Rhythm Secrets For Rappers | Beats Within Beats

In today’s video I’m going to be sharing one of my favorite rhythm secrets for rappers.

You likely already know that one of the keys to making your raps sound good is by rapping on beat.

And beats are simply the division of a bar into 4 even pieces. The 1st beat, the 2nd beat, the 3rd beat, and the 4th beat. These beats can also be called quarter notes because each beat takes up 1 quarter of a bar.


In rap instrumentals kick drums typically land on the 1st and 3rd beat and snares typically land on the 2nd and 4th beat.

However, in trap beats, there’s usually only 1 kick and 1 snare per bar. And the kick typically lands on the 1st beat and the snare lands on the 3rd beat. This is because we often use a double-time tempo for trap beats. If you wish to get a deeper understanding of this watch my video called Trap Beats and Double Time explained.

In today’s lesson, I’m using a Trap style instrumental that I produced called “Bounty Hunter” so all of today’s examples will be in double time. If you like this instrumental you can get it here.


If you land one of your syllables on these 4 beats it’s going to sound great!


But what about all of your syllables that land in between each of these beats? Where should those syllables land?

Well, they should land on beat as well.

But I know you’re scratching your head wondering “how can they land on a beat, if you’re landing in between beats?”

Well, I like to think of their being beats in between beats and I call these “Sub Beats” And if you land on these Sub Beats your lyrics will sound great as well!


Let’s rewind for just a moment.

I just said that the way we get our beats within each bar is by division. We divide 1 bar into 4 even sections and that’s what we call beats or quarter notes.

But you can also divide each beat into even sections which will give you Sub Beats for your syllables to land on which will make your lyrics sound great because they’re even divisions of a bar.


For example, we can take each beat and divide them in half. These are called 8th notes because you can fit a total of 8 of them in 1 bar. So we now have one 8th note/ Sub Beat in between each beat represented by the word “an”.

If you place your syllables on these Sub Beats it’s going to sound great! 

Get familiar with these Sub Beats and practice landing on the 2nd 8th note of each beat by saying the entire 8 count first and then remove all the numbers leaving only the “An’s”.


Now we can apply this same concept of unlocking more Sub Beats by dividing each 8th note in half. And these are called 16th notes. You know why? Exactly! Because you get them by dividing a bar into 16 even sections.

Now you’ve got three 16th note Sub Beats that you can land on in between each beat and it’s going to sound great!

Get more familiar with landing on each of the four 16th notes within each beat by doing the following exercise.


Start of with doing the 16 count by filling in each beat by saying the beat number followed by “you be duh”


Now remove all the numbers saying only “you be duh” right after each beat. Make sure you’re saying each syllable in even lengths!


Now remove the “you” from each beat leaving only “be duh”. This is occupying the same exact amount of space as our inbetween “an” 8th note drill earlier but now where you’re using two 16th notes. 


Now practice removing the “be” from each beat only leaving the “duh”. Also start saying each beat number again so that you get a good sense of how close this 16th note is to the beat. 

Rappers love leading into beats this way because it feels so aggressive! 


Now let’s push it to the limit!

Now that you know how to land on all four 16th notes within each beat let’s divide each of our “duh” 16th notes in half which gives us two 32nd notes! 

These are really short and fast notes! Rappers typically use 32nd notes for short periods of time to get that drum roll effect on their words.

Now Since you can divide each 16th note into two 32nd notes, that gives you 7 different sub beats you can land on in between each beat and it’s going to sound great!


Now that you understand how to unlock all these Sub Beats play around with using different combinations of 8th, 16th and 32nd notes to create a dope rap cadence. For example.

And If you’re wanting to build off today’s lesson and continue to improve your rap flow I highly recommend you take my FREE rap course on YouTube called “5 Minutes To A Better Rap Flow” 

My name is Cole Mize with ColeMizeStudios.com 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”.

And always remember, when it comes to rapping, there’s no rules, there’s only techniques. Peace!

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