Rapping doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be the fastest talker like John Moschitta, Jr., who is known to be the fastest talking man in the world. Rap, of course, is rhythmical and is more than fast-talking. It is a combination of rhythm and fast-talking. Hence, it is more than fast-talking, like what John Moschitta does. But it requires glibness on your part if you want to rap effectively.
To rap fast, therefore, requires you to practice a lot until you become a master of rap. The ability to rap may be a natural talent, but it can also be learned and imbibed. Similarly, you can enhance your rapping and become the king of rap by training and honing your rapping skill.
There are thousands of rappers and aspiring rappers throughout the world, but not many of them were able to rise above the average rappers and become great rappers. Hence, if you want to rise above the norms, you must exert extra effort, and surely, you would reap good results.
Techniques & Exercises To Improve Your Rapping Speed
As mentioned above, you can enhance your rapping skill through practice. Yet, you should practice correctly. Here are some simple tips on how to bring your rapping skill to the next level:
1) Practice Using Tongue Twisters
Remember the time that you were just learning how to read fast. Those were the times too when you got entangled in reading tongue twisters. Now, the tongue is a quirky organ of your mouth, but you can readily train it. You can train it using tongue twisters. But what do tongue twisters do?
Tongue twisters can train your tongue to move quickly and glibly. In other words, tongue twisters hasten your vocal ability. Hence, using tongue twisters, you can surely enhance your rapping skill. Here is what you should do when practicing tongue twisters: first, you should repeat the tongue twister over and over again until your tongue becomes accustomed to reciting them. Try this for 10 minutes every day. In doing so, you can speed up your speaking skill and build speed in your rapping. You can monitor your speed improvement by taking note of your speeds when reciting the tongue twister.
If you don’t have tongue twisters, you should practice using gibberish lines that don’t have any meanings at all. Try these gibberish lines every day until you gain speed in uttering syllables distinctly and speedily.
The good thing about using tongue twisters and gibberish is that you can practice them anytime and anywhere. You can engage in practice while you are inside a car or train. But just don’t overdo it for others might brand you as crazy.
2) Engage in Warm Up Before Rapping
The voice box needs warming just like a car that needs warming up. If you don’t warm up your voice box, you may end up injuring it and rapping unimpressively. So, you should learn some warmup exercises for your voice before rapping.
First, you should massage your jaw to relax it and release tension. Your jaw, of course, is made of bones, joints, and muscles. These muscles and joints are tense, especially after waking up. Second, you can practice trilling with your very own lips using “h” sound. You should do this to ready your lip muscles for spitting lyrical rap. Practice this exercise using “b” sound likewise.
Afterward, you should practice buzzing. Buzzing is done by vibrating your lips together and rising to the upper limits of your vocal range. Then, descend to your lower range after reaching the uppermost limits of your vocal range. Do this exercise several times before rapping. Massage your jaw using the heel of your palm. Move your hand along your cheekbone towards the chin. Then, rub your hand gently forming small circles along the way.
3) Begin to Memorize Lyrics
For those who are just beginning to rap, one of their common shortfalls is in memorizing lyrics. There is no other way to overcome this limitation except through constant practice and repetitions. Remember the old saying that “one half of what you’ve learned is forgotten within eight hours.” So, remember that if you want to memorize lyrics, you should practice within 8 hours after initially memorizing the lyrics.
You should also bear in mind that you should write down the lyrics. Remember the old saying that “anything that is not written is easily forgotten.”
Practice reciting the lyrics more often until the lyrics become second nature to you to rap them. If they become second nature to you, they become ingrained in your mind and come out naturally. Begin by reading what you have written at half speed. Repeat again and again until you get the hang of it. Make sure that you understand each word and pronounce each word well.
As you go on repeating the lines, you can lessen your mispronounced or forgotten words. You can also begin to anticipate what will come next. Work on the spots that you often mess up. Then, master those spots until you can glide smoothly along those lines.
4) Familiarize Yourself with Counting Bars
Counting bars is one of the essential skills that you should learn if you want to succeed as a rapper. It is very fundamental if you’re going to structure your rap correctly. Learning to count bars will enable you to know where to position rhymes. It will also tell you the number of lines in a verse. Moreover, it will help you syncopate the flow of your rap. It is essential to your success as a rapper.
If you would quicken your raps, for example, you are, in effect, extending each word in a bar. You will notice this in many rappers like Busta, for instance. He prolongs his words in every bar. This style makes us think that he is in some way, uttering more words.
Once you master the art of counting bars, you will feel where you can put certain words and where to put stress. But if you don’t know how to count bars, you could end up losing your rhythm. You will also get confused and frustrated along the way. So, you need to focus on and understand the patterns in a rap beat. In this way, you will gain confidence in writing and delivering your own raps.
5) Practice and Improve Your Diction
Diction has different meanings. In speech, it may refer to the right choice of words. In music, it refers to the clearness of your pronunciation of every word. In rap, it relates to how you clearly pronounce each word and how people understand what you say.
There are ways to improve your diction. Of course, practice is the primary way to improve your diction. You should also know the correct pronunciation of each word. You can also use tongue twisters to improve your diction.
In the past, the perfect example of how one could improve diction was Demosthenes. Demosthenes garbled his words when he was young. Yet, he was determined to improve his speech and diction. What he did was he would walk along the beach every morning, and he put marbles on his mouth as he shouted words and lines. He eventually improved his diction and became the greatest orators of the ancient times.
Similarly, you can put ice cubes and marbles inside your mouth every morning to practice speaking. You should try to speak clearly while these obstructions are inside your mouth. Be careful, however, not to swallow them to avoid accidental choking.
Practice makes perfect, they say. The more you practice using the abovementioned techniques, the better you can improve your diction. Eventually, you will become a master rapper if you put a lot of effort into practicing.
6) Study the Styles of Different Rappers (Especially The Fast Rappers)
Rappers have different rapping styles. Rapping has been here for a long time. In the ’80s and ’90s, there were great rappers who really made significant steps in popularizing rap. You should study their rapping styles to add depth to your rapping knowledge. The deeper your influences are, the deeper your rapping style would be.
You can also select some rap songs that you should learn. Try to practice rapping using the lyrics of these rap songs. Get the hang of how to rap! And as you often practice, you will surely improve your rapping skill.
7) Sustain the flow and Make Room for Improvement
You should not be discouraged if you often make mistakes. There is no way to go but to improve if you regularly practice. Moreover, if you immediately lose heart because you botched a performance, for example, you would surely never go a long way. You should sustain the flow despite committing small mistakes.
Mistakes do sometimes occur. Even professional rappers commit mistakes. But they do not relent in rapping, and they go on sustaining the flow despite minor mistakes. Similarly, you should not stop if you commit mistakes. You should go on and not let those mistakes dishearten you. You should have enough elbow room for mistakes, especially if you are a freestyle rapper.