How to Count Rap Bars for Beginners

By Akachi Productions on Feb 20, 2017 in Uncategorized - Comments Off on How to Count Rap Bars for Beginners

How To Count Rap Bars

I don’t know how to count bars, I just rap until the producer tells me to stop. I hear so many rappers tell me this when I need them to spit a hot 16 for me. The answer to this question is that bars are just a measure of time depending on the beats per minute (BPM) of the beat being played or the rhythm that you have in your head when upon lyric creation.

How to Count BMP So That You Can Count Rap Bars

BPM can easily be counted by nodding your head along with the beat for 15 seconds and then multiply the number of times your head nodded in those 15 seconds by 4; hence 15 x 4 = 60 seconds and how many times you nodded your head to the beat in one minute = Beats Per Minute… if you have rhythm.

Rap Bar Counting With Examples

Now that you know how to count BPM you can begin to formulate rap bars. So most rap is done in a 4/4 time signature meaning there are 4 beats in each bar no matter how slow/ fast the song is, in its most basic form. So your job as a rapper is to fill in the 16 bars with lyrics. You can fill in the bars in a trap rap style with extended pauses to fill in the 4-4 time signature like the 4 bars below:


Going to the dealer ship, yea.

About to cop something real clean.

2 seater but I got two bitches with me.

I’m just tryna live out my dreams


Or you could take a more lyrical approach that crams more content into the same 4 bar beat space, with the same BPM as the preceding lyrics above as shown below:


House proximity is limiting my backyard space

I’m on a paper chase tryna make my backyard great

I’m tryna live by an ocean and residence be a mansion

big pool, pit bulls, and an accountant for taxes

To Sum Counting Rap Bars Up

To sum all of this up, count out your BPM, write one line for every 4 head nods (bar) and do this 16 times to have one standard 16 bar rap verse. Now go make a hit! Don’t forget to check out the beat shop for a hot beat or just to practice counting your bars.