Many aspiring rappers want to learn how to rap fast. Being able to rhyme and sing lines at a high speed like artists such as Eminem and Twista do is seen as a very positive skill in the music community.
Ultimately, rapping fast comes down to technique, rhythm perception, and muscle/breath performance. With practice, it is possible for anyone to learn the skill given the proper dedication.
Today we bring you a comprehensive guide on how to rap fast in 10 steps, as well as cover some important tips and techniques you should practice regarding rhythm, breathing, posture, and much more to help you improve your rap speed.
How to Rap Fast in 10 Steps
- Practice Slow First
- Know-How to Count Bars
- Learn Rhythmic Structure
- Learn Song Structure
- Practice With Tongue-Twisters
- Pay Attention to Your Breathing
- Keep an Eye on your Posture
- Record Yourself Rapping
- Adapt Certain Words
- Write Your Own Lyrics
Practice Slow First
Many rappers often want to start rapping fast right away, but that’s not the best approach to the technique. The best way to build your skills is to slow down a bit the song you’re rapping over. You can easily do this by using free software such as Audacity if you have an audio file, or by using a metronome.
In fact, a metronome is your best friend. There are countless metronome apps and websites on the internet. The tool will help you improve your rhythmic perception as well as to gradually speed up your rapping skills. Try practicing your lines slowly at first and increasing it by 5 BPM at a time.
Doing tongue-twisters to a metronome, for example, can also be a very good exercise.
Know-How to Count Bars
This is one of the quintessential musical metrics and it is often the first thing that artists learn when they’re getting into music.
Most rap songs use the traditional 4/4 notation, that is, the beat is divided into groups of four bars. We can use this division to know exactly where the words of the lyrics are going to fit inside the instrumental.
Getting a grip on the concept if you’re a beginner is easy. Just take your favorite song and tap your feet to the beat. In fact, most people have done this before since we have a natural reaction to rhythm. Learning this basic metric will help you have more confidence and focus while you rap.
Learn Rhythmic/Rhyming Structure
Rhythmic/Rhyming structure refers to how each word on your rap lyrics correlates to each other. Each one of the syllables in a song serves a rhythmical purpose and will command the flow, so it is important for every rapper to firmly understand these concepts.
Take these two verses from Eminem’s song Slim Shady for example: “Cause I’m Slim Shady, yes, I’m the real Shady / All you other Slim Shadys, are just imitating”. Both verses have almost the same number of syllables, 12 and 13, respectively.
The similar number of syllables in both verses ensures that the lines work well on the rhythmical side of things, along with the beat. Have a listen to your favorite rap song and notice it in practice.
Zooming out a little bit we have another type of division inside the lyrics. Take the lyrics of Kanye West’s Flashing Lights for example:
- A “She don’t believe in shootin’ stars
- A But she believe in shoes and cars
- B Wood floors in the new apartment
- B Couture from the store’s department”
As we can see, we’ve divided the four verses into two groups: A and B. This kind of division is one of the simplest: A rhymes with A and B rhymes with B. You could have different rhyming structures such as AABA, ABBA, or ABAB in the same rap song.
Learn Arrangement Structure
It is also essential for any rapper to have knowledge of song arrangement structure. It is very simple: most rap songs feature an intro, verse, bridge, and chorus, as well as variations of these basic sections.
The lyrics will fit inside each of these sections and understanding them is important so you know what’s coming next when you’re rapping fast, as well as find yourself into the song with confidence.
In each section, the lyrics are usually divided into groups of four to five verses. Even though this number can greatly vary, these groups are divided in a way that will make rhythmic sense inside the song.
For example, take the AABB rhyming structure we talked about earlier: verse A will rhyme with verse A, B with B, and so on, so it makes sense to group these four verses together.
Practice With Tongue-Twisters
Most people are familiarized with tongue-twisters. These are short phrases made to test our diction abilities as well as improve our rhythmic perception. If you analyze these phrases further, you will see that all tongue-twisters have a rhythmic structure to them.
They are one of the best exercises for improving your tongue muscle as well as your diction. Here is a great video from RhymeMakers with a few tongue-twister examples to help you get started:
Pay Attention to Your Breathing
Breathing is one of the quintessential pillars of singing and rapping. Your breathing technique can make or break your rap performance.
