Every hip hop beat is unique. But every hip hop beat also holds together similar elements. We’ll go over how to put these key ingredients together to make a hip hop beat.
#1 Start with a Vibe. Pick The Right Samples
Hip Hop was created on samples. That’s why it’s only right to start with a sample as the foundation of your beat. The sample you choose will set the vibe for the whole beat.
Surfing youtube for samples is a common practice. However, if you plan to release your beat online you might want to search for royalty – free samples. Luckily, we have over 4,000 samples for you to choose from in our shop. In addition, we recommend starting off with our ‘Beat Blocks’ sample library.
It’s full of high-quality samples to help you make Hip Hop beats. For example, there is 100 melody loops. These styled loops are perfect for laying the foundation and setting the vibe.
#2 Make Those Drums Bounce
Another vital ingredient in hip hop beats is the drum patterns. A lot of hip hop tracks these days are focused heavily on drums.
For example, in one of Lil Baby’s new songs ‘We Paid’ you’ll notice the drums are front and center with a very minimal melody hidden in the back of the mix.
In order to achieve a head bobbing drum groove you want to start with making sure your sound selection is on point. Start by choosing sounds that compliment each other especially your 808s and kick.
Check out this video for more tips on drum sound selection.
After you’ve picked your sounds you’re going to start building your pattern. An easy and effective way to create a drum groove is to follow along with your melodies keys.
For example, have your 808 key follow the low keys of your melody. This will help ‘glue’ the beat together.
#3 Keep It Simple
When making a hip hop beat it can be easy to get carried away. Sometimes a beat may sound too simple to you. However, you need to keep the listener in mind. If you take the time to study the hip hop charts you’ll notice 99% of the beats are fairly simple.
Most importantly, it’s about the groove and vibe not the complexity. If you plan on giving your beat to an artists you also need to remember that keeping it simple is almost necessary. You need to leave room for those vocals.
One tip for keeping your beats simple is to only use a select amount of sounds. For example, most hip hop beats only contain the following sounds:
- 2-4 instruments for melody or 1 melodic sample
- Open Hats / Percussion
Listen closely to your favorite hip hop songs you’ll notice that majority of time there is only 8-13 instruments and sounds being used.
#4 Don’t Over Think Your Mix
The genre of hip hop is a very minimalistic genre. Therefore, you need to keep your mix simple as well.
When mixing, start off by finding which instruments you want to stand out. Put that volume at the top and go down from there.
When applying effects don’t over do it. It can be tempting at times to saturate sounds with reverb, or fill in space with delays but remember to keep it simple.
In conclusion, when making hip hop beats remember to keep it simple. Focus heavily on groove and sound selection and don’t overthink it!