So You Wanna Make Your Own Rap Beats?

So You Wanna Make Your Own Rap Beats?

So you wanna make your own rap beats do ya? Well, welcome to the club. Music-making has expanded greatly over the years and now just about anybody can jump and get involved in the game without much damage to your wallet. Here’s my guide for anybody looking to start laying down some magic with some tips on how you can make your own rap beats.

 

All You Need is…

A lot of people wonder exactly what it takes to get started and that has become one of the easiest things to do when it comes to digital music production. Yes, a digital audio workstation (remember…DAW for short) is comprised of many different components including monitors, an audio interface and a microphone and stuff, but when you break it down, a laptop and beatCubase Sampler Track Screenshot making software is all you need to get yourself off the ground.

You don’t even need to start off with the most high-end platform available too. Reason, Cubase (pictured) and even good old names like FL Studio and Magix Music Maker are perfect for anyone trying to get to grips with their new found craft. Most of them will even allow you to use your own computer keyboard as a piano keyboard, typically turning keys A-K into their own octave of black & white. You’ll want more as you advance but for a start, that’s basically it.

 

There’s More Than One Kind of Music…

Don’t limit yourself by only listening to Hip-Hop. The world is full of all kinds of genres of music and it comes in all different shapes and sizes (err…metaphorically speaking). So take the time to listen to other artists that you wouldn’t normally find on your playlist. From dancehall to EDM (Electronic Dance Music…just in case) to rock and even classical. It doesn’t even need to be from this decade. Personally, I find myself often going back to the 90’s.

My age only had a single digit back then so I love to take a trip back to that era and listen to what was “hot” back then. And once you’ve found something new I guarantee you can dig deeper into the many sub-genres that stem from it. Metal isn’t as black and white as it was 60 years ago and the same could be said for EDM (formally known as Disco…like, for real!). People are out there coming up with brand new combinations every day and you might just end up being one of them.

I try to soak in a few acts that combine rap and hip-hop with their sound. Bands like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, even Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

 

Split Your Focus…

Try to avoid what I like to call: The Tunnel effect. You can easily find yourself stuck trying to perfect one particular aspect of your song that you desperately try to get right, only to wind up frustrated and annoyed, filled with self-doubt and ready to throw away what you once believed was your next masterpiece. Pretty soon the art you once enjoyed will start to feel like a gigantic creative chore (and we don’t want that, do we?). If you’re like me then you got into this for the love of creating music (right?) so let’s not let that fade away.

Split your focus between On The Grind - How To Make Hip-Hop.com3 or 4 projects at a time. Better yet, stick with your song for as long as you’ve got that inspiration train going and stop once you feel that bad boy begin to slow down. Switch to another track (…get it?) and keep the momentum going. One idea might influence another in some small way and you’ll end up creating something that sounds nothing like what you intended because it’s a million times better.

 

“I Didn’t Recognise You From This Angle…”

Trust me when I say, there are many paths you can take to get to the song you want. So use as many of them as you can. Try to start each beat from a different point to keep your creativity versatile. Most of us would start off with the drums (probably first with a kick and a snare, then some high hats and so on and so on) but why not, instead, start off with the lyrics first.

Rap or sing and let the melody come naturally to your mind. You’ll find yourself going straight a cappella, performing to music only you can hear, music you are going to bring to life in a new song. What about if you have the melody but haven’t written the lyrics yet? Doesn’t matter! If you can hum it, I bet you can make it into a song. The possibilities are endless so let your imagination do the hard work, okay?

 

Make Sure You Enjoy it…

At the end of the day, what we do is an art. If you don’t like your painting then why would anyone else? So make sure you love the music you make or don’t even bother. Treat it like a job and you’re going to hate it eventually (just like everybody else grinding out a 9 to 5). Making a living off your sound is a long and difficult process and it’s in the more advanced stages of creating music that you’re really going to have to knuckle down and keep on pushing to get to where you wanna go so enjoying as much of the creative process as you can is key. After all, it’s the reason why you’re going to keep coming back.

