Today you’re going to learn how to beatbox, and you’re going to learn quickly. I swear you will be able to beatbox decently by the time you’re done with this if you’ll just practice what these guys show you how to do, it’s really not complicated or all that difficult (I tried this myself earlier–I’m not getting any record deals any time soon but I wasn’t too damned bad if I do say so myself).
I’ve got some really short and simple tips on how to do each part plus a video to go along with each one that will demonstrate precisely what to do (and the person doing it is WAY better than I am at this, thankfully). Ok, let’s get started–here you’re going to learn REALLY quickly how it’s all done, I’d even suggest you try it yourself right now just to get an idea of what you can do:
How to Make the Basic Sounds (there are only 3)
There are only three basic sounds that you need to be able to make that will allow you to compose anything you want, and they’re not hard to master. They are: classic kick drum, hi-hat, and the classic snare drum. What you want to do is start off slowly and build up to an 8-beat without screwing up the timing (timing is really important, that’s covered below).
And who would’ve thought that it would be an Asian
|guy in glasses, recording this in his car, who would be the one to take the internet by storm with his beatboxing lessons (seriously: his videos have over 1 MILLION views on YouTube currently). The first thing you’re going to learn is vital, it’s breathing, and if you’re not doing this right then nothing else will work. Pay attention to|
this and we’ll get to the specific sounds in a second:
Again, start off slowly when you’re doing this and then gradually build up speed until you can hold an 8-beat with solid timing. Next, Lesson 2 – Timing:
Now we’re going to learn some specific sounds, I’ll explain the basics of how to do each and then Jaxster’s coming back to demo it for you.
- The Classic Kick Drum: the easiest way to do the kick drum is to just say the letter “b”; specifically: make the “b” sound with your lips closed while letting the pressure build up. Remember that you should control the release of the sound with your lips so that they vibrate for just a short amount of time.
- The Hi-Hat: Just make a “ts” sound but close your teeth, sort of like a hissing noise with a quick “t” before it. Put the tip of your tongue in the traditional position you would use to make a “t” for a heavy hat sound and for making a thin hat sound put it behind your front teeth.
- The Snare Drum: to make the snare drum you basically just say “p”, but the thing is that if you do this normally it’ll be too soft, so what most beatboxers do is add a second continuous sound (also known as a “fricative” sound) to the “p”, like this: psh, pf, bk, ps, etc.
And the Asian beatboxing sensation is back in Lesson 3 of his series to show you how to make these sounds:
Humming: You can hum from your mouth or through your throat: doing it through your nose is a lot more versatile but using your throat is a lot easier for beginners. The key is to already have a baseline or melody in mind that you’re humming to. The great Jaxster shall demonstrate for you:
Bass: the way to do a proper bass drum is to put your lips together and then build up sufficient pressure with your jaw and tongue. Now, while simultaneously closing and opening your jaw at the same time you push your tongue forward from the back of your mouth. Then, you just let your lips quickly open on one side for a second to let the air escape, thereby making a bass drum sound. I don’t doubt for a second that you didn’t get that the first time around, but watch our friend Jaxster here do it a few times, try it, then come back and read this again and it’ll make sense for you once you’ve done it:
Additional Resources and Further Reading
Of course, I recommend you check out Jaxster’s site here (I have NO relation to the guy whatsoever, I just think he did an awesome friggin’ job with those videos so I don’t mind pimping his site for him) where he’s got even more beatboxing information.
For a LOT of additional info I highly recommend this article on beatboxing from WikiHow, I don’t know who wrote it but they did a kickass job with it.
If you really want to get into beatboxing then you might want get your drum own machine, for a beginner the one I’d recommend is the Zoom MRT3 drum machine–you can get hundreds of different drum sounds out of this thing and it literally fits in the palm of your hand, very nice.