In search of rhyming help? Welcome.
In this article we focus on rhyming. We discuss how to rhyme better when writing songs. Most songs use rhyming words. But why? Let’s take a look at a few reasons.
Why are rhymes used in songs?
First of all, it’s easier to remember phrases that rhyme than those that don’t. Think of how hard it would be to remember a song if it didn’t rhyme. I guess this is why we were taught lots of stuff in kindergarten through the use of nursery rhymes. Take how we learned the alphabet for example. Rhyming words also stir us emotionally.
Rhyme and melody go hand in hand in a song. They complement each other and make songs sound better. Since rhymes are so pleasing to the ears, they help people listen to and focus on your song. They enable the listener to guess what word is coming next and make the lyrical message much clearer.
Rhyming help: the mistakes that beginners make
But I see too many beginning songwriters focus more on rhyming instead of the actual message of their song, thus watering down the song. Yes, rhymes are important, but you shouldn’t use words just for the sake of rhyming, or because you couldn’t find any better word that rhymed. Your rhymes should never sound forced but should come out naturally. Too many beginners simply grab a copy of a rhyming dictionary when they’re stuck and need rhyming help, and just pick a word that rhymes, instead of focusing on the reason.
When you’re just starting out as a songwriter, you may find yourself using a lot of simple, overused rhymes such as hook/look and moon/june. This is understandable. Since we’ve heard these rhymes so much it is easy to resort to them. But if you want to take your songwriting to a higher level you must begin putting more thought into your rhymes. The first word that comes to mind may not necessarily be the best rhyme for your song. You need to get away from doing what has been done before. Using the same old regurgitated rhymes won’t do.
Different types of rhymes.
Words like “hook” and “look” are called perfect rhymes because the two end sounds correspond exactly. Another example is “love” and “above”. These rhymes are viewed by some songwriters as too easy and too predictable and are therefore avoided. I tend to agree.
But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them at all. I guess what you should do is make sure you think of perfect rhymes that are not too common, although this may prove difficult. If you ask me for rhyming help, I’d say how about using words where two end syllables rhyme? An example is “prediction” and “conviction”. Or how about beginning rhymes such as “physics” and “fizzle”, or first syllable rhymes like “carrot” and “caring”?
Words in which one end syllable rhymes are referred to as masculine rhymes, while those where more than one end syllable rhyme are called feminine rhymes.
You should also try a few internal rhymes. This involves rhyming words within a line. For example, “The sails at noon left off their tune” (Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” ).
So you’re in search of rhyming help? Well, you don’t necessarily have to use perfect rhymes. If you haven’t started, you may want to try out a few partial rhymes. In partial rhymes the sounds are similar but not identical.
Then say not Man’s imperfect, Heaven in fault;
Say rather, Man’s as perfect as he ought…
(Pope, “An Essay on Man”)
Another example of partial rhymes are “rough” and “love”. The “f” sound in rough is close to the “v” sound in love and work together.
Due to differences in dialect and the evolution of language, some words have become more or less perfect over time. In the seventeenth century, words like prove and love rhymed, but not any more.
Every country has its own way of pronouncing certain words and you’d be surprised to find out that what is a perfect rhyme for you may not be somewhere else. As someone from the Caribbean who writes mostly Caribbean songs, when I refer to an online rhyming dictionary for rhyming help, I usually find many of the rhymes very strange.
For more rhyming help, let’s now take a look at different rhyming schemes.