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Friday, June 8, 2018

#Songwriting: Five Types Of Rhymes In Your Lyrics

#Songwriting: Five Types Of Rhymes In Your Lyrics

Why we use rhymes

The main difference between prose and song lyrics is that lyrics have a rhythm to the lines and usually include rhymes. Why do we use rhymes in songs? Rhymes help emphasize the rhythm of your lyrics. They let's achieve an expression of tension that moves into resolution. Once you establish a rhyme scheme, your listeners will come to expect those rhyming patterns to keep, and if they do, they'll give your audience that sense of "Ah, I felt it absolutely was coming. Glad it resolved!"

Exactly like rhythms and harmonies help paint an image, so do your lyrics. Rhymes are just one more tool in your songwriting toolbox that you ought to use to help tell your stories.

Look at this: the stronger the rhyming connection between two words, the more stable and resolved the rhyme will feel. The weaker the rhyming connection, the more unstable and unresolved it'll feel. So you should use various kinds of rhymes to convey different emotions.

Important considerations

First off, the significant thing to notice is that, unlike poetry, lyrics are designed to be sung. So lyrical rhyming rules are slightly different from poetic rhyming. As a result, always make an effort to sing the language to see how they work together.

Secondly, whenever using rhymes, what you're wanting to rhyme is the accented syllables.

Let's take the phrase "together," being an example. The accent in "together" lands on the syllable "geth." Meaning, you should be looking for words whose accented syllable rhymes with "geth." Words like "tougher" or "certain" would not be rhymes as they are rhyming with the weak syllables "to-" and "-er." Whereas "feather," "leather," and "weather" will be correct rhymes given that they rhyme with the accented syllable in "together."

So without further ado, let's dive right into the five various kinds of rhymes that you should use in your songs.

1. Perfect rhyme

This one is one of the most common rhyme type that you've encountered till now. And among the reasons for that's because they've the strongest connection between both words. Types of perfect rhymes will be:

bright - night
no - go

If that is all you've been exposed to, you'd probably be the first to claim that rhymes are cheesy and that people shouldn't use rhymes in songs. But there's a reason these rhymes sound cheesy to us. It's because we've heard them utilized in each nursery rhyme since kindergarten.

Obviously, some really interesting imagery opportunities popped up just from that search. Online rhyming dictionaries ensure it is very easy to get perfect rhymes for virtually any word you need.

To recap, perfect rhymes create the strongest connection between two words, and thus provide the listener the biggest sense of resolve.

2. Family rhyme

Up to now we've explored perfect rhymes, where the vowel sound of the accented word and the following consonants match identically.

Family rhymes have three characteristics:

The accented rhyming syllables have the exact same vowel sound
The consonant sounds following the vowel will vary but area of the same family
The accented rhyming syllables begin differently

So what exactly are these "families"? You can find three families of consonant sounds:

Plosives: b, d, g, p, t, k
Fricatives: v, TH, z, zh, j, f, th, s, ss, sh, ch
Nasals: m, n, ng

When creating family rhymes, what you are able to do is substitute the ending consonant sound with the other consonant sounds from the exact same family. Meaning the d in "had" could possibly be replaced with the other plosives (b, g, p, t, k) to produce "bat," "rack," and "lab." Same as "crass" could become "laugh" or "tram" could become "ran." As long as you're staying in the exact same "family" of consonants you're creating what's called a family rhyme. Here is the second strongest rhyme type as possible create.

Here my heart
Is quite dark
Can you give me enough
Of most your love

So how will you go about searching for family rhymes in a rhyming dictionary? Searching for words that rhyme with "believe," would only give you perfect rhymes like "eve," "leave," sleeve, and "thieve." Things you need to do is first create one family rhyme by yourself and then search for rhymes with this word. So in the event of "believe," I possibly could replace the v sound with an f and create the term "belief." Searching for words that rhyme with "belief" would give me dozens of matches, like "brief," "leaf," "grief," or "relief." Alternately replacing the v with a z could let me create the family rhyme "Belize." Although that specific word might not can be found in too handy in a tune (unless I'm writing a tune about partying it up on a cruise), searching for rhymes with this word would give me a huge selection of additional options like "breeze," "ease," "keys," "disease" or "guarantees" among others. That family has 11 sounds that belong to it and I've only explored 3 so far. Just those three gave me close to 1000 words that have been family rhymes with "believe." Imagine all the possibilities that lie in one other 8?

