Want to make rap beats? It’s possible, start here.

The world needs dope beats.

Most great hip hop starts with a great beat. Sure, the rap over it is important, but deep messages go over the heads of people who turn off a song because they can’t get into the beat. Luckily, if you want to know how you can start to make rap beats, you’ve come to the right place.


First thing you need is a program.

Making hip hop beats is easier and cheaper than it’s ever been. You don’t need a studio, or professional equipment, or professional tools to make beats. All you need is a computer, or a tablet, or a smartphone and you can be making beats in no time.

Sony ACID Music Studio 10- 30 Day Free Trial [Download] (Free trial!)

Sony ACID Music Studio 10 [Download]


GarageBand - Apple (iPad)

GarageBand - Apple (iPhone)

If you’re on a computer, I like Sony ACID, which Amazon has a 30 day free trial of! If you’re on an iPad or iPhone, Garageband is incredible (and will easily pay for your iPad or iPhone by itself. Just the drumpad on the iPad in itself is so responsive and crisp that you will not regret it.) The program you use doesn’t really matter, because I’ll be talking in general musical terms rather than specific program features.

Check out ACID or Garageband and start making beats today!

You can check out one of my favorite beats I’ve made on garageband by clicking here. This is also an example of how beats made up of simple components aren’t necessarily boring.


Now that you have your program, it’s just a matter of making the beat you want. This is obviously the hard part, but you just have to break it down.

  • First get your bass in. A good place to start is just hitting the bass every 4 beats at the beginning of each bar.

 

  • Then get the rest of your drums. Keep it simple, keep it boom bap. Put a consistent drum and snare, and if you want something to switch it up every so often throw in some cymbals.

 

  • Now that you have your bass and other drums, you pretty much have the core of your beat. I like to keep it simple again, and put in a single melody. You can do this with a guitar track or pretty much any instrument, but I like using a synth kit. Both ACID and Garageband have plenty of synth variety. Of course you can have multiple melodic tracks, but finding one that sounds good with your drums is all you need.

That’s pretty much it!

Now this doesn’t sound particularly enlightening, but this is all you need to keep in mind to make a rap beat. Once you make your first one, you’ll have the idea in your head and you’ll start getting your own ideas for more complicated beats, with more instruments or song transitions, etc. In general though, I think keeping it simple is a good way to do it.

Find this helpful? Have your own method for making beats? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Spit Talking

6 comments on “Want to make rap beats? It’s possible, start here.

  1. Ryan December 2, 2014 10:42 pm

    Hey man, cool tutorial on how to made a rap beat! Something I have always wanted to do is play around in a studio and make some noise!! I’m going to check out GarageBand now on my Ipad and see what I can come up with! thanks for the inspiration and idea’s.
    -Ryan

    • Joaquin December 2, 2014 10:48 pm

      Awesome, always happy to help strike some inspiration! But yeah the Garageband for iPad is awesome, I’ve never had a Macintosh but I’ve been told by many people who have seen me using it that Garageband on iPad is even better than on the computer. Good luck with that noise!

  2. Cathy December 3, 2014 4:28 am

    Hi there Joaquin, as a person who hardly listen to rap at all, I am unfamiliar with rap beats. So I went on to YouTube to check it out. Cool stuff!

    You mean you could actually assemble all these cool beats from mobile devices and turn it into a rap? Wow! I am constantly amaze by the wonders of technology. Thanks for sharing.

    • Joaquin December 3, 2014 8:46 am

      Cathy, love that you went and checked out some beats on youtube! and yes, technology is pretty amazing, I’m with you there. Pretty much anyone can make music now, especially hip hop 🙂

  3. Tony December 3, 2014 5:06 am

    Hey Joaquin, def have to check out Garageband on the iPad, sounds like fun and can do it when killing time!

    • Joaquin December 3, 2014 8:46 am

      Nailed it Tony, that’s probably the best part of Garageband. I made like half an album of beats just on a plane ride once with it!

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