Phonk Your Way A Beginners Guide To Making Phonk Music

Hey there all you music enthusiasts and aspiring producers! Are you looking to step into the world of phonk music? Are you confused about where to start, what kind of equipment to use, and how to create that unique and raw sound that phonk is known for? If the answer is yes, then keep reading because we’ve got you covered! This article will serve as a comprehensive guide to help you make your own phonk beats and get your music career off the ground.

By the end of this article, you can expect to have a basic understanding of what phonk music is, how to incorporate the essential elements of phonk in your beats, and some tips and tricks to make your tracks stand out. We’ll also take you through the technical aspects of producing phonk and introduce you to some tools and software that’ll make your journey much easier. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned music producer, this guide has something in store for everyone.

Are you ready to create music that hits deep and stays with you forever? To get started, we’ve compiled some tried and tested methods from some of the best phonk producers out there. We’ve also added our own personal touch with some creative ideas to help you make your music unique. Hang tight, because this guide is not just informative, but it’s also fun and exciting. Follow our advice, put in some hard work and dedication, and before you know it, you’ll be making music that’ll make you stand out from the crowd. Let’s begin the journey of creating music that’ll leave an impact on your listeners!

What is Phonk Music and How to Make it: A Beginner’s Guide

Phonk music is a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the southern United States in the 1990s. Phonk music gets its name from the distorted and slow sound that it features. The subgenre combines elements of southern hip hop, Memphis rap, and chopped and screwed music. Phonk music is characterized by the use of samples, lo-fi beats, and chopped and screwed audio. Here, we will delve into the basics of phonk music and how to create it.

The Basics of Phonk Music

To fully understand how to make phonk music, it’s important to understand its basics. Some of the key components of phonk include:

  • Sampling: Phonk music relies heavily on sampling. Producers use samples from old-school funk, soul, and R&B tracks. They chop and screw the samples to create the slower, darker sound characteristic of phonk music.
  • Lo-Fi Beats: Phonk music often features lo-fi beats, which are compressed to make the sound older and more degraded. This is done to bring out the harshness in the music, making it sound more like a cassette tape recording from the 90s.
  • Chopped and Screwed Audio: Phonk music producers also chop and screw audio to create a distorted and slow sound. This involves slowing down the tempo and pitch of a track, making the beat sound lower and deeper.

Creating Phonk Music

Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the basics of phonk music, let’s explore how to create it. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Find Samples: Look for samples from old funk, soul, or R&B tracks that you can chop and screw to create your beat. You can find these samples on the internet or from vinyl records.
  2. Chop and Screw: Use a digital audio workstation to chop and screw your samples. This deliberately degrades the quality of the sample, creating a lo-fi effect that is characteristic of phonk music.
  3. Add Drums: Add drums to your chopped and screwed samples. Use a combination of kicks, snares, and hi-hats. Most phonk beats use a simple pattern, with a prominent snare and hi-hat pattern, following the chop and screw samples.
  4. Add Bassline: Add a bassline to your beat. It should follow the general vibe of your sample and drums.
  5. Mix and Master: Mixing and mastering is the process of balancing and finalizing the sound of your beat. Add effects like reverb and compression to create dimension to your track.

Pros and Cons of Phonk Music

Just like any other genre, phonk music has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a table that summarizes them:

Pros Cons
– Phonk music allows you to be creative, experimenting with different sounds to create something unique. – The lo-fi sound quality may not appeal to everyone, as some listeners prefer cleaner and clearer sound.
– Phonk beats are great for rap vocals, as the slow and distorted beat can make the vocals sound more powerful. – Creating a phonk beat is a time-consuming process.
– Phonk music has a distinct style that makes it stand out from other genres. – It may be challenging to find the right samples to create a phonk beat, which can be frustrating for new producers.

