Entertainment TEDx

Sonic insanity: 10 TED videos all about beatboxing

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Today’s incredible talk contains insane beats, bizarre sound effects, voiceovers in the style of multiple eras and instruments like the didgeridoo, sitar, trumpet and double bass. And yet, only one person is on the stage. As beatboxer Tom Thum puts it in this talk from TEDxSydney, “All the sounds you just heard were made entirely using just my voice.”

In this talk, Thum takes you around the world, sonically, and shows how he makes some of his most thrilling sounds. It’s a must-watch for a Friday afternoon.

Now, perhaps this talk has inspired you to take up beatboxing yourself. If that’s the case, never fear, this TED-Ed lesson from the members of BEAT NYC will teach you the basics.

Once you’ve watched, check out these other great TED and TEDx talks showing off the incredible skills of beatboxers.

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Naturally 7 beatboxes a whole band
This R&B band has no need for instruments. At TED2009, Naturally 7 beatboxes their single, “Fly Baby.”

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Reggie Watts disorients you in the most entertaining way
In addition to beatboxing, Reggie Watts blends poetry, deep thoughts, foreign languages and accents into a mesmerizing hodgepodge in this talk from TED2012.

Smily: How to make a didgeridoo smile
In this fun performance from TEDxTokyo, Smily uses the classic Australian instrument as a vehicle for his beatboxing.

Jonathan Lopez and Man Wai Che: A beatbox champion meets a Julliard bassist
At TEDxBeaconStreet, a beatboxer finds an unusual musical partner: a classically trained bassist.

krNfx and Elysha Poirier: Beatboxing, visualized
In another unexpected pairing, a two-time Canadian beatbox champion teams up with a visual artist. This performance from TEDxToronto is a treat for the eyes and ears.

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James Burchfield plays (invisible) turntables
Perhaps the most fun part of beatboxer James Burchfield’s talk from TED2003 is when he takes the time to set up and adjust his non-existent turntables.

Beasty: Lyrics and beatboxing
At TEDxBordeaux, French beatboxer Beasty remixes “Eye of the Tiger” and then performs a song’s beats and chorus … at the same time.

Abram Wuliger: A beatbox flute freestyles
Part beatboxer and part Jethro Tull, this performance from TEDxDuke is all good.