Advanced Beatbox TechniquesOnce you've acquired basic and intermediate skills, it's time to learn some advanced techniques. Don't worry if you have trouble picking them up right away. With practice, you'll be able to do all of them eventually.
- Develop a sweeping bass drum sound (X).
This should be used in place of a bass drum. It takes about 1/2-1 beat to perform. To do a sweeping bass drum, start out like you're about to do a bass drum. Then let your lips loose so they flap when you push air past them. Then touch the tip of your tongue to the inside gum of your bottom teeth and push it forward to perform the technique.
- Work on a techno bass technique (U).
This is done by making an "oof" sound, as if you've just been hit in the stomach. Do it while keeping your mouth closed. You should be able to feel it in your chest.
- Add a techno snare to the mix (G).
This is done the same way as the Techno Bass, but position your mouth as if you were going to make a "shh" sound. You'll still get the bass sound underneath.
- Don't forget about basic scratching.
This is done by reversing the airflow of any of the previous techniques. A commonly misunderstood technique, scratching involves different tongue and lip movements depending on the instrument you are trying to "scratch" with. To understand better, record yourself laying down a beat. Then using a music program, like Windows Sound Recorder, listen to it in reverse. Learning to emulate those reversed sounds literally doubles your known techniques. Also, try making the sound, and then its reverse immediately afterward (Ex: A bass sound followed by its reverse in quick succession make the standard "scratch" noise).
- Work on jazz brushes.
Lightly blow out through your mouth while trying to sustain the letter "f." By blowing slightly harder on the beats 2 and 4, you'll have the accents.
- Add a rimshot.
Whisper the word "kaw," then say it again without letting any of the "aw" through. Push on the "k" a little harder and you'll get a rimshot.
- Add a click roll. (Kkkk)
This is a very difficult technique to perform at first, but once you know how, you can use it any time. To start, position your tongue so that the right (or left, depending on preference) side is resting right above where your top teeth meet your gum. Then pull the back of your tongue toward the back of your throat to do a click roll.
- Practice humming the baseline and beatboxing at the same time.
This technique isn't as difficult as singing, but when you're just starting off, it is easy to get lost. To start, you must first realize that their are two ways to hum: one is from the throat (say "ahh") and the other is through the nose ("mmmmmm"), which is considerably harder to get used to but immeasurably more versatile. The key to humming and beatboxing at the same time is to start with a baseline or melody in mind. Listen to rap hooks, whether they be hummed or not (For example, listen to Parliament Funkadelic's "Flashlight" and practice humming the melody, then try beatboxing over top of it; James Brown is also great for melodies). Scour your music collection for baselines and melodies to hum, then try and put some of your beats or someone else's beats over top of it. It is necessary to learn how to hum a melody or baseline for several reasons, especially if you plan to learn to start singing. This is the area of beatboxing that takes some originality! If you've tried to beatbox and hum at the same time, you must have realized that you've lost of some of your proficiency with certain beat techniques (the Techno Bass and Techno Snare are severely limited, as well as the click roll becomes, if not totally unusable, very hard to hear). Learning what works takes time and practice. If you ever find yourself in a beatbox battle, don't forget that while your endurance and speed are important, using new and interesting melodies and baselines will always win the crowd.
- You'll need to practice inward humming too.
This is an advanced technique which is not widely used in the realm of beatboxing. There are several resources available on how to sing/hum inward. For the purposes of beatboxing, when you need to breathe really bad, it may be a good idea to hum inward. You can always continue humming the same melody, but the pitch (note) will change drastically. With practice, you can correct this pitch change to some extent, but many beatboxing experts who use inward humming decide to change the melody when switching from outward humming to inward humming.
- Adding trumpet sounds is a great way to mix it up.
1. Hum falsetto (that's high pitched - like Mickey Mouse).
2. Lift the back of your tongue to make the sound thinner and sharper.
3. Add a loose, lip oscillation (classic kick drum) to the front of each note.
4. Close your eyes, let rip and pretend you are Louis Armstrong.
- Practice singing and beatboxing at the same time.
The key is to line up consonant sounds with the bass and vowel sounds with the snare. Don't bother adding a hi-hat, as even the best beatboxers have trouble in that respect.