Rap can be considered a form of poetry with rhythm and music, and the first step to rapping is brainstorming and getting your ideas down, which will then lead to choosing instruments and counting bars to determine the confines of a song. In the music industry, most people are familiar with what a “bar” is, but those in other industries may not. First, let’s dive into what a bar means.
What Is a Bar?
Bars are simply a way that music is measured for structuring a song. In fact, another term for a bar is a “measure”. By traditional definition, a bar in music refers to any of the short sections, typically of equal time value, into which a piece of music is divided, that holds a certain number of beats. This makes it much simpler for artists to communicate with one another about a verse or a hook, especially when deciding to collaborate. If you need another artist to fill in a certain section of a song, it would be much easier to say, “I need 12 bars from you,” as opposed to, “I need you to fill in one minute and three seconds.” Simply knowing the technical term for a “bar” won’t suffice, you also have to know how to count bars and why.
Importance of Counting Bars
So, you understand what a bar is, but why are bars important? Whether you are an artist, a producer, a DJ, or a beatmaker, understanding the more technical side of such a term is beneficial in taking a song structure to a deeper level. You will be able to structure a song better, understand where to put the rhymes, know how many lines you need for writing rap verses, and better syncopate your flow. It would be easier to also determine the length of each hook, bridge, and verse thanks to this specific measuring tool. When it comes to creating your music, understanding the measurement of bars changes the game in helping you grasp and organize each section of a song.
How to Count Bars?
The ability to count bars is one of the most fundamental skills when it comes to rapping. Without knowing how to count bars, it will be tedious to come up with a great song structure. Once you figure it out, chances are high that you’ll find it simple. More good news – you also don’t need a brilliant ear for music to grasp it.
It is quite literally as straightforward as counting one, two, three, four. A bar comprises four beats of music. Have you ever noticed that when a song you enjoy comes on, you instinctually start nodding your head? When this happens, you are nodding your head to the beat, and after the fourth nod, that counts as one bar. Rappers or other musicians usually insert their rhymes on the fourth beat. To count bars simply means to keep track of how many times you count this pattern.
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