,333 days to master your rap skills which is a little over 9 years.
Keep in mind, that is to “Master” rapping, like at a “Rap God” level. However, if you’re putting in 3 hours of practice a day It won’t take you long to get “good” at rapping.
How Long Did It Take Me?
I’m going to show my age a bit.
I started rapping as a kid in 1996. It was just something fun I was playing around with. It wasn’t something I was doing on a daily basis. However, I would listen to a lot of rap music and whenever I felt the urge, I would try and pen together some rhymes.
It wasn’t until about 4 years later when I got into high school that I started to take rapping more serious. This was mainly because up until that point I didn’t know any other rappers so I was working in complete isolation. Take note!
In high school, I started recording local rappers who I was a fan of and who were better than me at the time. I was still somewhat of an undercover rapper but it didn’t take long for them to figure out my secret.
Next thing you know, I’m asked to join a rap group and on average we would spend 3-4 hours easy every day after school working on music.
After I graduated the daily time spent rapping increased even more and so did my skills! I remember there were plenty of days were one of my fellow rap members would wake me up by knocking on my window at 6 am and we would be working on music all the way until midnight.
The Cause Of Growth
It was during this era of me being in this rap group (4-5 years) where I saw my biggest growth as a rapper in the shortest amount of time. And this was for two main reasons.
- I was no longer working in isolation and was forced to acknowledge that my rap skills were not as good as those around me. This gave me a reference point of what skill level I needed to reach so I wouldn’t feel like I was ruining the songs that I was featured on. It was a healthy amount of pressure that pushed me to work harder on my rap skills.
- I began rapping for at least and I do mean bare minimum, 2-3 hours per day for about 4-5 years
Getting Results Quickly
But here’s the thing, once I started putting in those amount of hours per day, I started noticing my rap gains rather quickly which is what gave me the drive to keep going harder! With that being said, everyone is going to grow at different paces for different reasons. Here are a few…
- Everyone doesn’t have the same amount of free time per day to practice.
- Some people have a stronger drive or passion for rapping than others and therefore dedicate more time to it.
- Some people already have some sort of musical experience coming into rap which gives them a musical advantage.
- I’ve also found people who listen to a lot of music, often, tend to learn how to rap faster. This is because they have learned a lot of their favorite songs which is the equivalent to music practice.
So regardless of where you are at on your musical journey just know that the more miles you cover per day, the quicker you will reach your destination.
But there’s no need to rush! A journey isn’t about reaching your destination as quickly as possible. It’s also about your traveling experience. This isn’t a race, it’s a marathon and the people who reach that “Rap God” status has been rapping for 8+ years! I’ve been rapping for over 20 years! And guess what? I’m still learning!
So don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. If you’re putting 10-15 hrs of practice in per week you’re going to start seeing “rap gains” rather quickly. But the key isn’t just practicing, it’s about practicing the right things!
And the number one thing I recommend anyone practice when they’re first starting off rapping is Ear Training and Rhythm. And lucky for you I’ve already put together a free mini-course for you called “5 Minutes To A Better Rap Flow”. If you haven’t already, be sure to check it out! It’s going to help you out a lot!
The most important thing I can leave you with is this. The reason you’re rapping in the first place is very important. If you have a true love and passion for rapping then that will help you endure the bumps in the road you will encounter throughout your journey. If you love something you will sacrifice your time for it. You will stick with it through the toughest of times. And you will love it simply for what it is and not just what you hope comes with it such as fame and money etc. The key to mastering anything in life is passion, patience, and consistency!
Let’s take my personal example in working with Cole. I did regular private lessons, one session per week for two years. Two years to go from absolute ZERO, meaning – not knowing anything about rap or how to do it, not knowing technique, breathing, how to structure cadences, to my first professionally-produced track “Psycho,” which you can listen to here: https://soundcloud.com/liberator-rapper/psycho .
24 months from nothing to being a pro-produced rapper is an incredible, if not unheard of skill-development speed, and it all boils down to quality instruction vs. trying to figure it out yourself. There are so many things that new rappers (including myself) get wrong or backwards, such as trying to write content prior to cadences, not knowing how to scat or breathing technique, that will sabotage your results.
Anything worth doing is worth investing in quality instruction, it’s as simple as that.
Yo Devin, you are a perfect example of what is being talked about in this article. I’m still amazed at how fast you improved with my guidance! I’m really proud of you bro and I’m grateful to have been able to take part in your growth as an artist! Much respect! 🙂
Why did you mention that your students who remember songs learned faster??? can you please explain ?
Hey Devin, by learning songs they’ve already been training their ears musically so technically they were already practicing music before they began rapping. Hope this helps clarify things for you. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂 – Cole Mize
There are a lot of things to keep track of when you’re first starting out: vocal tone, character, energy, breath, etc – if your lines aren’t memorized it’s hard to pay attention to the quality of other things.
Cole I love this article you covered everything I’ve been arguing with my brother about , he’s been encouraging me to venture this out of my comfort zone nd I am certain there’s more to go before I am at a comfort level to expose my craft.
I read this to him word for word so it couldn’t have been delivered at a better time literally Wednesday night we were having this discussion. TOPIC on point as always ??
And If I’m never sure about something I always refer back to your tutorials, you are not forgotten, your material absolutely thankful for?
Before, I never took into account the fact that rapping practice could consume about 3 to 4 hours a day. Now that you mentioned it, I couldn’t imagine the number of hours one needs to be truly skilled in that. If someone I know will be getting into that and does not have an idea how long does it take to get honed in rapping, I will definitely let him take a look at your post to give him an idea and to make him believe that.
hi cole I find your work awesome! I have been a rap fan since I came out the womb and just started trying to make my own stuff I know you are a busy guy but id love if I could take maybe 15 min of your time to show you what I can do and get some of your guidance.
Thanks for the inspiration! I’m just starting and have been a little discouraged lately thinking about natural talent vs delusional hard work and realizing I’m not very good at all and whether or not it’s really possible for me to ever be good at rapping. Reading this made me remember that you could do almost anything as long as you’re passionate and put enough time into it. Thanks!
I’m glad this was helpful Jacob! Thanks for the kind word as well! Keep up the hard work! You got this! 🙂 – Cole Mize
really appreciate thank you
I tend to get this feeling in me where this rap thing isn’t for me, mainly because my voice and my anxiety, but at times, I have this huge energy to write so much and it sounds great, but I get lost in the moment and I spend less then a hour every 2 days on writing, which is horrible.
Hey cole i am new to learn rap. and i am following your” be a better rap folw ” videos. Thats very good . But please tell me cole how many time in one day we have to give in rapping so that for better result and be a very good rapper. Please mention years and time to practice for one day .
Good that this guy didn’t say 20 or 40 yrs. A demotivating article I’ve ever seen.
Great to read this man. I’ll come back here when I make it.
This boy is trippin. I’ve been freestyle for a little over a year and I can keep a flow, rhyme, and make sense. I spend less than 2 hours a day practicing.
Great fan of your work Cole.