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Beatbox Sounds Explained

Beatbox Sounds Explained

There are many sounds and effects used in beat boxing, and once you know the basics you can start to explore them to improve your beat boxing routines. Here we explore the hand clap, k snare or rim shot, inward hollow snare, cymbals, and scratching. This will certainly finely tune your beat box lyrics.

Step 1: The Hand Clap

This is common in many hip hop beats. Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth, building up pressure by sucking inwards, and then releasing the air around the sides of your tongue.

Step 2: The K-Snare

To perform the K snare, simply make a sharp, punchy "K" sound, which is fairly simple. Slightly more complexed is the inward K snare. Make the shape of your mouth as you would to make a "K", and breath inwards at the same time. To improve it add an "s" sound as you breath in, blending it with the "K".

Step 3: The Inward Hollow Snare

This is a vocalised sound, meaning the vocal chords are used to make it. You need to imagine screaming, but inwards, taking a long hard breath inwards that is so hard it starts to use your vocal chords. Instead of making it long and breathy however, make it short and punchy. Follow this by yet again adding an "s" onto the end of it. Alternatively you can use an "r".

Step 4: The Splash Cymbal

This comes from the centre of the mouth and is followed by a long, loud "Shhh". Adding this together with the "p" sound which comes from pushing from the centre of your mouth gives you a "Pshh". With more and more practice, this can become a very convincing cymbal sound.

Step 5: Scratching

Vocal scratching is the most used of the scratching techniques. This is very impressive at the beginning and end of beats, you should listen to as many people as possible performing it to get an ear for how it should be done. Start with a falsetto sound, incorporating the tongue and the throat to give it a distorted twist. Once you can do this you can even add a "Z" or "V" into the mix to make it sound even more effective.