Are you a budding music producer who is interested in creating the latest styles of rap and hip-hop? Then you might be interested in the genre known as Trap music. Trap music has a long history in the US, starting from rebellious origins to being played on mainstream music channels. In this article, you’ll learn all about what Trap beats are and some easy ways you can create them yourself.
Trap Beats: Learning the Basics
Trap beats make up the basis of the popular genre of music, Trap. Trap music has been around since the 90s, but recently started to gain traction through the EDM and dance music cultures. If you look back to the beginnings of Trap music, it all started in deep in the dirty South. It’s a genre of music that’s filled with hard attitudes and rebellious vibes. It’s easy to feel the sound of the brass, triangle, triplet hi hats, loud kicks, snappy snares and low-end 808 bass samples that are used when composing tracks.
Traditionally, the percussion samples used when making Trap beats come from the Roland TR-808 drum machine. The founding fathers of trap all used this machine to create their revolutionary tracks that put this genre on the map. Some notable founders of Trap include Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy, Three 6 Mafia, and Manny Fresh.
While old school Trap music is heavy on the percussions, the way Trap beats have evolved today in the mainstream world of music has seen a lot of EDM Trap crossover beats. This means the Trap as we know it today has evolved into the use of techno, dub, and Dutch house sounds that are mixed right along with the original percussion from the Roland TR-808 drum machine.
An easy way to think of modern Trap music is as the combination of the following:
- One-third hip-hop, with most tracks being between 70 and 110 bpm.
- One-third dance music, with Dutch synth work and many Trap songs being remixed of EDM and dance songs.
- One-third dub, with a low frequency focus and prevalent repetitiveness.
What You Need to Make Trap Beats
Here’s the low down on what you’re going to need to create your very own Trap beats at home.
- Music equipment: doesn’t have to be the fanciest, but for true to the sound Trap beats a Roland TR-808 drum machine works best.
- Music production software: the one you probably already own will work fine. Unless you’re looking to make professional quality Trap beats, don’t waste your money buying new software.
- Sounds: the basis of any good Trap beat is a sample of killer sounds. Try downloading a free sample pack on the Internet to get you started.
Remembering the Essentials of Trap Beats
Before we get into the nitty gritty details of making Trap beats, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. These tips below form the basic outline of any Trap beat. If you ever get stuck while making your Trap beat or stray off the Trap path, just come back to these four Trap beat essentials to help you remember the true essence of Trap.
- Tempo range 135-160bpm
- 808 Drum Samples
- Layered Drum Sounds
- Jazzy Kick Pattern
Let’s Get Started: The Intro
To create any good Trap beat, you need a good intro. Some things to keep in mind when creating a Trap beat into is to keep it around 8 bards in length. This is pretty standard, so especially if you’re a newbie at making Trap beats it’s a good point to start at. When you become more experienced and confident you can start experimenting with length and putting in your own original style.
Another important thing to note for the intro is that all you need to make it great is an instrument or two put together with a drum beat and other percussion. This is all you need for the Trap beat intro, because it needs to be simple in order to create a gradual build up to the drop. You can try playing around with the theme of the track, darker versus lighter. Another good idea would be to experiment with layering 808 drums with a different Trap style snares to create a catchy hook that draws your listeners in.
The Main Verse Pattern: Make Sure It’s Catchy & Interesting
The main verse is a very important part of any Trap beat, and needs to be catchy and interesting in order to compliment the rest of the track. If you’re Trap beats in the main verse are subpar, you risk ruining the entire track and creating a flat Trap song that no one will want to hear.
To create a slick and catchy EDM/Trap club beat try using one hi-hat sample, duplicating it and laying them together to create your own unique hi-hat pattern. You can also try experimenting with 1/8 notes mixed with full-length beat notes, and ¼ notes for the 16 bar verse beat you need to create. Whatever you decide to do for your main verse pattern, it’s a good idea to experiment and try thing out to find a unique and interesting Trap beat sound.
The Chorus: Make it Memorable
The best part of any song to the listener is arguably the chorus. For this reason, there’s a lot of pressure to create an awesome Trap beat chorus. Your Trap beat chorus could easily be the thing to make or break your Trap song. Try including simple yet catchy synth melodies along with vocal samples and reverb claps to give your chorus the energy it needs to keep the attention of your listeners.
The End: A Dramatic Outro That Leaves Everybody Wanting More
Last but not least is the dramatic outro of the Trap beat song. What you want for your Trap beat outro is a dramatic finish that leaves your listeners wanting more. This is the place where you can set the final mood and tone of your song. A gradual fade out is the perfect way to slowly end your Trap beat masterpiece.
There you have it, the ins and outs of what Trap beats are and how to create your very own. Remember to keep the Trap beat essentials in mind when creating your own Trap beat tracks, and let your creativity run wild.