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!)
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.