How Long It Takes To Get Good At Rapping
Let’s answer an age-old question for people who are interesting it getting good at rap:
How long does it take to get good at rapping?
You might ask this question because you’re losing motivation…
…But more often than not you lose it because you feel like you’ve stopped improving.
To counter that, you might start experimenting a lot more…
…But with experimentation comes new challenges and more feelings like there’s no improvement!
So today, we’ll answer once for all:
How long it takes to get good at rapping!
How To Get Good At Rapping: Organize Your Expectations
The first thing you need organize your thoughts into skills you’ll need to develop your craft as a rapper.
We’ll dive into the common skills it takes to get good at rapping and how long each one will take (with real-life examples).
Which Skills Do You Need To Get Good At Rapping?
Next, we’ll give you a big list of skills you’ll need to have an explain each one: Songwriting, Beat Selection, Flow, Performance, Voice, Rhyme Schemes, and Marketing.
With each skill, we’ll offer you resources that you can access to help shave down the time it’ll take for you to get good at rapping.
Why Should You Listen To Me?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the timeline, let me give you a brief explanation of my experience level with rap so you feel confident that I’m not that much different than you.
I’m not from a musical family… my parents listened to a lot of music but it certainly wasn’t rap… and they certainly didn’t do it professionally.
I was introduced to rap mainly because it was the music that all kids my age listened to.
I never played an instrument prior to rap… I didn’t grow up in the hood… I didn’t have some crazy gangsta life story.
I say all this to say that you don’t need to be a stereotypically street gangsta MF’er to get good at this thing.
You don’t need to have millions in the bank or have some wildly innate musical talent to go into rap full time.
With this in mind, let me give you a few key highlights of my career AFTER I got good at rapping.
I say this not to brag, but to basically explain what’s possible for YOU once you master this thing:
1. Last year, I was paid a full time salary plus hotels, flights, and expenses to travel around the world performing live for businesses in over 15 countries
2. The year before a full three-bedroom Las Vegas mansion complete with a $12,000 home studio was rented just for me to make music full-time
3. My last album was recorded, engineered, and produced by multiplatinum producer Purps of 808 Mafia who’s most recent record was “Hear Me Calling” by JuiceWrld (he also did three other songs on Juice’s new album)
4. I haven’t had a regular job in over a decade because I’ve been doing music full-time
Now, hopefully with that information you can see that you can be musically untalented, not from the streets, with no formal training and still have a full time rap career.
(If you’re just ready to start doing rap full-time instead of reading this article, click here to find out how we can help you)
Get Good At Rapping By Organizing Your Expectations
The first thing you must do is be aware of the main skills needed to get good at rapping.
We don’t want to keep you here all day, so we’ll just give you a basic outline of MOST (but not all) of the abilities you’ll need:
“Songwriting” – possibly the most crucial aspect… can you get good at writing raps in a format people want to listen to again? (sometimes called replay value)
“Beat Selection” – ability to choose the best music to back your raps
“Flow” – ability to rhyme on a beat in an exciting, original way… ability to “stay on beat”
“Performance” – ability to do good ‘takes’ in the studio… ability to perform live in a good way
“Voice” – ability to have an entertaining delivery, make people want to keep listening to you vocally
“Rhyme Schemes” – ability to create interesting and unorthodox rhyme choices
“Marketing” – ability to make people want to spend money to hear your music
Real Life Examples of Getting Good At Rapping
Now, there are a few other skills you’ll need, and some of these have slightly different wordings you hear that mean the same thing (delivery, voice, vocals, etc.)…
…But this is a great place to start.
In order to answer the question fully and honestly, I think the best way to go about it is tell you HOW and HOW LONG it took me to “figure” these things out… over 15 years ago when I started rapping.
With each epiphany along my “get good at rapping” journey, I’ll answer how long it took to get good at each category.
The Skills Needed To Get Good At Rapping
My first brush with songwriting was when I rapped for a record label owner at age 14.
I thought that all it took to be good at rap was simply rhyme words occasionally and brag about how cool you are over no beat.
