How Many Tries Should It Take To Record A Rap Verse?

how many tries should it take to record a rap verse

How Many Tries Should It Take You To Record A Rap Verse

If you think these rappers are out here really doing their verses in 1 try you are insane. Don’t let the media spin it so that you believe that.

I am writing this article to ease your nerves and let you know that it is absolutely okay to do numerous takes to get your rap verse recordings just right.

When I first started rapping on the microphone I used to think that I had to get it all in one verse or in the least amount of tries possible or I wasn’t considered a ‘good rapper’. That’s the dumbest s**t ever. I used to be so stupid haha.

Let’s talk about that!


Does Jay Z record everything in 1 take

The Jay Z Myth

Jay Z recording verse in one takeI’m sure you have heard the rumor that Jay Z does all of his takes in 1 try. Since people hear things about how Jay Z does everything in 1 take, everyone thinks that is an important skill set to have and that it is actually vital or important.


You want the truth? It’s not important at all… unless you are trying to save tons of money in studio time.

And if people are recording their verses in 1 take, it is because they probably practiced it 20-30 times before even going in the studio.



Let me clear up the Jay Z myth really quick.

When he did the album with Linkin Park there was behind the scenes footage of him taking like 10 takes. What I’m saying is, someone as incredibly seasoned as Jay Z even does numerous takes. Why? Because they are perfectionist and know they do it better even if the 1st take would suffice.


recording rap vocal take amount

Let’s Be 100% Honest

It doesn’t matter if you do 1,000 takes because the ONLY take that people hear is the very last one you decide to go with. They don’t know you took 40 takes to get it right.

It is really and honestly that simple. You have no idea how many times your favorite artist re recorded their verses to get it just right.


rap recording

Let’s consider the way a song is written

Depending on your rap style, you may not even be able to record the verse all in one take. It may require punch ins that over lap other parts of the verse. It just depends on your style. Therefore the idea that you need to do it all in 1 take is just stupid.


rap recording

Let’s consider the way a song is recorded

background vocals rapper

A side from the 1 take thing, most artist layer vocals. Meaning that they do numerous takes of the same verse and set it far back in the background where it is barely audible but it adds this thickness to the vocal. More proof that the 1 take thing really doesn’t matter at all.

If you look at a Pro Tools session of a major artist’s song you will see 40+ tracks of audio. All layers, adlibs (stabs), dubs and more that create a song’s thickness, fullness and overall sound.



1 take rap vocal performance

Even When I Do It In 1 Take

Now there have been numerous times where I have actually gotten the entire verse in 1 try and absolutely loved it and even kept it. It happens, I’m just saying it’s not a necessity. It doesn’t PROVE anything and honestly it’s not that impressive.

The benefit of your first take while recording a song is that you are the most excited and ready to record a verse and sometimes that helps you get it perfect. But other times you have to slowly adjust your vocal to the beat after listening back and realizing you want to change your tone or the way you say a word with more emphasis and other factors.

Even when I get the take I LOVE, I continue recording and doing more takes in various voices and flows just in case I find something better. You should never even settle for the first take, second take or even fifth take for that matter. You should record them and just save them by moving them down to another track in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation | ProTools) and mute it. Then refer back to it if you remember you liked that take better.


The final answer

The Final Answer

It should take you as many tries as you need to take to get it 100% perfectly to your liking. I don’t care if it takes you 1,000 tries. All people listening care about is that vocal take that you decided to keep and release. THAT’S IT. It’s completely logical and makes the most sense! There is no way to argue with an end result.

I don’t care how many times someone has to wash my car to get it perfect or how many times a painter has to paint my house as long as when it’s all done… It is as clean and perfect as I expected it to be. Try try again. 🙂


You got this!


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Rob Level

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