The Art of Hip‑Hop Production

Learn the nuances of producing beats, arranging tracks, and creative sampling, drawing on the rich history and influence of hip-hop.

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By some measures, hip-hop is now the most popular genre of music in the world. Over the past 40 years, it developed from a back-to-school party in the Bronx to a billion dollar industry.

The aim of this course is to help you draw on that legacy to become a more confident producer and beat maker. We'll touch on writing beats and bass lines, creative sampling, arranging, songwriting, mixing, and many more elements, with a specific eye to hip-hop and its many subgenres. 

When you enroll, you'll get two months of free access to millions of high-quality samples from our partner Splice, including instructor Charles Burchell's brand new sample pack with his group The Love Experiment.

Charles Burchell

Educator, Composer + Cultural Diplomat

Charles Burchell has taught music for the past ten years and has worked with programs such as The Urbano Project, Carnegie Hall, Fondorie Sonore, Marquis Studios, Next Level Cultural Diplomacy Program, and Saint Louis College of Music. He is currently teaching hip-hop production, live performance, and rapping at Saint Louis College of Music and John Cabot University which are both located in Rome, Italy. He received a bachelor's in music from New England Conservatory and a master's in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Burchell has recorded, produced, and performed with artists such as Omar Sosa, Yilain Canizares, Christian Scott, Braxton Cook, Talib Kweli, Ran Blake, Ciel Rouge, Jason Moran, and Iman Omari. He has also produced three records with his band, The Love Experiment.

More About Charles
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beat making
the art of hip-hop production
charles burchell
drum machines
song analysis

Subscribe Now for Unlimited Access

Take this course for as low as $12/month with a Soundfly subscription, and get access to all the creative courses we offer, and much more. Cancel anytime.

Want to work on this course with 1-on-1 support from an expert mentor? Request a mentor through our
custom mentorship program here.

Watch the Trailer Video

Learn how to make hip-hop music, drawing on its history, its culture, and its many subgenres. Master sampling, arranging, production, sound design, beat making, and much, much more. 

Check out this teaser to learn more about what's involved. 

Become a more well-rounded and pro-sounding hip-hop producer

Dissect the specific elements that make hip-hop unique as a genre, and learn to master them in your own music.

Master Hip-Hop Arranging

Gain a better understanding of the way tempo, drums, bass, harmony, melody, and lyrics all contribute to hip-hop production.

Explore Hip-Hop Production Techniques

Learn techniques to make your beats sound more polished.

Build Beats from Scratch

Learn how to get started creating and finishing tracks with different workflows and approaches.

Learn to Sample Creatively

Discover a variety of ways to sample and how sampling works from a legal standpoint.


Add a custom mentorship session on top of your course subscription to work through the material one-on-one with an expert mentor. Get a more personalized experience featuring weekly calls, feedback, additional resources, and more. Tell us about your goals below to learn more.

Ian Barnett

Drummer, Producer, DJ
  • Hip-hop and footwork producer (artist name Mallow)
  • Performed with major artists Betty Who and Marlon Craft
  • TV Credits include performances on Today Show, The View, James Corden, MTV, and more

Jamie Billings

Jamie Billings
  • Engineer, Sound Designer
  • Audio designer at MIT Audio Labs
  • Pro Tools Certified Instructor
  • Graduate in electronic production and design from Berklee
  • Leads production workshops at NYU

Sam Friedman

Producer, Songwriter, Educator
  • Original music featured in The Fader and Bullett Magazine
  • Music featured in ads for Taco Bell, Converse, Coke, etc.
  • Producer for Mophonics agency making music for ads and major clients


Course Outline

  1. Preview
    Section 1

    Starting Out

  2. Section 2

    The Infinite Power of Loops

  3. Section 3

    The Drums

  4. Section 4

    The Bass

  5. Section 5

    Chop it Up: Exploring Various Sampling Techniques

  6. Section 6

    Crafting a Song: Arrangement, Harmony, and Melody

  7. Section 7

    What's Next for Hip-Hop

  8. Section 8



Who is this course for?

This course is for producers, rappers, aspiring producers, or people with no prior knowledge of hip-hop who want to learn their way around the genre and culture of hip-hop production. Perhaps you're a seasoned producer looking to add this genre to your toolbox, or perhaps you're an up-and-coming artist and/or producer trying to make it big. Either way, we'll show you the ins and outs of hip-hop as a production style.

What will I learn?

You'll learn the essential skills for sampling, producing, and arranging hip-hop beats and full tracks.

Are there any pre-reqs?

You'll need to own or purchase some kind of music production software to make your track(s). Some additional gear is recommended to get the most out of the course, but if your setup is stripped down, you'll still be able to follow along. Recommended additional gear: headphones, speakers, MIDI controller, audio interface, and microphone.

How long does this course take?

This course was designed to be completed in roughly six weeks, assuming students would have a few hours a week to spend on it. Each "week" includes a certain section and challenge activity for you to take on. That said, that timeline is just a casual recommendation — you can choose to blow through it all in one sitting or take a year with it, if you'd like.

Is there a specific start date?

You can start the course anytime. If you'd like more accountability and guided feedback from a professional, you can request to work through the course and your own goals with a Soundfly Mentor for four or six weeks, and get a more personalized experience for a specific period of time.  

Learn more about custom mentorship here.

How many lessons are there?

This course includes 73 lessons, including videos, graphics, text, activities, demos, interviews with outside experts, and much more. 

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all courses on, including this and all our other premium courses, to go through at your own pace. This includes all the videos, tutorials, demos, quizzes, activities, downloads, and other materials within our full suite of courses.

You're also entitled to a 25% discount on our custom mentorship program, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Discord group, you'll be able join subscriber-only Study Groups, artist Q&As and workshops, annual contests and giveaways, and you'll have access to a growing list of exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. Cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

Can I take this course with a mentor?

Yes, absolutely. If you would like to go through the course with support, accountability, feedback, and guidance from an expert, you can request a mentor by filling out this form. A Soundfly staffperson will reach out within 48 hours to learn more about your goals, your music, and your skills level, and pair you with a mentor who can help you achieve your next musical milestone. Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. Your mentor will tailor the course to your experience and interests, offer detailed weekly feedback on your work, answer any questions you have, help you blow past obstacles, and keep you on track to accomplish your goals.

You can find out more about mentorship and our expert mentors here.