Learn To Write Better

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by Mr. ROUSH, Aug 19, 2011.

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  1. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Learn To Write Better.

    Some of you may already be using this technique or some variation of it.. you might even be doing this and you don't even know it... at any rate...

    Rappers could stand to learn a lot from... Drummers... yep.. drummers... Rhyming words is a rhythmic process.. meaning that the attack of your words words must fall on specific quanitization points on the grid.. in simple terms.. you must stay on beat when you rap..

    too often rappers put the majority of the emphasis on word choice... as opposed to first structuring the verse rhythmically and then filling in the beats with words.. so the next time you sit down with a beat.. don't immediately start thinking of words and subject matter.. first decide how your verse will be structured...

    Ok.. so to do this.. think like a drummer! Imagine a snare drum sound taking the place of each word.. you wouldn't place a snare drum someplace where it doesn't belong.. say if it were not on beat, or simply not musical in relation to the drum pattern as a whole... so don't put a word or syllable where a snare hit wouldn't fit..

    to illustrate this I will show you the way I have started to structure my verses..

    1st, I will play the beat... I start to mouth a pattern for each line using just sounds instead of thinking about what words to use. so it might be something like.. (doo doodoodoo doodoo doo doo doo doo) "doo" by itself represents a quarter note.. "doodoodoodoo" represent eight notes or 16th notes, or whatever, just depending on how you decide you want it to be.. e.g.. 1, and 2, and 3, and 4... where the numbers are quarter notes, and the "and's" represent the eight notes in this example.. so basically you map out your entire verse this way..

    When you're done, you will have ensured the flow will be fluid before you have ever even chosen word 1... in many cases it is the structure of the verse that makes the song rather than the word choice.. when something flows so well and everything is tight to the grid as for vocals.. it just sounds more rhytmic and musical.. This is a great way to ensure that you're never forcing too many syllables into a phrase or getting off beat.. when you start by thinking of the words you will use.. the words often dictate the rhythm rather than a great rhythm dictating where the words will fit in a way that will automatically sound good with the beat..

    Something I'll do when writing is chart out a graph showing whever every single syllable will go.. thefore I know exactly how many syllables each line needs to be and what words will fit where or won't fit.. so my method is this.. once I have structured my verse as explained above.. I will make a line of dashes that represent each line of the verse... the dashes represent syllables..

    example.. I do my thing and decide the first line will be " doo doodoo doo doodoo doo doo doo" my graph will look like this..

    - -- - -- - - - I know that a syllable or word goes where each dash is..

    so say then I want line 2 to go.. "doo doodoodoodoo doo doodoodoodoo do do do".. well.. that graph looks like this...

    - ---- - ---- - - - again.. each dash represents a syllable or a word...


    I hope I have explained this well.. it is an invaluable tool in writing that is too often overlooked.. using this method will force you to write better.. not necessarily great.. but at least it will flow perfectly to the beat with no spots that are off beat etc.. it is very hard to explain in writing, where it's easier if you can hear the examples rather than try to interpret the way I write them down.. I hope you get it.. It may seem like you're going to extremes, but once you are used to writing this way it will go much quicker..

    Lots of rappers are great at just sitting down and writing a verse that flows well.. and that's great.. the words and syllables still typically end up going where they fit.. but.. as you get stuck on a line.. often you try different rhythmic structures to fit the words you're wanting to use.. it's better to pick a structure first that you know is going to really flow well.. and then choose words that fit that structure.. rather than settling for a less interesting strucrture just so you can fit the words you had in mind... and so it takes out the guess work... therefore at the end of the writing session you will have a better verse and you narrow the choice of words you can pick, making it quicker to choose the words that will go in a given prhase etc..

    again, this may be very hard to understand in writing.. so please don't hesitate to ask questions, or let me know if you need clarification on any of this... if you need some incentives.. Tech 9 and George Watsky are a couple examples of rappers who write this way... it really simplifies the process.. imagine when tech 9 is spitting 16th notes.. he has really dialed in his flow because he chose words that fit the flow he wanted to end up with..

