Sign Up For Email

Subscribe to our mailing list

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Take Rap Lessons

If you want lessons on how to improve your flow, email me at I don't necessarily "teach people to rap", but I will make you a better rapper. You will learn such things as how to count beats/bars, how to make your flow more continuous, the most important rap flow songs, and more. A sample lesson can be found at the end of this post.

I would teach you how to maximize your own talents, and how to get the most out of what it is you do. In the tradition of many great musical pedagogues, I believe it's impossible to teach a music-maker (composer, producer, rapper, singer/song-writer, whoever) their own voice. What I can and will do, however, is describe to you exactly what it is you are doing in your own music in a methodological way that allows you to consciously manipulate the compositional choices you make. For instance, you will realize why you place a rhyme in one place in the bar, and not another; or why you repeat a certain phrase at one point and not another; and, eventually, how to avoid monotony or un-interesting raps by being cognizant of all the different musical tools at your disposal that you can use to create raps that maintains a constant line of tension and interest in the listener's ear. (For instance, these "tools" in the toolbox will be the different ways to create accent, the manipulation of phrases, metric displacement, and so on, all of which will be explained to you in great detail if you decide to do this.) It's like this: Nas, Eminem, and Mos Def, for our purposes here 3 of the greatest rappers of all time, are complete masters of their craft. They cannot, however, in a methodical and consistent way communicate to you or anyone else  exactly what it is they are doing. They cannot notate their music and give it to someone else so that anyone can understand it. That is what I can do for you.

So, let me know if you're interested! They are of course free, the only thing I ask is that you spread links to my blog around a little, you know, facebook, reddit, twitter, wherever. Thanks!


Sample lesson:
1. Go to my website. Take a look at 2 songs: Biggie's "Hypnotize", and Drake/Lil Wayne's "Successful" sheet music. You can find them under the "rap transcriptions" tab at the top.
2. Save them or print them out, or put them into that noteflight website we were using.
3. Write in the slurs underneath the notes that indicate where the words of the rap are broken up grammatically, such as by conjunctions like "and", "or", "but", etc., or periods, commas, question marks, and so on. If in doubt, listen to the song, and ask yourself where you yourself hear one idea ends and where the next one starts.

4. Make a frequency chart of the different note durations in each song. For instance, make a chart for each with an eighth note, a sixteenth note, a dotted eighth note, etc., at the top, and put a single tally under each column for each time that note appears. NOTE: Always count the note duration of a note coming at the end of a grammatical phrase as a 16th note.
The question I want you to think about:
Why does Biggie's song have such a more spread-out frequency of notes, with more and different durations, than Drake's?
Hint to answer the question:

Calculate how many of those grammatical phrases per bar there are in each song, for each's first 3 verses, and note in general where they start and end in each respective song.


  1. Sounds stupid me saying this: I don't know what you mean in step 3? And for step 4 how do i know which note is which?

    1. Yo man, just email me at and I'll walk you through it, no money necessary. Thanks bro!