C. Ballin at the studio | How To Make Hip-Hop.com
C. Ballin
Got any more questions or want to share your experiences. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Peace.

Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Creator/Contributor for HTMH.com

 

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12 thoughts on “So You Wanna Make Your Own Rap Beats?

  1. SaM

    Thank you for the advises in here. I really enjoyed them. I have tried to use FL studio and I can tell it’s pretty easy yet powerful program for music creation. I definitely agree with the fact that we should listen to more kinds and styles of music but often it can be confusing as well. I think that some time off music helps as well. It has never crossed my mind to work ot a few project at the same time – and it actually can be pretty good for all of them. I have a question – how do you decide which is the best way to continue with your song – if you have come up with a few different options? It’s an aspect with which I struggle a lot.

    1. Ryan

      Thanks for the comment, I’m glad this helped you. One thing that a lot of guys do is come up with various patterns and melodies and try to use all at once. Not every idea is solid gold and if it doesn’t have a place don’t be afraid to leave it out completely. Some ideas or sounds could appear once throughout the song but it’s enough to keep the listener engaged. At the end of the day that’s what is key.

  2. Christian

    I make beats, mainly using Reason to make those beats. And I typically only make Hip-Hop beats these days, but I am interested in getting started with EDM.

    I have a problem though, I often get stuck with creating 8 bar loops, and struggle with putting my beats into song form. You can’t sell 8 bar loops! Do you have any advice as to how I can overcome this struggle? I desperately want to gain some success as a music producer.

    1. Ryan

      I can give you a trick I just used about an hour ago (literally). Once I have my initial loop, I mute and cut up different patterns to see how many different ways I can rearrange the sandwich to get maximum flavour. Not every pattern needs to be heard simultaneously or even more than once. This will also help to clearly define where your verses and your hooks are.

  3. Matt's Mom

    I have never really thought of doing this, but my son enjoys walking around the house coming up with his own. So this was interesting to read. I actually like rap in a lot of songs. They ramble on about life and the beat is great. Thanks for sharing awesome and interesting website.

    1. Ryan

      It’s a pleasure sharing with you.

      Thanks for leaving a comment

  4. Oren

    Hi Ryan,

    I enjoy designing and building analog synthesizers is a hobby. I built my first synth in 1983. I am usually “under hood” building stuff more than I am “behind the wheel” making music.

    The genre of music I’m mostly into is ambient and floating “space” music. The kind of stuff that goes good in a planetarium soundtrack and evokes the vastness of space and other worlds.

    I am always looking at different DAW software options, although I’ve grown to like Reaper. I might just try some the options you’ve recommended. Some of these I’ve not heard of. Thanks for the excellent tips and info.

    Cheers, Oren

    1. Ryan

      Reaper? That’s a name I’ve gotta check out.

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  5. Tyler McLendon

    I have many musically inclined friends who are constantly using other artists beats and instrumentals from youtube and such. But those people already found their success and I don’t think my friends will gain the success their looking for using others’ sounds which have already been heard. The creativity in their lyrics should be the same in their beats so that the content they create is truly theirs. Many are just too lazy I guess

    1. Ryan

      Whadup Tyler

      I agree with what you’re saying completely. Not only will you create something truly unique but you get to keep a bigger slice of the pie once that music starts generating some cash flow. Why not share this site with your friends, they might benefit from How To Make A Rap Mixtape

      Thanks agin for leaving your comment.

  6. Hillard

    Hello, Ryan.

    I came across your website and just had to comment. My youngest son is currently in the Marine Corp but wants to rap when he gets out. At first I thought, Son… stay in the corp. but now that I have seen your website I’m going to send him the link. If he is serious, I should support him and I think your website can help. Now, maybe he won’t do very well but he will never know until he tries. Good Luck!

    Hillard

    1. Ryan

      Hi Hillard.

      I would definitely, definitely recommend you share this site with your son as he is the perfect audience. I’m all about helping artists get started with ease so it would be great to hear from him.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

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