How To Rap: Without Training Wheels

Once The Beat Drops 

When you are learning how to rap one thing that may not have crossed your mind is what do you do once the beat drops? Meaning if when you are rapping you are trying to stay to the rhythm of the drums then what do you do once the drums are muted during certain segments of the track? Think of the drums like training wheels but you don’t have to have them in order to ride the beat. For this exercise let’s just eliminate the drums all together…who need em anyways?

Two Sections

The first thing that I like to do when I am approaching a beat is I start studying what the instrumental is made up of. Typically there are two main sections to any music which is broken up into rhythm and melody based instruments. Melodic instrument notes are typically sustained while rhythmic instruments are more like short and repetitive hits. Apart from percussion, depending on how instruments are played will determine if they are in the rhythm or melody category.

It’s All In The Baseline

When a singer is approaching a track, he or she is going to be listening to find out what key the song is in. When a rapper is listening to a track, he or she is listening to find out what tempo the song is in. However, if you are able to find the baseline in the song it will most likely give you all the information that singers, rappers or producers would need. Because bass lines are quite often rhythm based while also holding the tonic notes for which the song is built off of.

Removing The Training Wheels

So if you study the baseline carefully you should be able to identify the ending and beginning of the bar. Then you can figure out the 4 count, then double it into an 8 count and then triple it into a 16 count. This is giving you an idea of what kind of cadences you can come up with. Now I know that not all songs have bass lines and of course, most beats have drums but this technique can be applied to any instrument within any beat. Knowing how to keep your rhythm regardless if drums are playing is crucial. Think of drums as training wheels but you have truly learned to ride the beat once you remove the drums and it doesn’t affect your rhythm.

How Did I Do?

Did you find this article helpful? Have questions or comments? Please drop you 2 cents in the comments section below and I will get right back to you.

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