Flow Notation System

About the Flow Notation System

Flow Notation System Logo

Introducing FNS (Flow.Notation.System).

Developed by Tonedeff as a timing gauge and visual teaching tool for hip-hop lyricists. Utilizing the FNS regularly will increase an emcee’s precision of delivery, as it creates a basic rhythmic filter during the writing process. Also, the FNS puts an end to the notorious “rough draft” verse (a verse which seems on rhythm upon creation, but reveals timing flaws upon read-back). In essence, FNS allows technically savvy emcees to fine tune their lyrics immediately AS THEY’RE BEING WRITTEN.

Example Verse Format (4/4)
1) Standard rhyme format consists of 4 counts per line = (1 BAR) /
2) Each line (bar) should be numbered to track verse length
3) Standard verse lengths are multiples of 8 (ie. 8/16/24/32)
4) Every fourth bar is a ‘power line’. These lines are emphasized.

Using FNS for Writing/Reading

While constructing verses, simply mark the standard ONE and TWO symbols above the syllable that corresponds to the beat. (see. Figure 1.)

:: Figure:1
FNS Example 1

The ONE is placed where the first kick in the bar is, and the TWO is placed on the first snare. By default, 1 Bar will contain 2 sets of these symbols.

• Anwhere there are no words on the kick or snare, insert the correspond HOLD symbol: (see Figure 2.)

:: Figure:2
FNS Example 2

• Anywhere there is a quick “twist” in the words, (comprised of 3-syllables on 24th-Note timing) insert the FLIP symbol underneath the words to connect them. The more of these in a row, the longer the FLIP combination: (see Figure 3.)

:: Figure:3
FNS Example 3

• In order to maintain a continuous flow, breath-plotting is essential. The less breaths, the more continuous the flow. Insert a BREATH bracket where needed. (see Figure 4.)

:: Figure:4
FNS Example 4

Download FNS sheets