• Standard Beatbox Notation

    Words by Tyte


    1 : An Introduction to SBN

    Humanbeatbox.com brings you the first part in a pioneering series used to define a notation system for human beatboxing.
    • What is Standard Beatbox Notation
    • Sounds | Beats | Grooves | 4-beat grooves \ Rests
    • Triplets | Letter shapes | Combining sounds | Inward sounds | Representing words


    What is Standard Beatbox Notation?
    Standard Beatbox Notation (SBN) was developed by Mark Splinter and Gavin Tyte to provide a simple, easy-to-learn, and consistent method of representing both human beatbox sounds and rhythms using ordinary characters on a standard English (US/UK) computer keyboard.

    SBN has been carefully designed to be usable by an international audience, combining typography and phonetics to use the shapes of the letters as pictures of their sounds. In SBN, the order of the letters is used to describe the rhythm. The lower-case English alphabet has been chosen because the shapes of the letters correspond to their class of sound. For example, the sounds b, d and p all look similar and sound similar. It is also possible, but not easy, to notate "the beat and the chorus at the same time."

    What are the limitations of SBN?
    SBN will not allow you to write every beatbox sound or routine in the world. It is intended as a simple aid to learning, remembering and discussing beatbox sounds and rhythms. SBN can not be used to write a melody or bass line. To do this, you will need to use classical music notation or an mp3 recording.

    SBN stave paper
    Click here to download a pdf you can print with SBN staves. The sheet is split into two sets of four bars (most popular music is built in chunks of 4/8/16/32 bar chunks).