How To Improve Your Rap Voice In 3 Simple Steps
In today’s article we’re going to explain how to improve your rap voice no matter where you are in experience level as a rapper.
If you have a monotone rap voice or rap voice that’s high pitched…
If you find that your rap voice “takes fans out of the music”…
…Or if you’re more experienced and would just like to learn some finer technical details in rap voice, this is the video for you.
As someone who has been rapping for over 15 years and personally training amateur rappers to become professional rap artists for the last half decade…
…And because you need more than just a great VOICE to be a rapper, but great MUSIC, be sure to check out our free songwriting video course, “The Top 20 Songwriting Secrets of Full-Time Rappers” by clicking HERE.
The Fundamental Components of Great Rap Delivery: “EET”
The first thing you’ll need to understand is what the main components of a great rap voice are so that you can identify which part you are lacking in or would like to improve on and focus on that.
I’ve created an easy to remember acronym for this which I call, “EET”. EET stands for…
All of the components of EET comprise what is commonly known as vocal delivery in rap… or for causal fans, simply, “rap voice”.
Now, let’s breakdown what each of these means and what to focus on to improve your rap voice.
How To Improve Your Rap Voice ENERGY
When someone first decides to become a rapper, one of the first things I usually have to tell them is that they simply need to be LOUDER.
Vocal energy refers to the actual VOLUME of your voice when rapping.
90% of beginning rappers are simply TOO quiet when they first start off rapping and it comes off very insecure and amateurish.
Now, when you get more experienced and know how to project your voice properly and get enough air into your lungs…
…You’ll be able to tone it back and get a more relaxed, chill amount of energy and still sound confident, much like rappers such as Nas, Snoop Dogg, or even Drake are able to do.
But as a beginning artist I would suggest your first priority to master rap voice is to learn to project your voice LOUDLY so that you know how to “dominate” a beat when you hear it.
Visualize How “Far” Your Voice Is Traveling
Let me give you a quick exercise to help you improve your vocal energy if that’s an issue.
The first thing I would suggest is begin rapping your verses, project your voice, and try to visualize how far your voice is traveling.
If you are a beginner and nervous, I would bet your voice is only landing about one to two feet in front of you.
Imagine there is a red line on the floor in front of you and push your voice out more to try to make it land as far as five, six, or even ten feet away.
Imagine you are trying to yell at someone in another room in your house. While you may feel like you are sounding over-the-top…
…This exercise is simply to get you used to rapping at a high volume, and then with the other tips we’re about to give you, we’ll train you how to avoid just sounding like you’re screaming.
Even better, if you can get a friend or fellow rapper to stand six to ten feet away from you and listen, let them tell you how you sound from that distance. In person references are always better than just by yourself.
Practice Getting Louder
The most important thing to understand with this section is that your current IMPRESSION of how loud you are is not necessarily the actual FACT of how loud you are.
Much like you might record yourself and think you sound good but then when you listen back to you don’t like…
…You can’t simply think that you’re actually at full vocal energy volume just because you initially THINK you are.
It takes practice to know you’re loud enough, much like when you take your first shot on the basketball court after you haven’t played in a while you THINK you’re shooting far enough to reach the basket…
But you realize once you airball you have to shoot farther than you thought at first.
How To Improve Your Rap Voice EMPHASIS
Vocal emphasis is related to which words you put inflection on… which words you stretch out… which words you shorten… and all things related to how you enunciate your words.
For all you artists who feel like your voice is too monotone or that is a critique that you’ve heard people say… this is the section you want to pay attention to, so listen up.
The best hack for improving your ability to identify your vocal emphasis to actually change the way you write your raps.
Most beginning rappers just write their bars out on the phone or notepad in regular punctuation, with words spelled properly, and no style.
While that makes it easier to read… it also tells your brain that you should be reading those lyrics out loud like you would a regular book or article, which is not good.
What I would suggest is literally CHANGING the formatting of your lyrics to remind yourself to have points of emphasis when rapping.
One way to do it is to use CAPITALS in your raps on WORDS you want to EMPHASIZE and give more POWER to.
Another way is use italics to remind yourself to say certain words smoothly.
The last and my favorite way is to intentionally misspell words so that you can remind yourself when recording to say a word in a unique way.
So, for example, I’m sure we’ve all heard at least one or two 2Pac songs where he rhymes “Hennessy” with “enemies”.
But usually when ‘Pac does that, he doesn’t just say it normally like he read off a page. He usually draaaags the words out so it sounds like “Hennnnessssy” and “enemmmiiiiies”.
In that case, if I was writing a rap and wanted to use that rhyme to impersonate ‘Pac… I would literally write 5 or 6 s’s for “Hennessy” and a bunch of “i’s” for enemies to remind myself to drag them out.
There’s not hard and fast rules to this tip, but experiment with a unique way of writing your lyrics to remind yourself to NOT be monotone when you rap.
How To Improve Your Rap Voice TONE
Vocal tone refers to the sound quality or “timbre” of your voice. This is the only one of the “EET” naming system that somewhat has to do with how your body is made…
…In other words, if you have a high pitched voice you can definitely get a nice deep “tone” but you’re not going to sound like DMX very often…
But don’t let that discourage you. I think most people would say Eminem has a higher pitched rap voice however he has many songs like “The Way I Am” or even “Stan” where he has a deeper tone.
It IS something you can practice. The best advice I can give you on this point is learning which part of your vocal apparatus, or your “face” you want to be aiming for when you are rapping.
I’ve done a more in-depth article on this particular topic called, “3 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Rap Voice” (which you can read by clicking HERE) which I’ll point you to…
…But the main trick you want to use to get a more varied vocal tone is to concentrate on how certain voices “feel in your throat” (pause) when you are recording.
When I am experimenting with a new rap voice for a track, I will do 3-4 different takes of different tones like raspy or high-pitched, and take a second to identify where I feel the power of the voice in my body.
On the next track, I’ll try to replicate those tones and see if it fits with the track. I’m continuously trying to put the “vocal tone software” in my mind by identifying where physically I’m placing my voice…
…And after doing this for a few song, the new tone is locked in not only my mind, but my muscle memory and I can pull it out when I want.
If you continuously practice the main components off EET and experiment with the secrets we’ve provided, you should be discovering new voices for yourself in no time.
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