Real-Word Examples

Here are some of the most popular phonk tracks and artists:
– “Grindin” by Black Smurf
– “I’m Gone” by DJ Smokey
– “Jnco Jeans” by Big Baby Tape
– “Minds Playing Tricks” by Lil Ugly Mane


Phonk music is a unique subgenre of hip-hop that’s gaining more popularity among music producers and audiences alike. It’s a fun genre to experiment with, and with the right samples, software, and creativity, it’s easy to make a phonk beat. All you need is a little inspiration, some patience, and a willingness to experiment. Hopefully, this guide has given you a good introduction to phonk music and inspired you to explore its unique sound on your own.

Essential Elements of Phonk Music Production Techniques

Phonk music is a sub-genre of hip-hop that originated from the southern United States. Phonk music is known for its low-fidelity sound, heavy sampling, and use of chopped and screwed techniques. Producing phonk music requires a certain level of skill and knowledge of essential production techniques. In this article, we will discuss the essential elements of phonk music production techniques.

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Sampling is a crucial component of phonk music production. It involves taking small sections of pre-recorded music and incorporating them into a new composition. In phonk music, sampling is used extensively to create a unique sound. Below are some key points to keep in mind when using sampling:

  • Find and listen to a wide range of music genres.
  • Be creative with your sampling and experiment with different techniques.
  • Make sure to clear any samples before releasing your music.
  • Use a variety of samples to keep your beats fresh and interesting.

Phonk music is known for its heavy use of samples from 90s R&B, funk, and soul music. Producers in the genre often use vinyl records for sampling, as they provide a warmer, more organic sound.

Chopped and Screwed

Chopped and screwed is a technique that involves slowing down music tracks and remixing them with added reverb and delay effects. The technique originated in Texas in the early 90s and has been a popular part of southern hip-hop ever since. Here are some tips for using the chopped and screwed technique in phonk music:

  • Experiment with different tempos and pitch shifts.
  • Use EQ to create a darker, more ominous sound.
  • Use the technique sparingly to avoid overuse.
  • Make sure your chops and screw are in time with the music.

Chopped and screwed is often used in phonk to create a slowed-down, nostalgic sound reminiscent of 90s R&B and hip-hop. The technique can add a haunting and atmospheric quality to beats, making it an important aspect of phonk music production.

Low-Fidelity Sound

Low-fidelity (lo-fi) production is an essential aspect of phonk music. It involves using lower quality recordings to create a vintage, gritty sound. Here are some key points to keep in mind when producing a low-fidelity sound:

  • Use vinyl crackle and hiss in your production to create a vintage sound.
  • Use distortion and compression to add grit and warmth to your beats.
  • Experiment with low-quality microphones for a lo-fi sound.
  • Use tape saturation to create a warm, analog sound.

Phonk music is known for its rough, distorted sound, and producers often use lo-fi production techniques to achieve this aesthetic. By embracing low-quality recordings and adding distortion and saturation, producers can create a vintage, timeless sound.


In conclusion, phonk music production requires a certain level of skill and knowledge of essential production techniques. By mastering the art of sampling, using the chopped and screwed technique, and embracing a low-fidelity sound, producers can create unique and engaging phonk beats. Remember to always experiment and be creative with your production techniques to give your beats a distinctive sound.

Choosing the Right Equipment and Software for Making Phonk Music

When it comes to making phonk music, choosing the right equipment and software is crucial. The right tools will help you produce high-quality tracks that stand out from the crowd. In this section, we will discuss the various options for equipment and software that you can use to make phonk music.


The equipment you use can make or break the quality of your music. Here are some of the most essential items you will need:

  • Computer
  • Headphones or studio monitors
  • MIDI keyboard
  • Microphone (optional)

1. Computer

Your computer is the foundation of your music production setup. You’ll need a reliable computer with enough processing power to handle your digital audio workstation (DAW) and plug-ins. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a computer for music production:

  • Processor speed: Look for a processor with a high clock speed (e.g., 3GHz or higher).
  • RAM: Get at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or more is ideal.
  • Storage: Solid-state drives (SSDs) are faster than traditional hard drives (HDDs) and are recommended for music production.

2. Headphones or Studio Monitors

Headphones or studio monitors are essential for accurately monitoring your mix. Here are some things to consider when choosing headphones or monitors:

  • Frequency response: Look for headphones or monitors with a flat frequency response so that you can hear your mix accurately.
  • Comfort: Choose headphones that are comfortable for long sessions.
  • Budget: Studio monitors can be expensive, but there are affordable options available that still produce decent sound.

