With so much focus on speed and technicality, people seem to forget the beauty in simplicity.
There are way too many routines out there that are hectic and sometimes filled with sounds and patterns that are difficult to catch the first time around. I’m going to propose something controversial: slow down and make it simpler.
Minimalism is easier to understand and enjoy
The idea of minimalism is built upon the value of pureness of sound. When the minimalist approach is taken, a beatboxer understands that the routine is focused on the audience first - creating a routine and beat that is easy to understand and consume in comparison to a beat that is too full, complex, overhwleming, and difficult to fully grasp.
It’s not always about how many sounds you can fit. It’s about how many sounds we can fully hear and enjoy.
It’s a new challenge
It’s easier to try to cram in as many sounds as you can into any gaps that you may have within a beat. The harder task is the consciously remove certain sounds to see what makes your routine sound more balanced.
When you are challenged to take away, each sound becomes so much more valuable. You become more careful and thoughtful about which sounds to place in your routine, paying close attention to the detail of what you want. By treating each sound as precious, you can imbue them with deeper meaning, rather than carelessly cramming together a list of sounds.
You’ll end up with a routine where there is nothing more to add or take away. That is a perfect routine.
Power of silence
Silence is an underused tool that many beatboxers seem to overlook. Proper use of silence is a sign of both control and an advanced understanding of tempo. It’s much easier to fill in silent gaps with a consistent hi-hat instead of waiting out a few beats in complete silence before getting back to your routine.
Strategic use of silence is also a tactic that Bobby McFerrin perfectly describes in his interview with Beatbox Battle TV. He states that he gives enough information to the audience, such as a deep and consistent bassline, and leaves it so that the audience continues the bassline on their own while he sings a melody or adds a beat.
Tying it all together
Life and music are all about balance. They’re about knowing when you’re using too much or too little.
You don’t have to go out and change your routines completely. My hope is that you incorporate some of these elements into your own style. Whether it’s simplifying your beats or aspects of your life - we can all use some decluttering :).
Do you think simplicity is a sign of weakness? Let me know in the comments below and remember to listen, read, and share. Beatbox on 🙂