Rahzel, Killa Kela, Doug E. Fresh…you’ve always wondered how the pros do it exactly. Perhaps you’ve even practiced a few times, your tongue tripping over itself, a garbled mess of speech coming out–speech that sounds nothing like real beatboxing and, well, more like a dying animal. If that’s the case, no worries! This short guide to beatboxing will help you perfect–or at least practice–your beatboxing skills.
In classic beatboxing, there are 3 main sounds plus the beat. The first sound you’ll want to learn is the snare drum. There are a couple variations of the snare drum. First, you’ll need to begin with what might be called the ‘P’ snare.
The P Snare
You’ll want to begin by making a P sound. Practice this first before moving on to the more advanced snare drum. Most beatboxers make a sound louder than a mere P, so the next step is to practice pressing your lips together and pushing the air out as you make the P sound for a more forceful-sounding snare. In general, the more forceful the better, but don’t overdo it either.
Next, you’ll want to add a second sound to the P. Most beatboxers vary between using Pff, Pss, or Ptt. The way to do this is to press your lips together tightly and make either an F, S, or T sound directly following the P. You can do this by tightening your bottom lip up against your bottom teeth after releasing the P sound. Once again, the sound should be short and forceful.
If you still need help, see this YouTube video as an example.
The snare drum is one of the most basic and important parts of beatboxing, so practice the snare several times before moving on to the next sound. And of course, stay tuned for future articles, which will cover other important beatboxing sounds. Good luck–you’re on your way to making beatboxing one of your new and exciting hobbies!