Creating Rap Background Tracks

Creating Rap Background Tracks

Reecka Kranich
[email protected]
Bangor Area Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


Middle School


General Music




80 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic knowledge of GarageBand – i.e. how to browse through available loops, how to add loops to an empty track and how to manipulate loop length.

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


Computer Lab, Headphones


At the conclusion of the lesson: Students will have created an original 24 measure composition using three instrument loops. The composition will be used as a background track for original raps which will be written at a later date.


Break the class up into groups of 3 or 4 students. Groups are to explore GarageBand and find three loops (using a drum track, a bass track and an additional instrument of their choice) which will fit together to make a composition which is at least 24 measures long. In order to keep the selection process from taking too much time, perhaps limit the number of loop styles available to the students (i.e. for the drum loops, they may only choose from urban and rock/pop). The students must work as a group to narrow down their choices and decide which examples fit together best. Once the loops have been chosen, they must drag the loops into open tracks and extend them out to create a composition of at least 24 measures. The groups will have 45-50 minutes for the selection process and 15-20 minutes to put the tracks together. The teacher will circulate between groups to give assistance and keep the students on track as they work.


Each group will play their track for the class at the end of the period.

Follow Up:

In the same groups, students will brainstorm a topic for their raps. Once the topic is chosen, they should be given a specific form (i.e. 4 line chorus, 4 line verse, repeat chorus, verse 2, repeat chorus) to help them in the creation process. Over the course of a few weeks, they will write lyrics which they will put together with their background tracks. At the end of the unit, there will be a final performance of each rap.

Items to Purchase:

GarageBand or similar sequencing program

When budget should be submitted:

Previous budgetary year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top