For rapping, as well as for singing, it is recommended that you breathe from the diaphragm. It may be kind of difficult at first, especially since most of us are used to breathe shallowly, but with proper training, it should become very natural.
Keep in mind that your diaphragm is a muscle that sits right below your chest, so when you breathe from it, you should feel your stomach expand; As opposed to chest-breathing, where you will feel your shoulders lift up a little bit.
Another important factor related to breathing is that, when rapping fast, you need to calculate precisely each window in the song you have to breathe. Here is a useful video depicting the top five breathing techniques for rapping:
Keep an Eye on Your Posture
Posture is a factor often disregarded by many beginner rappers, but it shouldn’t. To be able to rap fast, you need to have a straight back while keeping your body muscles relaxed.
If you have a hunchback or your muscles are too tense, you may unwillingly compress your lungs and make it harder to breathe, or even compress your vocal cords.
We recommend that you pay attention to your posture frequently throughout the day since it will help you not only with fast rapping, but with your health in general; As well as try to relax the most before going into sessions or performing live.
Record Yourself Rapping
Recording yourself is one of the best exercises there is to help improve your flow and build confidence with your own voice. Try, for instance, to record some freestyle lines and listen closely to how you pronounce words, your diction, and your style.
That way you can isolate mistakes and work on improving them to reach your goals faster. If you’ve never recorded your voice before, you may find it sounds unfamiliar, but that’s completely normal since our voices are different from how we hear them and it is only a matter of getting used to it.
You can simply use your phone’s built-in recorder to do this or, if you already own a microphone and an audio interface, you can record yourself inside your DAW. If you’re looking for a microphone, check out our Best Recording Microphones – Part 1: Vocal Mics article.
Adapt Certain Words
If you’re unable to fit a certain word inside a beat to rap fast, you can shorten it or adapt it to fit into your verse. For example, the word “because” can become “cause”. This technique is widely used by fast rappers and you’ve certainly heard it before in a song.
Write Your Own Lyrics
Last but not least we strongly recommend you to try writing your own fast rap lyrics even if you’re a beginner, as practicing this could help develop your skills even further. The good part about this is that you can go at your own pace and see which words/rhythm works for you.
Related: How to Record Rap Vocals
Apart from writing, we also advise you to focus on freestyle. Freestyling is amazing for building confidence and speed.
Benefits In Rapping Fast
Learning how to rap faster has a lot of benefits, even if your style of rapping is not exactly focused on speed. That’s why we recommend most rappers to train fast rapping at least periodically. Some of the benefits include:
- More versatility when creating new songs.
- Better diction and pronunciation of words.
- Better breathing pattern and technique, as well as improved posture.
- Improvements in analytical/thinking skills.
- Wider vocabulary for your lyrics.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Rap Fast?
Learning how to rap fast in a decent way shouldn’t take more than a couple of months, but keep in mind that fast rap is a skill that you should train frequently in order to keep it sharp, and always try to improve on different areas.
Why Should I Learn to Rap Fast?
Like mentioned before, even if fast rap is not exactly your style of music, learning to do so can have great benefits in your breathing technique and posture, as well as add versatility to your skillset and help you write better lyrics by improving your vocabulary.
How Can I Practice Fast Rap?
Doing frequent exercises such as singing along to your favorite rap songs and tongue-twisters will help you rap faster. Try to also keep an eye on your breathing and posture, as well as understand the basic concepts of structuring we’ve discussed earlier in the article.
Who Are the Fastest Rappers in Music Nowadays?
Some of the fastest rappers in the rap industry nowadays are Twista, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, and Dizzee Rascal. The fastest artist on the list is Twista, who was listed by the Guinness Book as the world’s fastest rapper, after rapping 598 syllables in only 55 seconds.
In this article, we’ve covered 10 tips to help you learn how to rap fast, some useful techniques for improving your breathing and posture, as well as the benefits of exercising your rap abilities.
Make sure you properly understand how the rhythmic/rhyming structure of a song works, as well as how the syllables tie together with the beat. This will have a great impact on your ability to rapping faster.
Overall, your ability to rap fast will come down to how frequently you practice and how well you address each problem and/or weak point on your flow. Planning a routine of daily rapping exercises is essential if you’re serious about rap.We hope we have helped you learn how to rap fast. If you have any questions or want to discuss the subject even further, please don’t hesitate to comment or contact us!