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Making Beats Based on Guitar Measures


Using Self-Played Guitar Riffs Can Often Help with Your Sample-Based Beats


Though I’m certainly no ace on the guitar, I have—in the past several years—developed an ability to play riffs that compliment my beatmaking style. Essentially, what I do is, I listen to soul/early funk records, and I try to play those parts and phrases that I would otherwise sample. I usually press “record” on my CD player, and I play about four or five passes. Whichever pass that sounds the best is the one that I sample. I then sample my own “out takes,” if you will, and chop them into various sound-stabs that I can use in the existing beat and/or feature beatworks.

I started getting into the guitar not as a substitution for sampling, but as a means for complimenting my sample-based beats. In many cases, the source material that you sample will have holes or “dead spots,” points in the material where there are sounds—usually vocals—obstructing what you want to sample. So I found that by being able to play the guitar, even in a basic capacity, has often allowed me to play either phrase that was obstructed and/or to play an entirely new phrase that fits the tone and mood of the sample.

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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including the albums 'Soul Review' and 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual