I'm living in the future so the present is my past
What the hell does Grocery Shopping have to do with music?
This is meant to tell you how to make Trap beats like you're making soup. It doesn't take long, and you can actually write hits with this method, I guarantee. You'll also have a bit of fun because you'll sound like your favorite songs. I also recommend you fully read this because I did not filter anything, literally. I didn't keep any untold tricks for myself at all. Also, try not to directly sample anything into the food because then you will have to license the shit and fuck paying people. We want to get paid money by new bastards, not to pay money to the old bastards.
Step 1: Write down fundamentals. Write down the fundamentals of music as you know it. It's something to fill the lows, a lead melody, countermelodies (Ooptional), chords to fill the mids, and drums. I don't know if there's anything more, if there is then add it to your list. Now choose a genre besides Hip Hop, Trap or anything related. I will go with Rock.
Step 2: Choosing the direction of the Song. Choose two of your favorite songs in that genre. My choices are "Queenie Eye" by Paul McCartney because Goddamn it this song is too good, and "Back to Black" because it has really good fundamentals. P.S. R.I.P. Amy Winehouse. We lost a living legend.
Step 3 : Grocery shopping from Song A.
- Write down the fundamentals you hear in one of the songs. Also write down the stuff that makes the song one of your favorites. I choose "Queenie Eye" for that cause and in that, in my case, these are the fundamentals and cool stuff:
- A: Hard hitting piano on right hand that hits 4 times per beat.
- B: Left hand on piano that hits the root note once per beat.
- C: The pad that you hear in the intro which sounds so awesome.
- D: I hear a distorted guitar and another electric guitar, plus a bass guitar.
- E: A decent amount of work on the drums and percussion.
- F: Vocal backings.
- G: It's a really special case, but this one has a lot of reliance on reverb.
I'm listening on a shitty earplug right now and probably missed out on some stuff (let me know if I did) but who cares.
- This one has really good drum and percussion work, so I'd try to remake the patterns of that precisely.
- It also has a lot of reliance on vocal melody and vocal backings, so why not steal that? Just write down the vocal melody and stick different parts of it together in a way that it doesn't get that obvious that you stole it.
- A: The chord progression.
- B: Tempo.
- C: The tambourine if there's any space left.
- D: The way they transition between phases. Right before the first hook, there's a killer downward bells and an electric guitar. I'd grab that.
- E: The electric guitar is literally killing it on the second verse and the second hook. Steal the melody. No one even noticed that guitar on Amy's song.
- F: I won't steal the strings on the 2nd verse because it's such a motherfucking masterpiece. I respect that violinist.
- G: Most importantly, song structure. Intro-Verse-Hook-Verse-etc... in the same way they made it. Your intro should have drums too, just because Amy's song had drums in the intro.
Step 6 : Drum sounds. Keep all the drum patterns/timings but replace the drum sounds with Trap drums. This is an easy one, you know the drill. Knocking Trap kicks instead of real kicks, Trap snares with claps instead of snares and rims, rim shots instead of whatever, tambourines triangles and congas can work if you replace toms and percussion with them. Open and closed high hats for hats, reverse some stuff to get some really interesting things and whatever else you like or presents your style.
Step 7 : Add Trap drum tricks. No need to try hard at all, just go to Billboard and it's full of Trap bullshit. Listen to those songs and just copy and paste their tweaks, or download free loops. Or just use the roll trick on the hats and kicks, it works good right behind snares usually. You got it. It's easy, just play around, don't go hard on yourself. This is where you do whatever you like and you present your style.
Step 8 (optional) : Change the bass. Either combine your existing Ibanez (for instance) with 808's in the pattern or fuck that, that's too much effort. Just replace it with 808's and do a bit of simple 808 tricks like slides, triplets, 100 notes in 1 seconds, a little gap between one note and the next and stuff like that. If you don't know these just play around with the bass & have fun. Who gives a fuck, it's Trap.
Step 9 : REVERB. Add as much reverb and delay to almost everything as you can. As long at it doesn't get impossible to mix, you're good to go. You know your mixing skills, just do your own thing with effects and stuff, but reverb/delay is really key nowadays with Trap.
Step 10 (optional) : Change instruments. Change the genre-maintaining instruments to similar Trap instruments if they make it obvious that you used this method. For instance, if you make a 80's modern talking type synth-wave, replace those instruments with bells and stuff.
