Let’s talk about how you can spice up your beatbox routines
Coming up with new routines is not an easy task, especially if you’re proud of the ones you’ve crafted yourself. However, if you’re battling all year you might want to switch things up if you want to maximize originality points and provide the “wow factor” that’ll help you win a competition.
The greatest way to surprise an audience is to simply provide an illusion that you’re going to do what they expect, perhaps a routine that you’ve owned and have performed several times before, and then shatter those expectations by switching things up masterfully.
So today, we’ll cover four thought starters to help you add variation to your routines.
1. Substitute sounds
Substituting sounds is a simple, but incredibly useful technique that Dharni is a master at. Think of it this way: almost every beatboxer uses the basic kick drum sound, hi-hat, and snares as the foundation of their routines. Try substituting your hi-hat with a vocalized click, your “B” kick drum with a throat kick, and your snares with a weird sound you made up. By experimenting in this way, you can also end up developing your own style and elevate yourself above the rest.
Pro Tip: The surprise factor of this is most effective when implemented at a drop.
2. Add a pause
Another great way to switch up your routine is to add a “grand pause.” This is a concept that predates back to classical music, where the build up to a piece leads to a skillful pause, creating a sense of tension and greater anticipation before the grand finale is delivered. In the same way, you can implement this in your routines to artfully hold back and make the audience wait before you unleash the dynamic bass drop. It’ll make it hit that much harder.
Pro Tip: Skillful pauses are much more powerful when coordinated in a tag team battle.
3. Vary your fills
Another way to spice up your routine is to implement different fills in between your core beat. You don’t necessarily have to fill every gap with as many sounds as you can, but try to be creative and add breaks and stutters that will compliment your routine and support your flow.
Pro tip: Try implementing a technical syncopated fill, which means something that’s off-tempo but eventually rounds out in the end. You can also try an elongated fill that goes an extra few beats. Alexinho and Kaila do this very well.
4. Switch up the buildup
Powerful drops must be preceded by well executed buildups and breakdowns. There are many different ways you can approach switching up your buildups. Here are a few examples:
- Volume awareness: start at low volume then increase volume until your drop
- Only execute high sounds (emulate a high-pass filter) in your buildup so your bass drop hits harder
- Tease your drop by introducing a few sounds or melodies of your drop using stutters or quiet repetition during your buildup
If you have any questions, please comment in the comments section below! And don't forget to like and share with your friends - everything counts! Until next time!