How To Fit Rap Lyrics To A Beat | The Science of Structuring Rap Lyrics

When most people first start learning to rap, they typically focus on writing first because it’s what already makes sense to them. But they quickly realize that their lyrics don’t sound so good over the instrumental. Well, today I’m going to help you fix that by showing you how to fit your rap lyrics to a beat by understanding the science of structuring rap lyrics.

Today I’m going to be using an instrumental that I produced called Chillax, if you like this beat and want to support the channel you can purchase it over on my beat store.

Syllable Count

Now when it comes to structuring your rap lyrics, the main thing you need to check is how many syllables are you trying to fit into one bar? This will likely be determined by where you are placing your end rhyme which is often times around the 4th beat which is typically where the 2nd snare lands on each bar.

There are typically two snares per bar which land on the 2nd and 4th beat, and the 4th beat is usually where we place the 1st rhyme of our scheme. If you’re not sure what a snare sounds like here’s a quick demo.

Too Many Syllables

Newer rappers will usually place too many syllables in a bar which causes their words to get slurred and jumbled up.

I commend you for ya desire to learn to rap

I know it can be frustrating when your lyrics don’t really snap (16 syllables)

Not Enough Syllables

Or rappers won’t have enough syllables in a bar so they stretch some of their words out too long in their efforts to fill the bar in more and push their rhyme to the 4th beat.

I commend you for ya desire to learn to rap

It sucks when lyrics don’t snap (7 syllables)

The Smallest amount of syllables

There is no set amount of syllables that you must use for each bar but there are some good general numbers to shoot for. On the low end, you could use as little as 6 to 8 syllables with some pauses to fill in the bar instead of only stretching words out to make it sound good.

I commend you for ya desire to learn to rap

Once you start don’t look back (6 syllables)

The Largest Amount of syllables

On the high end try to keep your max syllable count to around 10-13 syllables per bar.

I commend you for ya desire to learn to rap

Once you embark on your music journey don’t look back (13 syllables)

Leaving Flex Space

Now you could fit more than 13 syllables in a bar, especially if you’re trying to rap really fast by using 32nd notes but 13 syllables is a good general number to shoot for on the high end but it’s not a rule!

The reason I say 13 syllables is a good amount is because rappers typically use 16th notes more than any other rhythmic music note. And you can fit a total of sixteen 16th notes per bar, which is four 16th notes per beat.

But here’s the thing, all syllables aren’t the same length. For example, the word “no” is shorter than the word “breathe”. So if you were to use a max of 13 syllables in a bar you’re leaving yourself enough room to use up to three 8th notes for either your “longer/stressed” syllables, or you can use this flex space to breathe. 

And please remember, when you’re structuring your rap lyrics over the instrumental, you don’t have to be this analytical about everything. Most of us rappers are doing this strictly by ear, and you only need to be analytical if you’re struggling to solve an issue.


I hope this video helped you gain a deeper understanding of the science of rap, if it did, be sure to let me know in the comments section below and smash that like button!

The #1 Fundamental To Rapping

My name is Cole Mize with where I strive to make you a better rapper now. If you’re trying to perfect your rap skills make sure you get yourself a FREE copy of my eBook the #1 fundamental to rapping below. And always remember, when it comes to rapping, there’s no rules, there’s only techniques! Peace!

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