RnB (also known as R&B or Rhythm and Blues) is a very popular music genre that combines jazz, blues and gospel influences. It was first performed by African American artists. Because of the popularity there are many musicians producing RnB beats trying to make a living out of it. A beat or instrumental is a song without the lyrics. Singers and rappers need these beats to show their skills to the world.
How to produce RnB beats.
First of all, here is some basic information about industry standard music. But keep in mind that there are no rules, just guidelines.
In almost all cases an RnB beat consists of a chorus and a verse. The verse sounds softer and the lyrics are different from every other verse in that song. The chorus is the louder, active and wider part of the beat that contrasts the verse melodically. Sometimes an RnB beat starts with the chorus to get the attention of the listener. The chorus returns a few times and the singer or rapper repeats the same lyrics in every chorus. This part usually sticks in people’s minds. An RnB beat could look like this. verse 1 – chorus – verse 2 – chorus – verse 3 – chorus – chorus.
Now Let’s break apart a musical arrangement.
Most RnB music consists of the following instruments.
– Hi Hat
– Synthetic drums like the Roland TR 808
– Bass guitar
– Bass Synthesizer (modern sound)
– Double Bass (vibe beats)
Ad libs (these are musical phrases in between the lyrics of the vocals):
An RnB beat that really does something to people must have a beautiful chord progression and a few modulations. Without this it would sound dull and cheap. A nice sounding RnB chord progression would look like this.
iii9 – VI7 – ii9 – V7 – ii9 – V7 – Imaj9 – VII7
This is a jazz inspired chord progression with seven and nine chords.
There are many types of software on the market to make RnB beats. Fruity Loops suits very well for inexperienced producers. This beats making software is very easy to understand but there are some limitations. For a more professional music production producers use software like Logic Pro or Cubase. This software makes it very easy to put tracks of different instruments next to each other and make a fine mix. There is also the opportunity to add a plugin to each track. These plugins are little programs that can help the instrument on that track to sound better. Think of plugins like an equalizer, compressor, limiter or a noise gate. Very popular plugins are effects like reverb, chorus, distortion or auto tune on vocals.
So these were the basics to create an RnB beat. Remember that there are no rules but just guidelines and without the knowledge and creativity it is very hard to produce high quality and popular music.
Marcel Van Ling knows a lot about music theory and is a professional audio mastering engineer. Visit track mastering for more information.
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