It’s hard to stay afloat in the music industry, especially as a producer or a beatmaker. Despite stiff competition and the difficulty of breaking into the industry, though, type beats are giving young producers a way to make money with their art, even making some of them millionaires.
So, what is a type beat, and why are they so powerful. I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to get started as a beat producer, so I wrote this article to help new beatmakers use type beat marketing to connect with rappers looking for beats and get paid in the process. If you follow the steps I’ve laid out, you’ll know how to make type beats.
Some Context for Type Beats
So what is a type beat? “Type Beat” started as a marketing term, pure and simple, but recently it’s become so popular that the term is taking on a new character.
Because new producers often use terms like “Drake type beat” to sell their type beats online, some veteran artists and hip hop fans assume that type beat producers are just ripping off their influences. In fact, they’re usually just as interested as making original work as anyone else.
Much of the time, famous type beat producers will start out by making the best beat they can, then listen to it to try and determine what type of type beat it is. Curtiss King, a producer who’s worked with artists like Ab-Soul and Murs, said in a video that he raps over his type beats after he makes them to sound out which lyrical style would fit with them, then chooses an artist based on that.
What is a type beat? So really, every beat is a “type beat” waiting to be identified with a specific artist. The process for making type beats is the same as it is for producing any other kind of beat. The difference is in the promotion.
Where did Type Beats Come From?
Most producers or rappers you ask will say they first saw the term “type beat” being used on Soundclick, a site where producers sell beats on an open market.
Most new rappers and artists take inspiration from more well known creators like Kanye West, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. When they’re looking for type beats to rap on, they’re going to naturally lean toward the ones that sound like their idols’ music. Eventually, some producer on Soundclick figured that out, and started the type beat trend.
Eventually, the trend expanded to other platforms, most notably Youtube. Youtube’s audience is in the billions, meaning that producers can organically reach a much wider group of artists by posting their videos there. Some big name rappers have even admitted to looking for beats in their own name when they’re looking for a beat.
The producer for the song Panda, by Desiigner, is one of the most famous type beat producers. It earned at the time 22-year-old producer Menace a production credit on a number one billboard hit. Though he only earned $200 on it directly, it opened doors to the music industry.
What do You Need to Get Started?
- FL Studio
- A YouTube account
- A friend to bounce ideas off of
- Knowledge of artists and styles
As you get more involved with music production, you may want to buy some recording equipment, or maybe even a few instruments, but if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t spend more money than you need to.
How to Make and Market a Type Beat
Step One: Making the Beat
There’s no way I’ll be able to tell you how to compose a good beat in the space of a single article, but if you’re here, I’m guessing you already have some experience making music, or at least that you’re willing to put in the work to learn how.
What I can do is give advice on how to make a beat that you plan to market as a type beat. There are two main ways to go about it.
One way is to start with the beat. Whatever your normal creative process looks like, follow it until you have a mostly complete piece. You should underproduce a beat you’re going to sell so that whoever buys it can personalize it later. Then move on to step two.
Otherwise, you can begin with a specific style in mind. If you want to emulate an artist, you should listen to a lot of their music, and make some notes about what they’re doing. Identify the choices that they make which come together into a unique style. Those are the things you want to focus on reproducing.
Step Two: Finding the Type
If you don’t know what style of type beat you made already, there are a few things you can try. First, show it to a friend who knows hip hop and ask who it sounds like. Try this with various people who have varying degrees of hip hop knowledge.
If that doesn’t work, try Curtiss King’s method of rapping over the beat. Even if you can’t rap, as long as you can get a feel for the rhythm or tone that would work, that can help you find the type.
Step Three: Publishing Online
Upload the beat to your Youtube channel with a thumbnail that captures the mood of the piece. Since you’re using Youtube to market the beat, make sure to include what type of beat it is in the tags. You should use as many tags as you think is honest. Try to predict the search results that artists are going to use when they look for type beats.
Step Four: Promotion
If you have a Twitter account, or Instagram, or anything like that, post about the beat there. If an artist is looking for beats and likes your work. Give them away to follow you, and be notified when you have a new beat ready.
Ultimately, you want to be working as closely with the artists as possible. If you can get them to request beats from you directly, then you’ve got a consistent stream of income, and that’s the first step to going pro.
The first beat you make probably won’t take off. You have to keep making them until people start buying. This article puts a lot of emphasis on marketing your work, but practice will get you farther than anything else.
Now that you know how to make type beats, take it back to the basics. As a starting producer, your focus should be on improving your craft. Listen to a lot of music. Making a lot of type beats. Try new things with them, then selling beats. Watch tutorials and look for sincere advice. Making type beats involves thinking about style in a way that will help you analyze what makes music successful, and help refine your own personal sound. Work hard, and people will end up asking you for “you type beats.”
If there’s anything else you want to know about or any specific questions, go ahead and ask in the comments.