here's how to flow on a beat: Improve Your Rap Flow!
Knowing how to flow on a beat is so important for making amazing music for your own Spotify playlist.
So you've been looking to take your rap career to that next level, and you want to upgrade your rap flow today.
You've started to practice rapping, and you're not quite there yet.
Well no worries, we're here to help you absolutely GLIDE effortlessly over that rap beat.
Not only that, you can improve your rap rhyme schemes as well
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First, Find The Count Of The Rap Beat
If you listen to your favorite rappers, you'll hear that their words attach themselves right to the rhythm.
Perhaps it's the kick drum, the snare hit, etc...
When great rappers write rap music, they look out for these elements so that they can master their rap flow.
You will have to choose the element in the beat where you come in either every 1 bar, 2 bar, 3 bar, etc...
(You will need to count the bars in the beat to get down the rhythm) where you come in every single time that element hits.
So for example, listen to the record, and keep track of the drum patterns.
If you hear that kick drum, and you decide that's the element you want to target, make note of that so that it's easy to write your rap.
Sticking to this way of writing can help you create a simple flow formula in your mind.
If you listen to modern rap songs, usually the fat 808s are the key elements to driving a powerful rap flow.
Best YouTube Channels To Improve Your Rap Flow
- Boost Collective
- How To Rap Nation
- Adam Ivy
Check out these channels so that you can improve your rap career!
Nod Your Head And React To The Beat
If you listen to a beat, you should be able the count bars to help your mind find the rhythm.
Feel free to check out the beat embedded below, and when the drums come in just count in time 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
You may even want to tap your foot or nod your head to the 1,2,3,4 pattern.
Even Travis Scott does it!
The link below features a Drake-type beat which should be easy to count and flow on Try it out!
You're Basically Training Your Brain's Inner Metronome
If you play an instrument already, think about this as if you counting is like you being a manual metronome listening and counting in the tempo.
Later on when you start to write your lyrics, having a good sense of the rhythm will lead to a great idea for future punch lines, a solid rhyme, and more.
Now that you can feel the tempo in each bar, you're ready to start messing around on your first beat.
Gain Free Reign & Master Your Control Over Any Beat
To quote the Rap Coach on YouTube:
"If you can come up with a flow, and every time the first snare hit comes, and you hit it, and it comes around...
it's creating a pattern in the listener's mind... this is what suddenly has people thinking damn man, this motherf****r can flow, can rap.
It's because you've gained the ability to grasp the beat however you want to, and to play with it".
Once you get better at being able to spot the elements you like, the easier it is to write lyrics that really hit hard.
The more you do this, the more the whole process becomes second nature, and your skill level will rise.
The process of attaching your words to certain elements within the beat can also help you come up with melodies and flows, allowing you to not have to worry so much about the specifics of the lyric writing process.
Essentially... writing your bars will get easier when you can spot on stay on beat.
Here's An Example Of How To Start Your Rap Flow
Check out this awesome example from The Rap Coach.
The video below is timestamped!
Once you're able to mumble over the beat in time a
And sit right on that element that you've chosen.
It's time to try some different word form to start writing a more sophisticated rap flow.
Read my blog to improve your rap rhyme scheme.
Quickly Experiment With Syllables
Now that you've found that element that you want to attack, you can start messing around with your word rhythm.
Don't overthink this part.
Start playing the beat, count the bars and then stay on beat with some mumbling, or some basic lines.
The more you can practice staying on beat, especially at the beginning of practicing your rap flow, the better you're going to get.
Uh Huh Uh Huh Huh Huh Start With Slow Beats
Check out this song and rap flow by upcoming rapper IDK on his song "Just Like Martin".
It's easy to start just feeling out the beat your rapping on with some mouth sounds.
This will also help you write to the flow and write your lyrics a little later.
There's no reason why you can't see massive improvements in just a few hours after you've practiced staying on the beat.
Not only is more experimentation going to help your rap flow, but it's going to make your future song much better.
Try to feel out that next bar as it comes up and remember the element that you're attaching a word to, and throw your word on that point.
As you're mumbling and free flowing over the rhythm, get an idea for how many syllables you can throw out there on certain words.
I'm sure you can relate to not having more syllables left by the time a new bar comes around.
When you're writing your lyrics, you'll need to be conscious of how many syllables are in certain words that you want to say.
Some lines in your song may sound really odd to the listener if it's a hybrid of what we like to call long-winded lines vs. more relaxed lines of spoken words.
We Can't Stress Enough About Stressed Syllables
What are stressed syllables, and why do they matter?
Well, when you look at a word, the part of the word that is the heaviest to say, tends to be the stressed syllable.
For example, in the word "amended", the "a" is easy and almost transitions into the stressed word "men".
Essentially, there are words within words that have a punchiness to them.
don't miss: read my blog on making your rap sound professional!
