The Right Way To Practice Your Rap Craft In Order To Get Better29
The Right Way To Practice Your Rap Craft In Order To Get Better
The Official How To Rap Manual was because I wanted to come up with a way for me to better my self as a rapper. I wanted a guide, a manual of some sort and at that time it wasn’t any thing around that I could learn from. The only thing I had to teach myself how to rap was listening to the radio learning form some of my favorite artist.
I didn’t just listen, I actually studied the way they rhymed over a beat. Most people listen to the words, actually most people who are listeners, listen to the words of a song when they first hear it. Me, I listen to how they say it rather than what they say over a beat. When I first started, this helped me to learn different cadences, and rhyme schemes.
Once I would get home I’d remember what it was I heard and what format I wanted to try out. From there I would pop in a instrumental on my computer and just start writing away. The Point System I developed is the key to rapping over any beat every single way imaginable. There isn’t a rhyme scheme or style that it doesn’t match up against.
After the point system came about I had a foundation I could bank on, I call it an understanding and that was something that I didn’t really have up to that point. So this is where the practice part comes in. I rhymed and rhymed and rhymed as much as I could. Compositions on top of compositions – That’s really the only way you’re going to get better. Practice makes perfect when it comes to improving your craft. Pick a style and master it. Practice it until it becomes natural and stay on point. Staying on beat is half the battle.
That’s the only way to practice your craft. Everyday for the next 30 days commit to writing a verse a day. That’s just 16 bars. Pick a rhyme scheme and practice it for a whole month. For example, write a verse where each bar rhymes on point 8. Once you master it, switch to something else. Don’t let yourself get discouraged – if you feel like starting over… don’t. Just continue to write and go where ever it takes you. It doesn’t even have to make since, just make the words rhyme on Points 8 of each bar. Do this until it sounds natural. Sometimes I hear people rapping over a beat and you can tell when they are rushing or they are putting to many syllables in one line and it sounds like the bar is rushed and off point. (Make sure you write to a beat, so you can stay on point – if its not on point, your lines will sound out of place)
What ever you do, don’t get discouraged. This is just practice – you don’t even have to let anybody listen to them…at first, but remember getting feedback is always a good thing. The best way to critique your-self is to get a recorder and record your self. A Portable hand recorder or Studio will be fine, even a web cam can help you critique your flow. Remember, listen to how you say it rather than what you say. Try this little exercise for a month and I can almost guarantee you’ll be better than you were when you started. Also, next time your listening to your favorite artist, listen more to how they say it, rather than what they say and see what you can find. Most of the time your style or flow is going to be determined how you say your rhymes. You can check out the article “Words Fall On Which Points?” for a better understanding of the point-system.
One more tip, and that is, switch it up. Experiment – In other words, build your core foundation. Pick a style that you like, master it and experiment with different ins and outs. You’re searching for your rap voice. This is when you come into yourself as an artist. Some find their voice quicker than others. I hope this helps, if so be sure to leave us a comment.
Jamaal West is the author of The Official How To Rap Manual. He has over 15 years experience helping others improve rap skill and rhyming ability. Inventor of the How2rap Point-System & The Understanding Bars Tutorial his techniques on teaching others to rap have been regarded as one of the best of its kind since the year 2000.
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