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Beat Box

Beat Boxing is the use of human voices as musical instrument. This style is growing in popularity and many big artists are trying it out in their new albums. You should try it not only because it sounds cool, but also because it is easy to do and costs nothing!

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Beat Boxing resources. We have a Beat Boxing forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Beat Boxing how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Beat Boxing books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Intro


‘Beatbox’ is what you do when you produce vocal sound effects without using instruments. Many of us would have had the tendency to make or imitate sounds that resembled drumbeats or other musical instruments with our mouths when we were kids. Imagine finding out that what we were actually doing was ‘beatboxing’! This is an art whose basics must be learned properly and you need a lot of practice before you can perfect it. So lets take a look at some useful tips here that can help you get on with this fun hobby. The next thing you know, you will be performing on stage to huge crowds, just like human Beatbox legends Rahzel, Buffy, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie, etc. who catapulted beatboxing to fame during the 1980s.




As you train to beatbox - your vocal skills will develop. Beatboxing is also referred to as multi-vocalism and vocal percussion. So, the range of vocal skills in beatboxing will cover imitating sounds, singing and - everything vocal. Now human beatboxing is usually related to the urban and hip-hop genres of music, while vocal percussion relates to a-cappella and rockapella music groups.




Basic Sounds In Beatboxing


When you learn beatboxing, you’ll learn about the three basic sounds that form the foundation of beatboxing grooves and these get their names from the components of a drum kit. These are:


• Kick drum


• Snare drum


• Hi-hat


All three sounds are made in such a way as to give the listener the illusion that they are being made simultaneously, when the beatboxer is actually doing one at a time rapidly. Artists like Rahzel sing and beatbox at the same time – and this is really an auditory illusion, which is achieved by making continuous sounds. The ideal way to begin this illusion is to begin with the singing and then with the effects!




In beatboxing, though you don’t need to hold a microphone, there are different techniques for doing so to enable you make different kinds of sounds – for example – the closed clasp for nasal bass sounds, open clasp for less nasal sounds, etc. Sometimes even two mics are used. Many artists develop their own special style with a mic and so will you as you practice and enjoy the groove.




Breath Control Technique


Have you wondered how beatboxers keep at it for hours together without actually seeming to pause for breath? Well, it comes through breath control. What they do is breathe and make their sound simultaneously. These are called inward sounds and you will learn that practically every outward sound can be made inward. One of the three basic sounds, the snare drum is performed with an inward sound. Snare sounds comprise of four different types made with the lips, vocal chords and tongue. A fifth breathing-in snare is a combination of two techniques. The five sounds help the beatboxers to produce that continuous sound that you hear. Just imagine – even though everyone uses similar methods, each person sounds so very different and unique!




Once you learn the basic sounds, you put them into a beat. Your tutorials will teach you simple beat patterns that you can practice on and develop your own original stuff and work around songs. You can go ahead and pick any genre that is your favorite – whether it is hip-hop, rock, dance, grunge, etc.




How To Go About Learning Beatboxing?


As you pick up the basic techniques you will be able to practice these key sounds. Don’t worry about stumbling initially – just have fun as you imagine entertaining a big crowd. Try and listen to as many beatboxing artists as you can – there are plenty of audio clips and records available. This will inspire you – as you enjoy listening to them – and motivate you to try out all the sounds you hear. You will also be able to discern between different styles and techniques. Apart from all this it can be a great mood-booster to get you in the ‘groove’ and beatbox along with the great artists.




Another way to get yourself into the right frame of mind is to try and watch live performances – a good performance can really draw you into the art. If you have friends who can go with you - all the better, since you might have company to learn. You can freely copy an artist – think `If Your Mother Only Knew` by Rahzel - and then do it in your own style. It will also help you build confidence to try new things and develop your beatboxing skills.




Beatboxing takes initiative and innovation. It involves lots of creativity and allows you to experiment and explore. What we have given you here is information to get you started. You can learn your beatboxing skills and watch some great videos that will show you exactly how it is done at Discover A Hobby. Don’t forget to check out the wonderful books listed to help you know everything about beatboxing. Knowledge is power, so go ahead, beatboxer, and enjoy!