Beatbox and singing AT THE SAME TIME?!

Go to this link and download Rahzel - If Your Mother Only Knew.

It seems to be live, so I don’t think there’s any trickery involved, so the best theory i can come up with is that he’s doing the beats in between the words. Does anyone know how this is done?

most serious beatboxers can at the very least do basslines and beats at the same time, with raps put in between… check out killa kella from the UK, some of the shit he does is ridiculous, ive heard him do drum and bass tunes with just his mouth… 170bpm beats, sound effects, basslines and filtering in one flow.

how is it done?

practice… its just like turntablism - hearing what people like dj craze or babu do on the decks makes it seem impossible which it aint… its an art form that takes a lot of practice. skillz like that dont come easy son!:smiley:

Circular breathing I believe is also involved. Thats where one expells air out their mouth and in through their nose at thesame time. Good musicians use this all the time. Using this would account for why they dont need to stop for breath, and how they can flow through countless different sounds so easily. Also, people who practice with their vocal cords or throat long enough can actually train themselves to sing in two seperate notes. I dunno if they can, but probably wouldnt surprise me, those guys are fucking crazy.

saw Rahzel live twice in the space of a week. slowed it down, almost enough to give the trick away. didn’t hear anything that sounded like two notes, mostly just crazy timing and use of body parts like the tongue, cheeks and throat as well as the vocal chords and vibration. (you’ll notice they also hit the mic with their mouth a lot for those extra beats.)

as for killa kella… saw him perform three times at the same hip hop festival (i was working it). These guys will sometimes make out that it is the first time they have tried something each performance, but basically do the same set each time. So I guess the impression I got was that PRACTICE is the key.

and that’s not to say i was not totally blown away each time i saw it, just because I had heard it before.

Not quite the same, but Good Ol’ Cecil covered a similar phenomenon here.

(slight hijack) Anyone know if that’s the same Rahzel who’s in the SSX Tricky video game?

An a cappella group called Five O’Clock Shadow performed at my college two years ago, and one of their guys did the bassline AND the vocal percussion AND ran all their equipment at the same time and I was highly impressed. Far as I can tell, it’s just timing, and buttloads of practice.

Yep, that’s him.

Where were you 4 years ago when this album came out non-native? :slight_smile: I think it’s just like everyone else said. Circular breathing and a lot of practice. I have a guide to circular breathing that came with a didjereedoo. I’ve had it for about 6 years and I still can’t do it so there’s obviously a very heavy influence on constant practice.

Personally, I still think circular breathing is load of horse doo doo.

That MP3 is astonishing.

Assuming you’re being serious, what makes you think that? It’s not very accurately named, but the technique exists. I can do it (digeridoo). While exhaling from my lungs via my mouth, I inflate my cheeks. Then I close my epiglottis and breathe in through my nose, while simultaneously expelling air from my mouth using my cheek and tongue muscles. When my lungs are full again, I open my epiglottis and exhale normally through my mouth. Then repeat the process over and over again. The really hard bit is to make the transition between mouth/lung exhalation smooth.

Rhazel is the shiz. He is my inspiration. I can do all that beat shit now and scratch words and all. Not as good as him though. All of the above are required for doing it. Inhaling and exhaling at the same time. Also, to make verse last longer, I use higher pitch sounds. Because higher pitched sounds require high air pressure, the air in in your lungs stays in you much longer. But with higher pitched sounds, it’s strains your vocal quick and gets you tired quick.

To know what i’m talking about, whistle a low pitch sound with your lungs full of air compared to a high pitched whistle with your lungs full of air. The result, you’ll last longer with the higher pitched whistle.

Just in case you want to beat box someday.

Also, check out the new Chilli’s commercial, who is that guy?

Also, it’s cool when you bust out some shit in front of your friends. They’re like, “What the hell was that, that was bad-ass!”

You’d be amazed at what you can do with er-rip sou-, sou- sounds.

Sorry to waste bandwidth, but. Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow! This guy just got a new fan!

No, it isn’t. It’s for real, and lots of people can do it. Many professional flute and sax players teach themselves to do it so they can play continuously if they want to. I’ve seen it demonstrated live and on TV by respected practitioners like Andy Sheppard.

I’ve listened to the Rahzel demonstration referred to in the OP, and I agree it’s very impressive. I think several of the responses in this thread are interesting but missing the point of the OP. Granted, it’s possible to learn to make all these wonderful beatbox noises using the various parts of the human vocal apparatus and a lot of practice. Granted, it’s possible to use circular breathing to exhale continuously (and use some other tricks of clever timing to simulate this).

But neither of these points addresses Rahzel’s seeming ability to keep the beatbox sounds going at the same time as singing a word or two of the lyrics to his song. How can he produce two different sounds - one a ‘beatbox’ sound and the other a recognisable word - at the same time? I’m not entirely sure, but I guess it’s all a question of timing. I guess that he can’t actually produce the two different sounds at one and the same precise instant, but he switches between the two so impercetibly, and rapidly, that the ear is fooled into thinking that the two sounds are heard as if they overlap.

Perhaps he uses the technique of the popular throat singers of Tuva.

No, as far as I understand - having watched “Genghis Blues” a couple of times - throat singing is the ability to separate out the individual harmonics of the vibrating human larynx to make some interesting tones. Razhel’s stuff involves a lot more than just the larynx.

Well, there’s definately something more going on there. Whatever he’s doing is not exactly singing. If you notice when he’s doing the beat at the SAME TIME he’s saying “if yu mu-uh on-ee knew.” It definately has something to do with the way he is breathing. Still extremely impressive.

Well thanks for the answers everyone. I think I have a general idea of how it’s done from the information I’ve gathered about throat tricks in this thread (although I had already known about circular breathing).

I’ve been scratching and beatboking and freestyling for only 3 years and I met Rahzel. He is the bomb. When he speaks, he sometimes beatboks and talks at the same time, lol! It’s very cool the way he does it. All I can do really well is the bass, scratch (vocally and deckly) snare, and high-hats.

Olentzero is right; I just tried to throat-sing, and it doesn’t have much to do with it. What I meant was that perhaps he carries on a vocal drone similar to the root note in throat singing when carrying a melody .

Having also tried this beatboxing technique, may I suggest blowing your nose prior to trying these exercises?