“Never become so involved with something that it blinds you. Never forget where you from; someone will remind you.” - DMX

In 2020, rap and hip-hop music’s popularity increased drastically.

Do you love rap and want to learn how to do it?

Here are the 10 mistakes you have to avoid!

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1: A Lack of Hip-Hop Knowledge

When starting with any type of music, you have to know about the music, its origins, and its history. While this probably isn’t important for amateur rappers, anyone planning to take their rapping further should know more about its history.

How can you learn to rap?
Before you learn to rap, you need to listen to the music. (Source: teisco)

Long before rap became a thing, other genres of music were already laying the foundations.

Learn more about the origins of rap, how it came about, and the reasons it came about if you want to be a genuine and authentic rapper. You need to know about the world you’ll be joining and you’re far more credible if you know what you’re talking about. Furthermore, it’ll help you to work out what kind of rapper you want to be, too. It’s also a great source of inspiration.

Find out more about learning to rap

2: Only Listening to Rap

If you want to rap, you have to listen to rap music, but you might think that it’s the only thing you have to listen to. However, a broad taste in music is what makes the difference between amateur rappers and those who really excel by drawing on other musical styles like funk, jazz, reggae, and even classical music!

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one genre. Different musical styles can serve as inspiration, especially when it comes to writing lyrics or finding samples. Similarly, the effects certain types of music can have different effects on the listener and you can only learn how to do this by listening to it and studying it.

It’s important to keep an open mind and also find inspiration in art, dance, music, sculpture, cinema, etc. Inspiration can come from the least likely of places.

3: Not Listening to Enough Rap

Of course, you still have to listen to a lot of rap! Even if you know the origins, history, and culture around rap, you still have to listen to it. A broad understanding of the art form will help you to create more authentic rhymes.

What kind of music can help you to rap better?
While you can't exclusively listen to rap music, you'll need to listen to a lot of it if you want to get good at rapping. (Source: BruceEmmerling)

You’ll also want to listen to all the different types of rap music and listen carefully to how they flow. You’ll learn a lot.

You won’t become a rapper overnight if you only listen to one particular rapper as it takes a lot of practice and a good ear.

Find out more about becoming a rapper

4: Rapping Quickly

You won’t be able to master a quick and complicated rap on your first go. Even if you do, it’s unlikely you’ll do it well. Walk before you can run and before you can walk, you should tie your laces! Practise by starting off slowly and getting everything right before trying to rap more quickly.

Rapping quick doesn’t automatically mean you’re rapping well. Mumbling through a rap song quickly is worse than rapping well through a slower section.

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Orla
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Mark
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Bobby
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Bobby
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Rory
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Rory
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1st lesson free!
Alice
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Andrew
Andrew
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Grainne
Grainne
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Jade
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5: Not Working on Your Flow

When you first hear yourself rap, it’s likely that you’ll hate your voice. This is normal! You’ll need to work on your delivery and flow and your voice will probably be lacking in confidence and need work, too.

How can you work on your flow?
Practise will help a lot when it comes to your flow. (Source: juliocesarcosta)

Start by analysing what the rap is about.

What’s the main emotion? Joy, fear, sadness, love, anger?

You need to look beyond the text and think about the best way to deliver the message.

Adapt to the theme of the rap and your raps will be more convincing.

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6: Not Learning to Sing

Learning to sing can help you a lot with your raps as you’ll be more comfortable with rhythm, intonation, and volume. It’ll be easier to rap if you know how to sing. It’ll also help you to adapt more easily to songs with rapped parts and sung parts.

Rap songs also often have a sung chorus or similar. By learning to sing, it’ll be easier to rap, even if the techniques are different. Furthermore, you can make music that’s more appealing to a broader audience. Rap isn’t exclusive to hip-hop music anymore and rap occurs in all types of music.

7: Not Recording Yourself

No matter what level you’re at, you should record your raps so you can hear yourself and correct any mistakes. You’re not going to record an album, but it’s a good idea to listen back carefully to your raps.

You’ll be surprised how different you sound on the recording. You can work on the finer details before recording raps for real.

8: Rushing Your Lyrics

Maybe you want to do your own raps.

Would you like to write rap lyrics?

Make sure you pay attention. Your flow is important, but you need to make sure that the rhymes are tight since the words are just as important as how they’re delivered.

You probably like certain raps because of the content and how the words resonate with you. Raps are a vehicle for stories and emotions so pay attention to your lyrics and work on them until they’re powerful and well-written.

Don’t hesitate to get help from a tutor as the better you write, the better your raps will be.

Learn about writing rap lyrics

9: Writing Long or Short Measures

When you start writing, you need to pay attention to how long the lines are.

How do you write rap lyrics?
When writing raps, make sure that you pay attention to the length of each measure. (Source: juliocesarcosta)

If you write lines that are too long, you run the risk of breaking the rhythm, garbling words, and rendering your lyrics incomprehensible. If you make them too short, your raps may be too slow or feel empty.

By recording yourself rapping, you can listen to whether or not your raps are too long.

10: Writing Simple Rhymes

Avoid cliché rhymes. They can make your raps really dull. Your rhymes need to be original, interesting, and enrich the text. You can use a variety of different techniques:

  • Comparison
  • Metaphor
  • Assonance
  • Exaggeration
  • Alliteration

You can also get help with writing rap lyrics and rapping from private tutors on Superprof! There are different types of tutoring available and since each comes with pros and cons in terms of the teaching and the cost, you'll want to think carefully about what's right for you and your budget.

Face-to-face tutorials are often the most cost-effective, but they also tend to be the most expensive per hour. This is because you're paying for a tutor to tailor the sessions to you, your level, and what you want to learn. Similarly, a lot of tutors will travel to their students and have more expenses to deal with than those offering online or group tutorials.

Online tutorials are a good option if you live rurally or can't find any suitable tutors in your local area. These tutors can still offer tailored sessions but can charge less as they don't have to travel to their students and can schedule more sessions each week. As long as you have a decent internet connection, webcam, and microphone, you can enjoy private online tutoring from tutors all over the world.

Group tutoring is an excellent option if you're on a tight budget. While you won't get as much one-on-one tuition from your tutor, you usually end up paying less as the cost of the tutor's time and expertise is split amongst all the students in attendance. If you and some friends, family members, or colleagues, are interested in learning more about music or rap, group tutoring could be a fun and rewarding experience.

Before you start contacting tutors, it's a really good idea to think carefully about the type of tutoring that you're after and what you're looking for in a tutor. Make a list of your requirements and keep them in mind as you search for tutors on Superprof. Once you have a few tutors in mind that meet your requirements, you can start getting in touch with them and discussing how and what you'd like to learn.

Remember that many of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first lesson for free. Use these free sessions to try out a few different tutors before deciding on which one would be right for you. Remember to keep your requirements in mind when chatting with potential tutors and remember that since you're probably going to be spending a decent amount of time with them, it's important that you get on well with them.

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