Needless to say, when I mumbled out like 8-10 “bars” for him over the phone with no beat… he explained that I needed to make it over MUSIC…
…Because rap is MUSIC and not poetry…
(So stop sending people “written text lyrics for feedback” online if you’re doing that… they can’t hear the MUSIC and flow… That’s not rap, it’s poetry… but more on that later…)
But he explained I needed to make it over MUSIC and not acapella… and that it needed to be formatted in songs.
That was the first major lesson I learned in rap… make SONGS not just raps.
Now, as far as how long it takes to get good at it… being a skilled songwriter is a lifelong journey but for you to learn how to format a song properly…
…And the common sections / lengths of a popular song… you can learn that within around three months.
Our company personally has a 4-hour training course called “Hit Records, Hot Beats” where we explain those common songwriting sections.
If you’re interested in that sort of thing… click here – and after you’ve filled out your email – you’ll be taken to more information.
The second thing the record label owner explained was I must get good at choosing beats.
Again, this is a lifelong skill… and unlike some of the other skills… you can improve this quickly by working with other people.
Sometimes the best option to have the fans, managers, or even random people on the street tell you what’s the best beat to rock over just by their reaction…
The ability to choose good beats can vary wildly depending on the artist, but I’d say to develop a good “ear” for beats…
…Expect it to take maybe a year or so.
Once you know that you have to format songs properly to make “hits” (there is such a thing as a “hit” formula)…
And you realize you need to rock over the beats you’ve chosen in a clean, rhythmic fashion.
Now, flow again is something that depends A LOT on the person, but if you play an instrument, have singing experience, or even just…
PAY MORE ATTENTION IN MUSIC CLASS (if you’re still in school)…
…You can speed up the flow learning process quite a bit.
Also remember our definition of rap flow: drum patterns in word form…
So the better you are at keeping time like a drum (or drummer), the quicker you will master flow.
A really good resource is our free YouTube playlist “Rap Flow Techniques” where we have over an hour of videos helping you count out and choose your flow. You can access that by clicking here.
In my case, it took me THREE times as long to figure flow out since I had no musical training and there were no rap coaches back then.
So, for me… it took like three to four years to be perfectly on beat and choose “dope flows”.
You can probably cut that time down 75% by following our flow trainings and practicing daily on counting out your rhythms.
After I had a handle on the “musical” side of getting good at rapping…
I had to get used to performing the music I wrote… 1) in a studio 2) in public
Getting comfortable in a studio doesn’t have to take you THAT long as far as the comfort factor.
Three to four sessions with an engineer and perhaps people around you as you perform… you will realize it’s not that scary and get used to it.
The biggest thing is your ability to reproduce what you hear in your mind into a recorded format.
This ability takes some time as you are finding your “sound” and how to mess around with your voice… (we’ll talk about that more below)…
But as a general point, allow like 6-12 months for this to be learned.
I got most of my skills in this area by recording at home and mixing myself. If you’re curious about how to record good rap music professionally at home even if you have a small budget, click HERE to find out more info.
Performing In Public
This is something that is SCARIER than some other categories at first…
…But again like the studio, once you do it a few times the fear goes away and you don’t have to really worry about it any more.
We have a great free video on performing live on YouTube, which you can access here.
Performing on a stage vs. with a few other people has some slight differences, but basically it all comes down to grabbing your cojones and pushing through three to four times and then it’s not as scary.
It’s literally just like jumping into the cold end of the pool. After the second or third time, you’re good to go.
It took me only like a month or two to get comfortable rapping for people anywhere any time.
Vocal delivery and how you want to “sound” is another lifelong process in this game, but the most common trait I see with new rappers is…
They HATE their voice.
So I’ll answer it this way: it will probably you take you around 6-12 months to not fully HATE your voice…
…Perhaps sooner if you are a confident person or if you get good encouragement from others.
A note about confidence: you may believe that every street rapper never seems to dislike their voice and that they have some God-given skill you don’t.
Usually not the case. More often than not, they are just more confident people in general (think about the environment they’ve grown up in), so little things like “My voice sounds weird!” doesn’t bother them.
