Hip Hop Instruments


Hip-hop music combines rhythmic rap vocals with an instrumental beat, known as the beat, created by DJs or one or more instrumentalists. Discover the best info about rap beats.

MCs often address social issues in their music, such as violence, gangsta lifestyles, and misogyny.


Hip-hop songs typically employ electric bass guitar as their bassline instrument of choice. An excellent bassist is essential to hip-hop songs as they can add depth and humanity to their music.

Hip-hop songs’ bass lines can often be created using synthesizers. This instrument produces sound by producing electrical signals and is frequently used to simulate real instruments such as strings, horns, and pianos. Hip-hop producers commonly employ synthesizers in creating bass lines and melodies.

Hip-hop music often uses an 808 bass line, often produced by drum machines such as Roland TR-808s. This bass line’s unique sound can create moods of either darkness and menacingness or fun and party atmospheres depending on its usage in songs, using deep and high notes that remain within an acceptable singing range.


Hip-hop’s core rhythm comes from its drums. Early DJs such as Kool Herc discovered exciting beats from vinyl records called breaks that became the foundation upon which hip-hop songs were composed.

Hip-hop culture accords extraordinary esteem to drums as an instrument. Arguably the cornerstone of any track, they can range from being simple or intricately detailed according to the producer’s desires.

Drums can be harsh or soft, and their sounds can tell a tale about any setting or period. Drums can also be altered through manipulation: from banging on cans or lunchroom tables to layering different recordings into an amalgamated Frankenstein drumbeat; adding or subtracting sounds such as open Hi-Hats and ghost notes can alter their rhythmic pattern and add unique creative notes that give each beat its own identity.


Pianos have long been used in hip-hop music. There is even an entire genre known as Hip hop piano, where piano chords are played over hip-hop beats. Furthermore, you can find grand piano sound libraries for different genres like pop, jazz, or rock that feature piano sounds that add another dimension.

This chord progression from MIA’s Paper Planes exemplifies the type you might hear in her song. It uses only minor chords (D, F#, and A).

Hip-hop production relies on drum machines, often found cheaper than accurate drum kits and used by young rappers to produce their beats in the studio. Iconic machines like Roland TR-808s continue to feature prominently today, while digital samplers such as E-mu SP-1200 or Akai MPC series digital samplers are widely utilized for Hip hop production.


Hip-hop relies on voice as its primary instrument, enabling rappers to express their unique perspectives through spoken-word rap or poetry slam performances. Emcees often speak over music tracks using various slang terms to describe life experiences. Hip-hop has also given birth to various literary forms like spoken word performances and poetry slams that use its musical background.

Hip hop’s overt use of profanity has caused numerous censorship concerns, leading to many songs being edited before broadcast – usually to remove offending language while leaving the backing music intact.

Producers aiming to create their hip-hop beats have several instruments to assist. Roland TR-808 stands out with its deep bass tones and punchy snare sound; the Akai MPC series provides an intuitive workflow with sample-based capabilities, while Native Instruments Maschine offers numerous effects and customizable drum kits.

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