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I'm trying to learn how to beatbox.

I've read this article, and I managed to learn how to do snare, hi-hat and others, but I can't find out how to make a decent bass imitation.

Here is what that article teaches:

Practice the classic kick drum {b}
The simplest way to make the classic kick drum is to say the letter "b."
To make it sound louder and punchier, you need to do what is called a lip oscillation. This is where you let air vibrate through your lips - a bit like "blowing a raspberry." Once you can do this, you make a very short lip oscillation. Make the b sound as if you are saying b from the word bogus. This time, with your lips closed, let the pressure build up. You need to control the release of you lips just enough to let them vibrate for a short amount of time.

I'm trying to say b, and the voice incorporated with the letter b blocks me from doing anything. I could do it with p, but not with b, can you from your experience tell me what I'm doing wrong?

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I don't think the writer really wants to ask for a voiced bilabial stop. The reason they're writing b rather than p is that the latter tends to be spoken "harder", with more lips tension, which is clearly not what you want here. I suppose most people don't know that the phonetically correct distinction is voiced vs. voiceless, rather than loose vs. tight. –  leftaroundabout Aug 22 '13 at 19:02
    
@leftaroundabout, you sound like you know what you're talking about, but I don't think the article even uses the phrase "voiced bilabial stop" anywhere. Is that the technical term for what the quoted section in the question is instructing? –  AsianSquirrel Aug 31 '13 at 19:32
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@AsianSquirrel: voiced bilabial stop is just the phonological term for what most people would normally call "the b sound". But I think what the quoted text instructs is actually a voiceless bilabial stop, i.e. "p sound". –  leftaroundabout Sep 2 '13 at 7:20
    
@leftaroundabout Exactly what I've been thinking. So are you a beatboxer? What's the true method a voiced bilabial stop or voiceless one? –  Shimmy Sep 9 '13 at 14:11
    
Seems to me the "true method" would be whatever sounds good. Try recording yourself doing each one, and listen to the results and figure out which one you like best! –  Jonathan Arkell Sep 13 '13 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't believe you are meant to actually voice the letter. You are supposed to start with the 'b' as if you are about to say 'b' as in 'bogus' with an exaggerated movement (as if you are mouthing the letter so that someone 50ft away without sound can tell it is a 'b' instead of a 'p'). What happens after is something more like a rapid depressurization: blow it out while trying to hold the mouth form you started with.

This gets you the percussive effect. The actual bass note is going to be a humming noise in your throat and chest.

I imagine something akin to humming a low note while playing a tuba (which I have never played).

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Hey mommy! look at me, I'm beatboking, I can even make a badass bass! @hotario I think I got it, thanks you're the man! –  Shimmy Dec 31 '13 at 13:21

Start by repeating the phrase "boots and cats" over and over. It's essentially the kick and snare alternated with hi-hats on the upbeat. You can search youtube for multiple examples.

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