How to Make Basic Beatbox Sounds

Try beatboxing to make percussion sounds using only your mouth.


Up next in Singing Tips (12 videos)

Improve your singing voice with the tips in these Howcast videos, which teach you how to sing high notes; how to warm up your voice before singing; how to take care of your vocal cords; how to make basic beatbox sounds, and more. And, for those of you who can't carry a tune, there's advice on how to pick a karaoke song if you can't sing.

You Will Need

  • Rhythm
  • A mouth


  1. Step 1

    Create a kick drum

    Make the kick drum sound by expelling pressurized air through your mouth. At the same time, pronounce the letter b without using your voice box. The effect should be punchy while you mouth the "b" sound and expel air simultaneously. Use only the air in your mouth.

  2. Vary the b sound by mouthing the letters "bf," "bs" and "bsh" intermittently; combine for an interesting rhythm.

  3. Step 2

    Create the hi-hat

    Clench your teeth and expel short bursts of air while making the "t" sound. This is called hi-hat. Keep your tongue against the roof of your mouth and the back of your teeth, maintaining the pressure inside your mouth. Use your tongue to regulate air flow.

  4. Experiment with variations like "ts," or by drawing the air for longer periods of time to create a "tssss" sound.

  5. Step 3

    Be a snare drum

    Build on the kick drum sound to mimic a snare drum. Expel pressurized air using the same technique, only mouth the letter "p" instead of the kick drum’s "b."

  6. Vary the snare drum with "ps," "psh," or "pf" sounds. Emphasize the variations by elongating the sounds: for example, "psssshh" or "pssssffff."

  7. Step 4

    Crash like a cymbal

    Use the word ''chish'' to replicate the crash cymbal. Repeat through clenched teeth, without the vowel sound, for a duller crash. Keep your teeth clenched.

  8. Step 5

    Make a reverse cymbal sound

    Keep your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth where your upper teeth meet your palate. Clench your teeth and inhale quickly to create a reverse cymbal. Close your mouth to stop the sound.

  9. Step 6

    Get hip-hop inspiration

    Listen to old school hip-hop and try to replicate those beats.

  10. Step 7

    Develop your sound

    Develop your own unique sounds by putting all the elements together. Timing and breathing techniques are the secret to impressive beat boxing. Have fun!

  11. Standard Beatbox Notation (SBN) is a special set of musical notations created specifically for writing beat box songs.