3. MIDI Keyboard

A MIDI keyboard is an essential tool for creating melodies and chords. Here’s what to consider when choosing a MIDI keyboard:

  • Number of keys: Choose a keyboard with enough keys for your needs. A 61-key or 88-key keyboard is ideal for most music producers.
  • Weighted or unweighted keys: Weighted keys feel more like an acoustic piano and are ideal for pianists, while unweighted keys are lighter and easier to play.
  • Software compatibility: Make sure the MIDI keyboard is compatible with your DAW.

4. Microphone

While not essential for phonk music production, a microphone can be useful for recording vocals or live instruments. Here are some things to consider when choosing a microphone:

  • Type: There are many types of microphones, but a condenser microphone is ideal for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.
  • Directionality: Choose a microphone with a directional pattern that suits your needs. A cardioid pattern is ideal for recording vocals, while an omnidirectional pattern is useful for capturing ambient sound.
  • Price: Microphones can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, so consider your budget when choosing a microphone.


The software you use is just as important as the equipment. Here are some of the most popular DAWs and plug-ins for making phonk music:

1. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)

A DAW is the software you use to create and edit your music. Here are some popular DAWs for making phonk music:

DAW Pros Cons
Ableton Live -Built-in synthesisers and effects
-Great for live performance
-Easy to use
-Limited MIDI editing
FL Studio -User-friendly interface
-Good for beginners
-Limited audio editing capabilities
-Not great for live performance
Logic Pro X -Great for recording and mixing audio
-Comes with a lot of virtual instruments
-Only available on Mac

2. Plug-ins

Plug-ins are add-ons to your DAW that allow you to create different sounds and effects. Here are some popular plug-ins for making phonk music:

  • Serum: A popular synthesiser plug-in with a lot of versatility.
  • RC-20 Retro Color: A plug-in that adds vintage-style noise and distortion to your tracks.
  • Valhalla VintageVerb: A versatile reverb plug-in with a lot of different settings.

3. Sample Packs

Sample packs are collections of sounds, such as drum beats or melodic loops, that you can use in your music. Here are some popular sample packs for making phonk music:

  • Classic Hip-Hop Drum Kits: A collection of classic drum beats and samples from the 90s.
  • Royalty-Free Melodies: A pack of melodic loops and samples that you can use in your music without worrying about copyright issues.
  • Nostalgia: A pack of vintage sounds and samples that are perfect for phonk music.
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In conclusion, when making phonk music, it’s important to choose the right equipment and software. A reliable computer, comfortable headphones or studio monitors, a MIDI keyboard, and a microphone (if needed) are key essentials. Choosing the right DAW, plug-ins, and sample packs can help you achieve the sound you’re looking for. Keep in mind your budget when making these important purchases.

Structuring Your Phonk Music: Tips on Arrangement and Composition

If you’re new to producing phonk music or looking to enhance your skills, knowing how to structure your track is essential. Structuring your phonk music is not just about making it sound good, but also about making it flow seamlessly. In this subsection, we’ll take a closer look at some tips on arranging and composing phonk music.

4 Tips on Arrangement and Composition

Arrangement and composition are two important key factors that need to be considered when making phonk music. It’s not enough to figure out how to compose good melodies; you also need to know how to blend them all into one beautiful song. Here are some tips that will help you in composing and arranging your phonk track:

  1. The Hook

The hook is the most crucial part of a phonk track. It’s the part that the listener will remember and keeps them coming back for more. A hook is usually a catchy melody that serves as a signature for the track. To compose an effective hook, you need to choose the right sound, and it should be arranged in a way that fits the rhythm and overall vibe of your phonk track.

  1. Build-up and Drop

A build-up and drop is another critical aspect of phonk music. It’s the part where the tension and energy of the track are maximized, and then it builds up to a climax before dropping to the verse or the hook. To create a build-up and drop, you need to use sound effects, filter effects, or risers to create tension before the drop.

