Trap music is a sub-genre of hip-hop music. It has become a popular genre and more than 50% of the hiphop being produced now is Trap Music.
Many producers have come up because of this sub-genre.
Producers like Metro Boomin’ are considered the godfathers of trap.
For a newbie music producer, trap beat arrangement can be a challenge.
This post will therefore provide some hints as to how many bars a trap verse and hook should be.
With that said, How many bars should a trap verse be?
There’s no general rule as to how many bars a trap verse should be. However, most trap verse’s fall between 12 to 16 bars depending on the record itself. This is usually paired with an 8 bar Hook.
The number of bars is usually something that an artist decides on.
The standard number of bars in hiphop is 16 but this is not really a rule. You’ll find some hiphop records with bars extending over 24 bars and even more in some cases.
Trap bars are usually shorter.
Below are some of the reasons why trap bars may be short
1. Short song length
Most commercial trap records that you’ll find on commercial charts like billboard are pretty short in duration.
The average trap song lasts for around 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
This is one of the reason why verse length and duration is shortened.
There are a very few trap records that have more than 2 verses.
The 2 verse hiphop record has become the norm in this day and age.
It’s therefore, pointless to have lengthy verses with a short song.
Trap records are generally slow most of them have tempos ranging between 110 to 170…
Therefore, having shorter verses is more effective when the song is slow because it requires less lyrics.
This is why you’ll commonly find most trap songs with 8 to 12 bar verses.
3. Artist preference
Another reason why trap verses are generally shorter comes down to artist preference.
Not every rapper out there wants to write over 16 bars.
Sometimes they just want a quick 8 or 12 bar verse to get the record finished.
In arranging, the artist will usually specify how long they want their verses to be.
Shorter verses also mean that that rapper can freestyle some lines and get away with it because the verse isn’t that long.
4. Song message
The message of the song is another determinant of overall verse length.
Songs that have heavy messages may need longer verses for the artist to fully express their message.
Most commercial trap records these days are not really centred around alot of story telling or long messages to convey to the listener.
These days trap records are more in the commercial hit lane.
This is the reason why most records are generally shorter.
Trap artists also have to account for the attention span of the listener.
Many people these days won’t go over 3 minutes listening to a record before they press next or just stop the music entirely.
How to decide on trap verse length
Below are some things you may consider when deciding how long your verses should be for your song.
The record itself
The first thing that you need to consider is the record itself.
Say, you have a record with 4 or 5 rappers. Having 16 bar verses will end up making the song too long.
Which is why it would be wise to shorten the overall verse length.
This is not the only factor that needs consideration.
Commercial records don’t really need to be long because if they’re played in clubs, the DJ won’t play the whole thing anyway.
The abilities of the writer/rapper
The abilities of the rapper should also be another factor when determining the length of your verses.
Not all writers want to write long verses. Some would rather have short verses, while others may prefer longer verses to fully express their overall song message.
If you’re dealing with an artist it’s best to discuss what verse length they’re comfortable with before doing the final arrangement of the beat.
The goal of the song
The goal that you have in mind when creating a record is another thing that you have to consider when determining the length of the verse.
If you have a commercial club record on your hands, it’s best to keep it simple and not go for longer verses.
If you’re however looking to convey an important message, then you might need some good verse length for the artist to express themselves fully.
Hook length also matters in determining verse length.
Some songs have relatively short hooks that allow for verses to be longer without the entire song being too long.
While some songs tend to have 12 bar hooks that make it possible to go with either a verse of the same length or shorter.
Trap beats are generally made up of 8 bar hooks or choruses and 8, 12 or 16 bar verses. Usually 12