    Ok, nuff said.. try it.. I bet you won't ever do it any other way again.. as always, best of luck... roushy1@gmail.com
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  2. miscreant

    miscreant 1996 was the shit

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    i was wondering if anybody did this

    i thought of it a while back, never tried it because i just thought of it as wrong

    but i did it for the first time a few nights ago and it works

    but i just feel like i am sacrificing content, or sacrificing something by doing it this way

    also, by 'humming' out the flow, it is still possible to come up with so many variants

    where as when i have a topic first, or not even, just a opening bar or phrase the content or message dictates the flow while still structuring the verse around what i wanna say

    it definitely works and i'll try it again as i only tried it once

    also, i didn't try it from the jump, i was already about 20 bars in to writing a song when i think i was actually stuck on a line, and did the 'humming' thing to work out the flow, it worked for the line i was stuck on so i finished off writing the song in this fashion
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  3. Fatty Goodness

    Fatty Goodness Registered Bruiser

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    i started doing something like this a while back to change my flow up more. Makes me want to get back into sheet music and start really writing out the rhythms with time signatures and what not. good stuff.
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  4. Slim Calhoun

    Slim Calhoun Perfected Hustle

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    Roush i sent you an email bro! very nice guide, hopefully you can explain my questions i sent to your email! thanks man
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  5. Buddy Wedlake

    Buddy Wedlake New Member

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    that's pretty good advice. not too long back i was writng lyrics and practicing what i already had written and i noticed that as each snare or drum hit i was starting the first syllable of a word or sentence. i've never actually written like the way you described before, although i have heard of that method. usually what i'll do is get a general idea of what i want to say, and i'll either freestyle it over the beat so i got the flow down or i'll just write it and then add or subtract words so there aren't too many or too few syllables.
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  6. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

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    I started doing this after noticing at shows that I often didn't care what words the emcees were using, because I couldn't make out what they were saying. Instead, their rhymes were often playing the role of an added percussive.

    So at least even if the audio sucks, heads nod.
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  7. icon502

    icon502 New Member

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    I do this but I dont do it like that. I learned it from studying a old eminem album a listening to how his words were in line with the snare. all those doodoodoo's and dashes confused me lol. Still a great read however. when you rap against the drums in rhythm with the drums it can make your flow sound great.
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  8. miscreant

    miscreant 1996 was the shit

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    "when you rap against the drums in rhythm with the drums"

    elaborate tbh
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  9. Halfway_Crook

    Halfway_Crook Well-Known Member

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    I think it's too easy to rap 'with' the drums. What this breaks down to is the rhythm of the hi-hats. The hi-hats act as 16th notes in every measure. If you do that, your bars will just begin and end in line with the measures. It means your flow is correct, but too conventional and predictable. Try playing with your cadence, intonation and your voice. Hold a note here and there, then double time for a couple of beats. Just play around with it and drag that beat along with you.
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  10. SmokeNC

    SmokeNC New Member

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    Not bad advice for people just getting started. Propz for helpin out the noobs.
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  11. Sacriligeous

    Sacriligeous The Beat Monster

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    Good tip Roush, but it may confuse the noobs more than it helps them...I know a couple cats i produce use this method but sometimes this would lead to them getting stuck on what words to fill in the rhythm with...since you already have a pre conceived notion of what rythm you wanna use, the words don't seem to come out as naturally...anyway just my two cents based on personal experience, it may definitely work better for others..nice article man
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  12. antilluminati

    antilluminati Well-Known Member

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    Basically you need to listen to what people are doing, its all mathematical, hit the beats or go offbeat, as long as there is a rythm according to the bpm of the track. Now, when it comes to writing lyrics, make sure that you have something interesting to say, if you're gonna say what you heard other rappers say, please spare us from your raps biter.
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