  1. Layering

Layering is when you use multiple elements to form one cohesive sound. For instance, in phonk music, you can layer piano melodies with strings and drums to create a fuller sound. Layering can also be applied to the bassline, where you use multiple bass notes to create different levels of depth and texture.

  1. Transitions

Transitions help to keep the flow of the track smooth and seamless. You can use various techniques, such as filter effects, delay, and reverb, to make your transitions sound smooth. Transitions also provide a nice way to introduce new elements to the track.

Real World Examples

Listening to phonk music from other artists can help you get inspiration and ideas for structuring your phonk music. Here are some real-world examples of how artists have structured their phonk tracks:

Artist Song Structure
DJ Smokey Envy Me Hook – Verse – Hook – Build-up – Drop – Hook – Outro
FLATBRG Slime Time Hook – Verse – Hook – Build-up – Drop – Hook – Outro
Soudiere Afterlife Hook – Verse – Hook – Build-up – Drop – Hook – Outro

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Arrangement Techniques

Different arrangement techniques have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to producing phonk music. Here’s a breakdown of some of the techniques:

Technique Advantages Disadvantages
Simple Arrangement Easy to Follow, Great for Beginners Lacks Creativity, Can Be Predictable
Complex Arrangement Creative, Engaging, Exciting Challenging, Can Easily Sound messy
The Minimal Approach Simplicity, Elegant, Edgy Can Sound Bland, Lacks Depth


Structuring your phonk music is essential if you want your music to stand out from the crowd. Using the four tips we discussed above, you’ll be able to structure your phonk music effectively, creating a track that is both memorable and engaging. Remember to experiment with different techniques and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Mixing and Mastering Techniques for Perfecting Your Phonk Music Tracks

For any music piece, good mixing and mastering techniques are essential for a polished final output. Mixing is the process of combining multiple tracks together while mastering is the final process of fine-tuning and polishing the mixed tracks. This article explores some of the techniques you can use to perfect your phonk music tracks during mixing and mastering.

Mixing Techniques

The mixing process is usually done after recording, where multiple tracks are combined to create a single cohesive track. This section will explore some of the mixing techniques to polish and make your phonk tracks stand out.

  • Use of EQ: Use of equalizer to balance the different frequencies of sounds to make them blend well. EQ can remove unwanted frequencies, magnify specific frequencies and achieve greater clarity between different sounds. The vocals traditionally take the center and occupy the midrange exclusively, leaving the bass sounds to the low end and high-frequency instruments like cymbal to higher end. Avoiding overlapping tracks fighting for the same frequency range is the rule-of-thumb in mixing.
  • Panning: Panning is the process of adjusting the volume of individual tracks to ensure everything sits on an even field. A sound can be panned to the right, left or even be centered. Straight-up, Vertical Pans can make the music sound boring, left-right Pans help make it more lively and entertainingly immersive
  • Compression: Adjusting the loudness and softnesses scale between different tracks help balance out the volume of each instrument while creating musical dynamics. Using compression will make quieter sounds louder and louder sounds quieter as per the engineer’s settings. Therefore, it’s essential to have a good mix to bring about a perfect output with compression.
  • Effects: Using effects add flavor to music. The effects on different tracks can be Reverb, Delay, and Chorus, which adds a natural ambiance to the music. Limiting how much effect distortion is applied to different tracks for the best overall sound is essential.
  • The Rule of Fives: The Rule of Fives is an excellent mixing technique that helps you balance five essential elements of a song; Vocals, Drums, Rhythm, Atmosphere, and Bass. The Rule of Fives helps engineers allocate frequencies to each of the sound elements, keeping them well balanced and thus, creates a great final output.

Mastering Techniques

Mastering is the last process between mixing and releasing a track. It involves tweaking of levels, EQ’s, balance, and compression to improve the listening experience on different devices to promote it to the wider audience. This section will explore some of the techniques you can use to perfect your phonk tracks during mastering.

