Why Is it So Hard to Find the Right Beat?
Whether you’re a rapper, singer, or songwriter, having an objective method of choosing the right instrumental is crucial for having a sound that complements your artistic vision. Experienced artists who’ve been writing songs for many years have found their own methods of choosing beats. They’ve listened through so many instrumentals that they just know when the right one “pops out”. It’s like the beat just “speaks” to them. However, many artists just starting out may feel that the process of choosing a beat can be both time consuming and overwhelming. If this is you, read on.
Today, there are thousands of beats and instrumentals for you to choose from. Almost all of them can be found online with producers promoting their new beats through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The downside to this is that you may have to sift through what seems to be an endless supply of beats before you can pinpoint the ones that meet your needs. To complicate matters, you may feel that a lot of beats out there sound very similar. However, having a simple, objective process when shopping for beats can save you time.
Start with a Concept
The first thing you should consider before you even begin the search for new music is to identify the concept of your song. It all begins with your idea, your inspiration. What are the specific topics you want to talk about? What mood is your song going to have? You’re not writing lyrics yet. You’re only looking for an overarching idea. Having locked down your concept will then help you identify the emotion of what your song is going to convey. Remember, your song idea should illicit a strong emotion that will captivate your audience. Is your song going to convey excitement? Anger? Sadness? Hope? Once you nail the emotion of your song, you will be ready to hunt for the instrumental that matches or compliments the emotion of your song idea. The punchline is this: figure out the emotions of your song’s concept and then look for a beat or instrumental that illicit the same emotions.
Let the music Speak to You
The next step is to flip through a producer’s catalog. We won’t go into details about where to find producers as it’s beyond the scope of this article but in general, the majority of them promote through social media with snippets of their work. Select the ones that have inspired you based off the emotions you’re looking for. Equally as important, go with producers that have online beat shops. Many reputable producers have well-designed beat shops where you can search or filter by mood so filter their catalog by the desired mood and begin previewing the music. Shameless plug - start with our Beat Shop!
As the music plays, listen closely. Let the beat “speak”. What does that mean? Well in most cases while flipping through a catalog, you’re subconsciously feeling something. The blend of harmony, melody, and rhythm is beginning to evoke an emotion that makes you either want to keep listening or move on. Since by this point you already know what emotion you’re looking for, the beat “speaks “ to you when the music is evoking a subconscious feeling that aligns with the concept of your song. This is when it all clicks.
Once you’ve selected the beat, you’re now ready to put pen to paper and bring your concept to life! If you’ve followed the simple steps above, the beat should help inspire you to bring out the best lyrics that creatively convey your concept with the right emotions!