Naturally, the opportunities for finding really clever rhymes becomes significantly higher when you incorporate family rhymes in your searches. Family rhymes can give you some truly beautiful imagery that matches your tone yet still has a strong enough sense of belonging rhyme- wise to produce the effectation of expectation-resolution.

3. Additive/Subtractive rhyme

Next in order of strength will be Additive and Subtractive rhymes. The three principles of these rhymes are:

The accented rhyming syllables have the exact same vowel sound
Additional consonant sounds are added (or subtracted) following the vowel
The accented rhyming syllables begin differently

The 2nd part may be the important piece here. So so how exactly does that work used? Let's say you have the term "feel." To produce an additive rhyme we could add an s to the conclusion and find words that rhyme with "feels" (like "steals" or "wheels"). Or we could take it further and add additional non-stressed syllables to the conclusion of the first word and thus try to find words that rhyme with "feeling" (like "bleeding" or "healing"). (Always remember the accented syllable that you're rhyming with).

Do you know Harry
He now's married
It absolutely was a big event in town
Many people came around
He became a good friend
And this can never end

4. Assonance rhyme

This group opens up additional possibilities. These rhymes have three characteristics:

The accented rhyming syllables have the same vowel sound
The consonant sounds after the vowel are different and element of different families
The accented rhyming syllables begin differently

Remember how when creating family rhymes you were swapping consonant sounds for other sounds from the same family? Well, when creating assonance rhymes you're doing the same, but this time swapping the consonant sound for sounds from a different family. Meaning the plosive d in "had" could be replaced with some of the fricatives (v, TH, z, zh, j, f, th, s, ss, sh, ch) or nasals (m, n, ng) to generate "jazz," "glass," and "half," "damn."

In this dark night
No light will shine

Notice how the t (part of the plosives family) was swapped for an n (nasals family) to generate an assonance rhyme between "light" and "shine." If you just say these two words, it doesn't sound like they would rhyme, but now sing them. Listen to the pre-chorus of Katy's song and you'll hear how the fact that the vowels are longer makes the language sound like they rhyme.

Assonance rhymes don't create as strong an association as what you will get with a perfect rhyme, but they open up the number of choices for creating 1000s of additional word rhymes, so if the prior categories didn't yield satisfying results, this 1 surely will.

5. Consonance rhyme

This brings us to our last contestant - the consonance rhyme. This will probably function as weakest rhyme connection you can produce between two words. The reason for the reason being the language have hardly any in common. These rhymes have these three characteristics:

The accented rhyming syllables have different vowel sounds
The consonant sounds after the vowel are the same
The accented rhyming syllables begin differently

Examples would be "bike" and "lake," "fun" and "on," or "this" and "pass." As you can see, the only real elements that these word pairs match on are the ending consonant sounds. Because the vowel sound is significantly diffent, the bond between these two words will soon be very weak, thus the sense of resolution will feel equally unresolved.

That being said, sometimes this really is things you need for the story you're telling. If your story is "unstable," talks about a real heartbreak, and requires that sense to be unresolved, then you may find that consonance rhymes will help you convey exactly that emotion.

What to do then
I don't have any plan

“Then” and “plan” don't share any vowel sounds, nevertheless the ending consonant sounds match, which makes this a consonance rhyme.


You now have so many possibilities as it pertains to the phrase choices that you should use in your songs. Mix and match them as needed seriously to convey different emotions.

Using different rhyme types will help you be sure that your rhymes aren't as predictable and cliché, but additionally open up the doors to a world of storytelling that basically brings your audience in closer to the story you're trying to tell through your songs.