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Dharni Ng performing on stage

10 Commandments of a Beatbox Performance

Here are the 10 commandments that all beatboxers should adhere to.

This article is from the Humanbeatbox archives, written on the HBB forums by Azeem. This was also edited and updated by Jon Park.

Right, these are 10 tips I put together from my own experience and personal studies into the subject. These are mainly for beatboxers and can also be applied to any kind of performance. These are things I do to improve my performances, and which if applied to life in general, will help you become more confident and successful in whatever you aim to do. This excrement is fire, yo.

Bn Mirin takes up the stage at the New England Beatbox Battle

Ben Mirin takes up the stage at the New England Beatbox Battle

1. Pretend you're the crowd | The Big Picture

When you're about to perform, no matter how big or small the crowd is, don't think about your problems and insecurities and all that. Visualize yourself as the crowd, you ARE the crowd. You're loving the event so far, and are looking forward to the next act, the beatboxer guy/girl/thing. You, the crowd, wants you to do well, they don't hate you, and you don't hate yourself (I hope). Quit slitting your wrists and think about how the crowd is feeling. You have no problems. Don't worry, be happy.

2. Breathe deeply and properly | Combat Nervousness

You know this feeling. You're about to go up, and you get so seriously nervous it's unbelievable. When people get nervous, they breathe really quickly and shallowly, this ends up messing with your head and your brain doesn't get the oxygen it needs.

What you need to do is breathe in deeply through your nose, making sure you expand your stomach when you breathe in - not breathing in the way people normally do, by raising their chest while breathing in. Breathing in and expanding your stomach uses more space in your lungs and feels real good. Raising your chest whilst breathing makes you feel constricted and is not a good way to breathe if you want to preserve your voice well.


3. Be the MAN or WOMAN | Stage Presence

Stage Presence, or presence in general, is basically how you carry yourself. You've got to be secure about yourself.

If you're not confident, pretend to be. Breathe deeply, and when talking, talk a little slower than usual, and use silence to your advantage to add dramatic effect and presence to your words. Stand up tall, and don't swing your weight from one leg to the other, keep yourself balanced on both feet, no swaying.

Before you go on stage, strike a power pose. You're the star. Crush it.

4. Control your voice | Speaking

Before going on stage, get your voice warmed up and speak a little slower than normal. yYu'll be speaking faster than usual without noticing as the nerves take a hold of you. To warm up the voice, hum as low as you can for about 10 seconds, then go slowly higher and higher until you're humming as high as you can, pausing for breath in between sets. Do this over and over 5 times.

5. Get yourself in the mood | Read the crowd

OK, so by now you should know how the crowd is feeling at the moment. If the crowd is pretty chill, don't hype yourself up and get up there all ''yo what is HAPPENIN Y'ALL!'' In turn, if the crowd is freaking raving then to get yourself in that mood, find an empty toilet or room where you can run about and jump on and off walls, getting yourself active and in a hyped mood. In essence, reflect the crowd at itself, and speak to the crowd in a manner that fits the situation.
You don't jump about in a school assembly and you don't sit and relax at a rave.

That being said, reading the crowd is an invaluable skill. This doesn't mean that the audience has full control over you. You have the ability to dictate their mood - it's just knowing when the timing is right deliver your knockout blow.

Dharni Ng performing on stage

6. Use silence | Dramatic Pauses

The entire performance does not have to be a constant stream of sound. At times when speaking or beatboxing, pause for a few beats and drop back into the beatboxing or speaking to emphasize bits you want the crowd to really appreciate.

7. Connect with eye contact | Commanding Attention

Keep your eyes up to command the crowd's attention. Some places or people advise you to scan the crowd. Don't do this. You'll look not at all confident, and get a bit phased out. My uncle, a TV presenter, and trainer of TV presenters, recommended me to instead lock gazes with different people in the crowd in different areas, changing the person who you lock eye contact with at different points in your show. I recommend you change the eye-locked person every 10-20 seconds.

8. Never look too eager | Confidence

Don't act as if this is your make or break moment, even if it is, make it look as if this show is nothing and that you've been doing this for ages. You've put tons of hours of practice into this. You've done this before. Play your natural game.

Looking too eager comes off real cheesy and makes the crowd uncomfortable. You're the man or woman. You own this stage. There's a reason you're here and not someone else. Act like you deserve it.

9. Be Enthusiastic | Immersion

I said don't look too eager in the last point. This point isn't a contradiction. Although you're acting as if the show is a regular thing, it doesn't mean you also act as if you're bored of it. There is, again, a reason you're here - because you want to and love doing it. Why else?

Show your love for doing this, but don't act like the crowd must love it too. As long as you're enjoying it, your genuine energy will be reflected onto the crowd and they'll be feeling it too.

Love what you're doing, man.


10. Finish with a bang | Ending

If you want them to call you back, finish with some real banger and end on a high note. Leave the crowd wanting more, and always have a little routine in reserve in case you are called back for an encore (after applying these tips, you will).

Now go!

I put this together because I know people need tips like for shows and life in general.

Print these out and stick them on your wall. Read these every day and practice what I preach. I promise you that if you follow these 10 commandments, within 3 months you'll become a much better person, and your life will have improved quite a lot. Thanks for reading!

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