Step 11 : Consider the rapper. First of all, see if there's enough space left in the beat for him, because that is crucial in Trap. Just try to do flows in your head and see if it sounds good, if it doesn't then tweak the beat until it does. Remove some stuff, change tempo, change drums, etc... you know the drill - trust yourself with that. By the way, the rapper is an idiot so you might wanna consider ghostwriting the hooks or some flows or even verses for them.
Step 12 : The final touch : The final touch is on the mix & mastering. Clean your shit up. Do the compressors, clean the reverb mess up, EQ, etc... if you don't know about that already, check this out. @2GooD Productions did a really good job on this, kept it simple and effective. Trust me on this you won't need anything more than what he mentioned for a neat, simple mix.
TADA. that's it. it's my Golden Formula. You got your hit.
Why would this work?
1. Trap contains nothing musically. If you know music theory and listen to it, it's fucking laughable. It lacks content so much that you can just turn any weak hip Reggae into a hit trap song and it would sound mind blowing to any new kid. It's easy and also nowadays it makes the most money.
2. The songs you choose to copy are good, so you must be a really bad producer to not only not make them better, but give away a worse product than what it was in the first place.
1. Ripping off your favorite artists is a good idea, but You can also totally skip the grocery shopping part (Steps 2, 3 and 4) and do your own thing. That's even better. I just wanted to show the easiest side of being a Trap producer.
2. Don't forget to clean up your mud. It can be really annoying if people catch you stealing, because once they hear you lie, all your words become meaningless. Same thing with beats. Change up things a bit so it would be unrecognizable.
3. You don't have to steal from hit songs. In fact, if you listen to folk songs or less popular 1920/30/40/50/60 songs or even movie scores, you won't have to change a lot of things. Most people don't even know those songs.
4. If you do Classical you won't even have to change things, people are too dumb to know Classical music. Or even if they did they've heard it somewhere but don't remember where, so it rings a bell in their brains and they keep your music in their memories. What could be better than that? Besides, Classical artists are masterminds of music and written melodies that still give us goosebumps after many centuries. And they're all dead so you don't even have to worry about copyright. Please don't sample Fur Elise or Moonlight Sonata though, that's whack as shit.
5. The more songs you add, the less likely you are to be caught. It's not a two songs rule, in the middle I mentioned you can also rip off from Billboard. Who cares? Copy 100 songs and make them into one thing. By the way, keep in mind that if you want to make money, you better have fundamentals of your times popular music in your own music. Flow with the river. You're a prophet, you bring a taste of the ocean from old songs into the little river of nowadays music.
6. The more you change instruments and basses and genre-defining features, the more you change the style ratio between popular new music and the music you're shopping from. Yes, people are used to hearing the same shit over and over so it's good to keep down the vibe ratio of the genre you're grocery shopping from, but keep in mind that "Blinding Lights" is a super catchy hit and The Weeknd has based a whole album around it. It doesn't really sound like 2020 sounds, except the mix/master.
7. Whenever you wanted to become a really... more professional producer and focus on albums by other artists, you can choose a genre for each rapper to base his or her beats on. Like Imagine I have Tyga and G-Eazy on my label and they need songs. Using this method, I would choose a genre for each of them. I'd do 80's Synthwave and Funk for Tyga and 00s Edm and Jazz for G-Eazy because he's Jizzy and for the jizz and jazzes sake.
8. Remember I said "You know the drill" a few times? Like on the bass or the drums. If you have no idea who this drill guy is or somehow, somehow you manage to be way too fucking lazy to put effort on those parts (which if you are, I get my hat off in your respect), IllMuzik has a lot of articles about that dude. Also you can check out Busyworksbeats on YouTube, he has some really cool stuff, like half time and velocities and stuff.
9. Don't worry about plugins. You can literally make good sounds out of sine waves if you want to make Trap music. I repeat, the plan is to get paid by new bastards, not to pay the old bastards.
10. You can also use this for other genres, but it would be more challenging as they're not as empty as Trap. But you can totally copy a dark Cabaret to make a Reggae song, it works that way too. In fact, you can make any genre of music using my method.
I am in fact really mad at myself for giving all this info away, but I learned so many things from IllMuzik and it's my turn to return the favor. So let me know if you used this method and it worked, I'm really excited to see your rersults down there. I wanna see what y'all do with this.
Thank you for reading.
Further Reading About Making Beats
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