Hip Hop Beats: Song Structure

Everyone in their right mind wants to either be a hip hop producer or artist. If you have a need for producing Hip Hop beats, Song Structure is your best friend. Without the proper structure an emcee will have a difficult time catching the rhythm of the beat. A Hip Hop beat should compliment the emcee’s lyrical skill and vice versa. Hopefully this article will show you some simple steps that will give you a basic guideline on how most Hip Hop musicĀ is structured.

Create an Intro part…

This is usually from 1 to 8 bars. This should captivate the listener. Many people determine if they will listen to the rest of the song based on the quality of the intro.

Create a first Verse part…

The most common length for a Hip Hop verse is 16 bars. With Hip Hop music this part can be anything from a single loop repeated several times to a full on orchestrated piece of music that progresses with time and has transitions.

Create a first Hook part…

Usually approximately 4 to 8 bars. This should be catchy and in tune with the lyrics wrote for the Chorus. Sometimes the rhythm matches the rest of the song, sometimes it is a completely new beat and feel altogether.

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Create a second Verse part…

The most common thing to do is to copy the first Verse part and paste it after the first Hook to create the second Verse. Something most producers will do to add some dynamic to the second verse is add or subtract a sound or two and maybe switch one of the melodies by a note.

Create a second Hook part…

This will basically be another 4 to 8 bars of the first Hook. Some producers add a little more dynamic to this part and build it up to transition into the breakdown.

Create a Bridge/Breakdown…

The bridge, or breakdown, is usually between 1 to 8 bars. This can be a stripped down drum beat, an instrumental solo, or a remix of the main beat.

Create a third Verse Part…

This part is usually similar to the first and second Verse parts. Some producers add some changes to the rhythm in the third verse or introduce a new melody to the song.

Create a third Hook part…

This is usually the Hook that takes you into the Outro of the song. This Hook part is sometimes mixed with little drums towards the end to give the feeling that the song is winding down.

Create an Outro part…

This is usually anywhere from 1 to 8 bars. This is an extension of the final Hook, an instrumental breakdown, complete silence to allow a vocal breakdown, or anything in between. Some producers will simply fade the beat out and call that the Outro. Some do not include an Outro at all.

For more information and a step by step tutorial on mixing and mastering your beats or music that gives a list of mastering plugins to use go here.

There you have it! We wish you much success in your endeavors of Hip Hop production. Feel free to submit your progress to us at bmdubb@dubbspotrecords.com.

Happy Producing!