5 Steps To Becoming A Beatboxer - For Beginners
Beatboxing is a skill that can be learned relatively quickly if you follow the right steps. In this blog post, we will outline the 5 main steps that you need to take in order for beginners to learn how to beatbox. First, it is important to learn the basic three sounds: the bass drum, hi hat, and snare.
Bass Drum, Hi Hat and Snare Drum
The bass drum, hi hat and snare are the main 3 drum sounds that you will find on a regular acoustic drum-kit. They are the foundations to 99% of rhythms and that's why they are so important to learn first. You can make these sounds with your mouth by first saying "Buh", "Tuh" and "Kuh" respectively. Once you've got that you want to remove the vocalised "uh" sound and just make the "B", "T" and "K" sounds. Practice these three sounds until you feel comfortable making them.
The next stage is to practice some basic rhythms. The first rhythm almost any beatbox tutor will teach you is "B T K T". So that's a bass drum, followed by a hi hat, followed by a snare, followed by another hi hat. Another basic beat is "B T K T BB T K T", which is the same as above but with an extra bass drum. This second rhythm is exactly twice as long as the first one and you'll notice there are now 2 bass drum sounds close together. This simply means that those 2 sounds are beatboxed at twice the speed of the rest of the rhythm.
Have a listen to this audio clip demonstrating the "B T K T BB T K T" rhythm using the basic 'K Snare'.
Learning Different Snares
At this stage we strongly recommend that you take a look at some of the Pro snare sounds. Yes we would call them pro snares as in more professional beatboxer style snare sounds. These can take a bit of practice but remember, you simply need to learn the technique and put in a little practice every day. One of the great things about practicing beatboxing is that you can practice while doing most things like driving, walking, showering etc. It's probably best to avoid beatboxing during important work meetings or in the middle of an exam... well I'm sure you get the idea.
Have a listen to these audio clips demonstrating the "B T K T BB T K T" rhythm using some pro snares. It's important to note that for the purpose of this blog post when you see a 'K' in the rhythm, this simply means snare sound. So when you see a K you could use any snare sound that you like (PF snare, 808 snare, Spit snare, rimshot snare, inward K snare etc). Although we could write the beat down like "B T PF T BB T PF T" to indicate that the snare to use is the PF snare but it will make things a whole lot simpler to just use 'K'.
Listen to the beat using an Inward K Snare
Listen to the beat using a PF Snare
Listen to the beat using an 808 Snare
Ok, so the next step to learning the art of beatboxing is to add some bass to your beats. The simplest way to do this is to hum making a "mmm" sound. Now you can hum while making all 3 of the basic sounds - The bass drum, hi hat and snare. The first way we teach students to add bass to their beats is by adding a hum at the same time as making the bass drum sound.
So let's take the "B T K T BB T K T" rhythm again and add a hum to the first bass drum. The beat will now look like this "Bum T K T BB T K T".
Have a listen to this audio clip demonstrating the "Bum T K T BB T K T" rhythm using the basic 'PF Snare'.
Changing The Bass Notes or Creating A Bass Line
So, beatboxing is about making music with the mouth and voice and so adding some kind of tuning is certainly the next step to bringing your beatboxing to life. Once you've learned how to incorporate a bass note in to your rhythm, it's a good idea to try and add a bass line.
What is a bass line? you might ask. A bass line is simply a melody made up of different bass notes so instead of keeping the bass note at the same pitch, each time you make the bass note, the pitch can be either higher or lower.
Have a listen to this audio clip demonstrating a "Bum T K T BB Tss K T" rhythm using the Inward K Snare and a bass line.
When adding bass to your beats, we've already mentioned that you can make a simple humming sound on all three of the basic sounds. This means that you can get really creative with your beats and bass lines. The same goes for when you are adding melodies (the same as bass lines but at a higher pitch).
Our complete online beatbox course teaches you lots of different rhythms to practice and also different bass lines to try. We encourage our students to explore all kinds of rhythms and if you get stuck deciding what to learn next the course is a great option for you.
Watch this short video to see how amazing the online course platform looks
Sound Effects, More Complex Rhythms & Breathing Techniques
The complete beatboxer will have many different sound effects they can make with their mouth. These could be anything from synth (as in synthesiser) sounds and inward bass sounds to sounds of a didgeridoo or a helicopter flying by. There is really no end to things to learn and practice when it comes to beatboxing. Sadly, there is no way we could cover it all in one blog post, unless of course we sat here for the next month (maybe 2) typing and not sleeping (or eating).
The good news is that you can find everything you need in our online course. The course is taught by championship level beatboxers - including the mighty NaPom who has earned the name 'King of Liproll'. There are a different variations of the Liproll technique and NaPom teaches you how to do all of them in the course. Check out the course here now and kickstart your beatbox journey with us!
We hope you've enjoyed reading this blog post and we hope it has inspired you to start or continue to learn this incredible art of beatboxing.
Feel free to leave us a question or comment below and one of the School of Beatbox team will respond.