11 Tricks To Sounding Better While You Rap
What up, Smart Rapper! I’m Rob Level, and today we’re going over 11 songwriting secrets for rappers. These are ideas to get you up and working on music every day.
Writer’s block is a real thing, and unless you have some good tools for writing music, you might get caught up and get in your head so much you can’t make music.
It happens to the best of us, but the more music you’re making, the better you’re getting, the more attention you’re getting, more success etc, so definitely pay attention.
Don’t forget Smart Rapper has the #1 Rap Voice guide on earth! We have helped over 10,000 rappers find their rap voices! You can check it out by clicking here now.
Alright, let’s get into it.
1) Don’t Rely only On Memory
Write things down. Or better yet – do voice memos. Sometimes when you’re really in the zone, you reach all kinds of cool combinations and melody or lyric ideas that are GONE unless you record them somehow.
Use the notepad in your phone’s free apps as well to make sure you remember good lyrics that pop into your head. You’ll be teaching your brain to value doing this.
Don’t rely on your memory to remember it ! You won’t, or you’ll remember a limited, simplified version of the original later, and that really cool line, pattern, or melody combination you created is gone.
If you have a cool idea in your head throughout the day or at work, duck into the bathroom and record it on your voice memos real quick. You’ll thank yourself later when you go back and see all the cool lines and work you’ve done, and it will be easier to put songs together.
2) Write How You Talk/Rap
A lot of rappers’ flow doesn’t sound natural because they aren’t actually rapping how they speak; they are rapping how they were taught to write in English class at school.
That’s why you hear those awkward lines where people are trying to cram a bunch of words in that don’t fit, or are overly concerned with being grammatically correct.
Try to attack it more from the angle of the way you talk – not how you write. Use phrases you use in daily life. You’ll automatically be more confident and comfortable and just build better, more natural lyrics from there.
3) Memorize Your Lyrics
As you’re writing your song and working on each verse and the hook, memorize your lyrics as you go. That way, by the time you’re recording, you’ll be extremely confident and literally “know your stuff.”
By recording time, you need to be able to do the whole thing with your eyes closed if you’re really gonna kill it.
Aside from small references to your lyric sheet if you need them for cues or keeping verses straight, you should be easily flowing from one section to the next by the time you’re actually recording the song on the mic.
Knowing it will give your voice more strength and confidence, and it will also free you up to add really cool addition ad libs and extra bits because you feel so comfortable with the existing material.
You’ll also sound more present, professional, and interesting vocally, to listen to.
4) Know How Your Voice Sounds
RECORD YOURSELF OFTEN and GET FAMILIAR WITH HOW YOUR VOICE SOUNDS.
Record different voice tones, sounds, flows, speeds, melodies, emotions and record them to different types of beats.
You’ll start learning how to switch up your voice over different kinds of beats to create the desired sound you want. This is key to finding YOUR voice knowing how to make yourself sound good.
The better you know yourself and your voice’s capabilities, the better you can use it to make good music.
5) Use Your Voice As An Instrument
Artists like Future and Drake are already on top of this style. Don’t just rap words, rap MUSICAL NOTES.
Try rapping in the one key/tone for a whole section. Try that same section again with a progressive melody, try it again just spitting normal, etc.
Eventually you’ll be able to develop your own flows and melodies, and this will also make it A LOT easier to write good hooks.
This style is getting more and more popular because it’s a blend of two styles – Pop and rap. Find your flow with this style and you’ll start getting some really nice tracks out of it.
6) Setup Your Workflow
This is critical to getting good songs written. When you get into the “creative zone” you want to distract yourself with as little technical shit as possible.
You don’t want to spend half an hour fiddling with your settings. If you do, You’ve broken your creative flow, and you already forgot those dope bars you thought of. Have your set-up ready to go with a few steps as possible.
Same with writing. Don’t make yourself go through too much crazy effort to write something.
There will never be a “perfect” time to write. Also, stay organized! Don’t have your raps in 10 different places so that everything is scattered and unorganized.
If you work in different areas, organize everything together before a writing session so you don’t take up your creative time trying to find your stuff. Give yourself projects and deadlines. Be organized like a professional.
7) Rap Voice Lessons
You’re literally trying to make a living off of your voice, so get voice training if you can. If you can’t afford a private teacher, try signing up for a class at a nearby community college or doing classes or research online.
Look at proper breathing techniques for your best projection and strength and ways to practice those daily. I’m working on a few videos going through some of these techniques now for you guys.
The muscles you use for your voice are just like any other muscle and need exercise and practice to be strong.
8) Study Other Rappers
Study rappers you like. Study rappers you don’t like. That insanely popular rapper you hate is popular for a reason. Take some time to figure out what their appeal is.
Is it their subject matter? Is it their flow? Is it their voice? Their ear for beats? Their punchlines? IS it their delivery? What about their delivery makes it sound so cool?
What are they doing different from what I do? You might even find yourself starting to like that particular artist once you “get” what they’re doing.
Even if you dont, now you understand what made them “work” with the audience that loves them – and you can use those lessons to help yourself.
9) Write Every Day
As with freestyling, writing is yet another muscle in the brain you need to work.
My mind used to go blank when I’d sit down and write. I kept forcing myself to do it every day anyway, even if it was just some wack bullshit.
As a result, writing bars started getting easier and easier.
have a hard time writing whole rap verses?
Take a few steps back. Start with just writing 4 bars every day..
Then, step it up to 8 bars a day, and eventually 16 bars a day. With that practice, soon writing whole songs won’t feel bad, plus you’ll have plenty of bars to use.
10) Rhyming Dictionaries
Ever had the best line, but struggle to follow it up with a good rhyme?
Check out a rhyming dictionary to help you find that perfect word.
If you’re stuck and start obsessing about the words, you’ll lose your creative flow. You need to be comfortable using tools that will help you succeed, and this is one of them.
Plus, looking at a rhyming dictionary will show you new words and give you new ideas outside of your regular vocabulary, and help expand your lyricism that way. So don’t write it off till you’ve tried it.
11) Get a Creative Ritual
What gets you in a creative mood? You know – the vibe you get when you’re really feeling it and super comfortable making music?
Start taking notice of the things you do before those good sessions and you’ll be able to create a routine.
Whether it’s a food or drink, activity, whatever it is you need to do to get ready – embrace that and take it seriously, because like it or not, it’s your process.
Having something you do, that breaks whatever mood you’re in, and puts you in a creative state of mind is super important to establishing your momentum as a songwriter and rapper.
Alright Smart Rapper, this has been 11 songwriting secrets for rappers. I’m Rob Level, and I’m about to drop a ton more videos on ya, hit me with a like, hit me with a subscribe, and drop a comment telling me your creative ritual, so other people can read and get ideas on how to get in the zone.
Keep hustling Smart Rapper,
I’ll see you at the top!