So when you're flowing over a beat in hip hop, and you come in with a heavy stressed syllable in the right spot
(perhaps on that element you've chosen such as the kick drum)
You're going to come off as really knowing what you're doing on the song.
Position Your Words In Key Spots
Once you've started your flow, you're going to need to practice with your words.
Try listening to your favorite rapper, and see how they annunciate their words on certain bars.
You can take inspiration from this in your own rap song.
Let's check out 24 Hours by A Boogie Wit da Hoodie & Lil Durk.
You can hear how A Boogie stays on the words "24 Hours", longer than the rest of his line.
If you continue listening, you can hear that he does frequently with certain words at the start of the bar.
He's actively creating more space within the flow and the rhythm of the music. It's also helping to create those melodies note-wise with his voice.
The Box Has It All
Another great example to take some inspiration from is The Box by Roddy Ricch.
You've had to have been living under a rock your whole life if you haven't heard this one haha.
I've timestamped the part above that really has a great showcase of Roddy's specific rap flow, especially earlier on in the track.
Listen to how he stays on the word "lazy".
The word is held longer and it flows really nicely into the next bar in the beat.
Keep this mind when you're looking to write your own lyrics.
Roddy is really a great rapper to listen to when it comes to analyzing rap flow, especially modern day rap flow.
He's one of those rappers that seems to be able to really create space and bring power into his delivery.
Depending on the specific instrumental, you'll be able to stretch your words, flow into the break of the song and glide atop the rhythm.
Alternatively, you should actively avoid things that rappers with declining careers are doing in their music...
You'll want to have a look at our rappers that fell off the page to see what not to do.
Just remember to keep it natural sounding as having a more natural vocal run can help the song not feel robotic.
This helps you make your rap sound professional!
However there are no specific rules, so if it sounds good, that's a good sign! Just focus on making great rap music.
Who Else Has Amazing Rap Flow?
Check out the way Juice Wrld stretches out his words on "734".
The nature of Juice's rap flow is known for the long stretched-out pronunciations of his words.
Juice flows over top of the beat when he says "let gooooooo".
If you continue to listen to the record, you'll hear him flow over the beat in the same way such as "time heals allllllll wounds", etc...
Juice Wrld also doesn't seem to take a break very often from line to line when he's rapping.
If you try to replicate this sound yourself, you'll probably run out of breath, and it'll break the flow of the rap.
So when you hear rappers doing this, they're actually in most cases recording line by line or even word by word at times to get that effect over the beat while rapping.
So then... How do I make my flows better?
The method above might just be how you can improve your recorded rap flow.
Recording yourself rapping for 1 line, and then recording yourself rapping the next line, pausing to catch your breath can be a great way to add velocity and dynamics to your lines.
This allows you to hit different lines in your rap flow exactly how you want them. It's a common practice in modern hip hop music. We'd recommend it!
It doesn't get more obvious on this song...
If you check out "Wrong" by The Kid Laroi at the time stamp above.
It's easy to point out that Laroi is not doing it all in one take when he's rapping.
He's clearly recording line by line and in some instances accentuating the impact of a word here and there.
You'd be gasping for air if this was one take... lol.
Here's a simple case of staying on beat
Whenever I think of a rap song that isn't crazy complex that goes really hard is Drake's "Nonstop" (Tay Keith brought the heat on this beat).
As Drake himself puts it at around 29 seconds, "This the flow that got the block hot", and how could you disagree?
So there you go. There's no rules that says your rap flow has to be incredibly complex to be effective.
Anyways, here's what's next up!
Practice Rapping On Different Types Of Beats
Not only does experimenting with new beats help you become a great rapper, but it also can help you find your own sound.
Perhaps you find flowing over a boom-bap beat much easier than flowing on a guitar or pop-sounding instrumental from Internet Money.
Trying out different beats is just a way of feeding your brain with different rhythms and thus, you'll be able to gain more experience staying on beat quickly.
Not to mention collaborating with different hip-hop artists gets much easier, so try out more beats!
Luckily We Have The Power Of YouTube
We're pretty lucky to have so many great producers on youtube.
You can freely browse and practice over so many beats from different styles of rap.
If you didn't already know, you can go on youtube and find tons of different videos all by looking up your favorite rappers and then the words "type beat" after it.
Don't be afraid to try other types of beats than what you're used to rapping on.
You want to develop your sound.
And the best way to develop your sound is to try to create a different rap flow on different types of beats. This is how you make great songs!
Some Beat Suggestions For Practicing Your Rap Flow Today!
8 awesome type beat videos producers should make:
- Internet Money Type Beat
- DDG Type Beat
- Guitar Type Beat
- Ukelele Tye Beat
- Rod Wave Type Beats
- Kanye West Type Beat
- Tyler The Creator Type Beats
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