  • Loudness Maximization: Making your song loud without peaking is known as loudness maximization. Louder music attracts more people as it tends to stand out; hence, it’s necessary to use mastering techniques to make your phonk music loud enough to catch people’s attention.
  • Dynamic Range Compression: Commonly shortened as just “compression,’ dynamic range compression can help to add more middle and higher frequencies to your music. It’s necessary to add these frequencies before releasing any track to boost the song’s loudness.
  • Stereo Imaging: The stereo imaging technique creates a wider sound output to make the music more immersive. The technique involves widening sound into the stereo field to create more space and depth.
  • Loudness and RMS: RMS stands for Root Mean Squared, which refers to the average energy of a sound wave. Proper balancing of your phonk music’s RMS helps make the sounds appear leveled out, making loud sounds comfortable to listen to without being piercing.
  • Individual Track Processing: Individual track processing allows the engineer to polish every track’s finer elements to perfect the final output. The processing of every individual track’s quality will make the final play more enhanced and polished. Techniques like multiband compression, EQ and saturation can be experimented with.
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In summary, good mixing and mastering are a crucial aspect of producing quality phonk music. The above techniques offer guidance on how to create well-balanced music that is sure to captivate your audience. With the proper use of mastering techniques such as stereo imaging, loudness maximization, and dynamic range compression, your phonk music will not only be loud but also rich and immersive.

FAQs: How to Make Phonk Music

What is phonk music?

Phonk music is a genre that emerged from chopped and screwed hip hop in the 1990s. It is characterized by its slowed down tempo, use of vintage samples, and incorporation of elements from funk, soul, and classic R&B music.

What equipment do I need to make phonk music?

There is no specific equipment required to make phonk music, but a computer with digital audio workstation (DAW) software is essential. Along with that, you may need a MIDI Keyboard for playing notes or a Sampler for recording and manipulating sounds. Other than that, it is mostly a matter of personal preference and budget.

What are some software options for making phonk music?

Popular software options for making phonk music include FL Studio, Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, and Reason. All of these DAWs offer a range of features that can be used to create a unique sound suitable for phonk music. It is recommended to try out different software and choose one that works best for you.

What are some key elements of phonk music?

Some key elements of phonk music include a slow tempo, chopped and screwed vocals, vintage samples, heavy bass, and elements of funk, soul, and classic R&B music. These elements can be mixed and manipulated to create unique sonic textures that are distinctive of phonk music.

How do I find phonk samples?

There are several sources for finding phonk samples. One common place to find samples is through music libraries such as Splice or Loopmasters, where you can browse and purchase sample packs specifically targeted to phonk or similar genres. Another option is to dig for samples yourself by listening to vintage music and searching for loops or sounds that you can chop up and manipulate to create a phonk track.

What is the process for making a phonk beat?

The process for making a phonk beat varies between producers but usually involves starting with a sample or melody, chopping and manipulating it to create a unique pattern, then adding drums and bass to create a groove. Experimenting with the tempo, effects, and other elements can help create more depth and intricacy in the beat.

What are some tips for mixing phonk music?

A few mixing tips for phonk music include using stereo imaging to widen the sound, applying compression to control dynamics, and EQing to emphasize or cut certain frequencies. It’s important to listen to the mix critically and make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired sound.

How can I make my phonk beats sound more unique?

Some ways to make your phonk beats sound more unique include experimenting with different sample sources, layering different sounds and textures, using unconventional effects, and incorporating live instrumentation. Drawing from a broad range of influences and styles can also help create a distinctive sound.

How do I develop my own style within phonk music?

Developing your own style within phonk music involves experimenting with different sounds, techniques, and approaches to beat-making. It can take time to refine your sound, but being open to new ideas and constantly pushing yourself to create unique tracks can help establish your own style.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making phonk music?

Some common mistakes include overusing cliché sounds, failing to properly mix and balance tracks, and not taking the time to listen critically and make necessary adjustments. It’s important to also avoid getting stuck in a rut and always being open to trying new things and challenging yourself creatively.


Overall, making phonk music involves a mix of creativity, experimentation, and technical skill. It is essential to have the right equipment and software, but ultimately it’s up to the individual to explore different techniques and approaches to develop a unique sound. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can enhance your skills and create dynamic and captivating phonk tracks. Good luck!