This doesn’t mean you cannot become confident yourself. Not every human who succeeds in life is born with full confidence. Just be patient and practice.
It took me about a year to feel fully comfortable with my voice, in my case.
Rhyme schemes are something that you will learn quickly on a “logical level” (a.k.a. understand what it means)…
…But may take you a year or two to perfect.
If you are shooting to compete with Eminem, Redman, Joyner Lucas, or literally some of the greatest rhymers of all time…
…Expect to spend five to ten years getting amazing at rhyme schemes. Just keeping it real.
When you hear an Eminem or Black Thought rhyme words in 2019, they’ve literally been doing it TWICE AS LONG as any teenagers HAVE BEEN ALIVE…
Don’t think for a second you’re “special” and you’ll get that level of rhyme scheme skill in like a year.
BUT you can have good enough rhymes to have a full time career, get rich, and get all the success you want in rap within a year or two of practice at the rhyme scheme thing…
…So don’t sweat it.
The best resource we have available for speeding up the rhyme scheme process is our free YouTube training playlist that can be found HERE.
I use this as a catch-all phrase for promoting your music in any way, shape, or form.
Again, this is something you will be doing for the rest of your life (even outside of music), so there isn’t a good timeline…
…BUT it should only take you like a month to six weeks to have a fully function promotion set-up to take your music as far as you want to go.
I would suggest checking out our six-week marketing course by filling out your email after you click HERE. That’s the fastest way I personally know to have all the marketing stuff handled so you can go full time in music.
For me, it took maybe six weeks to two months to have all my marketing down so that I could focus exclusively on making music and not all the technical promotion marketing jargon.
IMPORTANT FINAL POINT:
All of this can and SHOULD be done AT THE SAME TIME.
You might read this and think that I’m saying you have to add “six months” to “one year” to “five years” to each category…
…And just work and wait.
No… all of these skills should be developed at the same time, concurrently…
So, if you are doing all of these at once, there’s no reason you can’t be “good” and having a fully functioning rap career in under five years.
I was able to book shows and perform live in other states within three to four years of when I first wrote my first rap…
…AND THAT WAS BEFORE THERE WERE ANY COURSES TEACHING ME HOW TO DO IT FASTER.
With all the resources available online now, you can cut that time as much as 75% thanks to the music education in rap we have.
Check the conclusion below for our resources relating to each skill.
Let’s review what we really learned today and the expected numbers:
Get Good At Rapping By Focusing On Skills
Different skills in rap have different expected times for you to get good at them. We have given you a list (not full but extensive) of what you need to do and how long it will take:
Definition: Possibly the most crucial aspect… can you get good at writing raps in a format people want to listen to again? (sometimes called replay value)
Expected time: 3 Months to understand song formatting, structure, etc. — lifetime to perfect the craft
Resources: “Hit Songs, Hot Beats” 4-Hour Masterclass
Definition: Ability to choose the best music to back your raps
Expected time: 1 Year, lifetime to perfect the craft
Resources: “Hit Songs, Hot Beats” 4-Hour Masterclass
Definition: Ability to rhyme on a beat in an exciting, original way… ability to “stay on beat”
Expected time: 1-3 Years depending on musical background
Definition: Ability to do good ‘takes’ in the studio… ability to perform live in a good way
Expected time: 6-12 Months
Definition: Ability to have an entertaining delivery, make people want to keep listening to you vocally
Expected time: 6-12 Months to be confident in your voice, lifetime to perfect the craft
Resources: Rap Voice Training on YouTube
Definition: Ability to create interesting and unorthodox rhyme choices
Expected time: 1 Year to get good enough for professional career, 5-15 Years To Get Eminem Level, lifetime to perfect the craft
Resources: Rhyme Scheme Playlist
Definition: ability to make people want to spend money to hear your music
Expected time: 6 Weeks-2 Months, lifetime to perfect the craft
Resources: Start A Professional Rap Career in 6 Weeks
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Which of the categories is giving you the most trouble right now?