How To Rap Fast Without Running Out Of Breath
So recently I’ve been practicing and trying to rap fast for longer periods of time without running out of breath. It’s definitely got technique involved and there are a ton of things you can do to improve this part of your rap skill set.
TL;DR: Breathe from the diaphragm, NOT your chest. Your chest should not move when inhaling or exhaling. Posture matters when trying to rap fast longer without taking a breath.
Inhaling When Rapping
Obviously rapping requires you to take quick breaths in. That being said.. You need to be able to get a lot of words and emotions out if you want to rap fast without running out of breath in your lungs.
When we breathe normally we usually do little quick inhales and quick exhales without even thinking about it. Well, if you want to be able to rap for longer without taking a breath than you need to understand what would allow you to do this and train it to get better.
Breathing with your diaphragm is the most important tool for being able to extend your bars and spit uber fast. I REALLY like this method for getting a feel for your diaphragm. It seems everyone says “breathe through your diaphragm bruh”.. But what the hell does that even mean? This is hands down the best way to get a feel for your diaphragm. Check it.
When you inhale pretend like the air is 100 pounds and super heavy. Feel it drop and fall lower and lower into your body.
Specifically feel the air drop below your belly button.
Speed up the inhalation. Try and do it quicker and quicker. If your stomach pushes out and feels like a fat buddha belly then you’re doing it right.
If your chest is moving, or your shoulders move when you breathe in, you’re doing it wrong.
This is making use of the diaphragm for breathing instead of your chest. One interesting thing about the breathing process that I always got wrong. And this might help you as well because it was such a cool tip I always misunderstood.
When you INHALE the diaphragm moves DOWNWARDS towards your belly button
When you EXHALE the diaphragm moves back UPWARDS towards your lungs/throat.
When you inhale the diaphragm moves downwards because it’s allowing the lungs to expand and become larger. When you exhale the diaphragm is returning to it’s normal position and pushing on the lungs to expel the air. Let me see if I can draw a super fancy diagram. OMG. Diaphragm Diagram. Yes. Nerd alert. Haha Okay I changed my mind but you can see how it works from this little pic explaining. Your diaphragm is the dome shaped thing on the bottom.
Exhaling While Rapping
This is often where you hear the word breath control in rap. All breath control means is being able to rap longer without losing breath as fast, and take breaths quicker without gulping it up like a pelican on the beat. Not the most appealing look for a talented lyricist.
Okay here is a tool I have been using to help you understand the difference between exhaling with your diaphragm and exhaling with your chest. Do the proper inhale then:
Say ‘BIGGIDY BIGGIDY BIGGIDY’ as fast as you can over and over and over again until you lose breath.
Try not to let your chest collapse when you’re saying this and breathing out.
Notice the sensations as you’re rapping and breathing out. You should notice that your abs and stomach are slowly returning back to it’s normal spot. (not buddha belly).
Now try this again except doing it how you would normally breathe through your chest. It’s actually crazy to feel the difference. I would say my vocals sound louder, better, more clear, enunciated and I can rap for almost 2x longer already if not more. The more you practice this the longer you will be able to control your breath for.
Your Posture While Rapping
Okay i’m going to get some lashback for this I know.. Noone (including me) wants to think about my posture. Honestly at first, I could give a fuck less about it. BUT IT’S SO DAMN IMPORTANT.
If you are slumped over, slouched or any of that while you’re rapping it will tighten up your diaphragm and not allow you to use it to the fullest capabilities. What does that mean for you? It means you will run out of breath quicker when trying to rap fast. That’s probs not a good thing, right?
When you have good posture, breathing efficiently becomes easier. Place one hand on your chest and place one hand on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in and a deep breath out then you shouldn’t feel your chest raise at all. Your shoulders should stay the same height and your stomach should expand and contract.
Exercises For Proper Breathing
Here are a couple exercises you can do when you are training your diaphragm and lung power to be as efficient as possible.
Lay On The Floor
Lay with your back on the floor. Put something that has some weight to it on your abdomen. Like a book or something like that. Take some deep breaths and attempt to use your diaphragm. If the book moves, then you’re on the right track! If the book doesn’t move on your abdomen, then try to get a feel for where you feel it when you inhale and exhale.
Blow A Feather
LOL I know this sounds like a weird one. BUT you can try this with anything that’s light like that. Small pieces of paper, whatever. Either way, use your newfound breathing prowess to move pieces of objects with your diaphragm slowly. You can judge yourself over time to see if you’re getting better.
Now that you’ve got some practice with this technique. Try and spit some verses that require a lot of breath control. Look into tech N9ne, Twista, Eminem obviously, Tonedeff. Pull up their lyrics and work through them by taking as little breaths as possible. It’s kind of funny but guitarists, piano, or any instrument in the history of life was learned by part theory and part practice of others who have paved the way.
For some reason hip hop and rap fall into the category of artists not wanting to spit flows other rappers have spit. I mean honestly you memorize most of your favourite tracks anyways, why not use those as training tools to get better at rap for yourself?
This all ties into the idea of rapping without running out of breath. This will especially help when rapping fast because you get less time to breathe when you are rapping fast. You can get much more time to get words out, plus you will exhale alot more controlled allowing you to enunciate words much better and louder. This all ties into the awesomeness of breath control.
I hope this has helped you in some way, as this helped me immensely with live performance and rapping my verses without editing, cutting, chopping and all that extra work that makes it seems more unnatural of a verse.
If this has helped you, please share with other artists who could benefit. Thanks!