Write Song lyrics That Rhyme
"Give your lyrics excitement & shape."
Learn to write songs using different kinds of rhyme patterns in your song's lyrics.
A Quick Lesson on Rhyme in Song Lyrics
Rhyme is another powerful tool that many lyric writers use often...but it's not always necessary to write rhyme in all your song lyrics.
Never feel obligated to write rhymes in your song lyrics.
Since music has become such a big part of our culture, we have mastered the art of listening for rhymes.
When listening to songs our brains can instantly tell whether or not song lyrics rhyme.
Many will assume that rhyme has only to do with using vowels and their multiple sounds:
A - E - I - O - U ... and sometimes, Y
But rhyme also occurs whenever identical or similar sounds in two or more different words repeats.
Wikipedia.com has a great article on rhyme that includes many different styles of rhyme. Below are some of the different styles of rhyme you can use:
- masculine: stressing the
words' final syllables. (rhyme, sublime, crime)
- feminine: stressing the
second from last syllables. (picky, tricky, sticky)
- dactylic: stressing the third from
last syllable ('cacophonies", "Aristophanes")
- syllabic: where the last syllable of each word sounds the same but
doesn't necessarily contain vowels. (cleaver, silver, or pitter, patter)
- imperfect: a rhyme between a stressed and an unstressed syllable. (wing, caring)
- semirhyme: a rhyme with an extra syllable on one word. (bend, ending)
- oblique (or slant): a rhyme with an imperfect match in sound. (green, fiend)
- assonance: matching vowels. (shake, hate)
- consonance: matching consonants. (her, dark)
- half rhyme (or sprung rhyme): matching final consonants. (bent, ant)
- alliteration (or head rhyme): matching initial consonants. (short, ship)
Lyric Writing & Songwriting Rhyme Style
Lyric writers & songwriters don't worry about which of the above styles of rhyme they write in, so neither should you. Most of the time everything's intuitive. Your focus is on writing your lyrics and telling your story (or scenario) and not on whether you correctly used "dactylic rhyme".
If you write rhymes in your lyrics, match words by sound (Wars & Stores) or by sight (when & then).
Lyric Writing & Songwriting Rhyme Patterns
Rhyme Pattern - The # of rhymes in a stanza (group of lines)
Let's use letters to look at rhyme...and assume each letter is the "last word" of each line in your lyrics.
Above we see a 4-line rhyme - lines 1 & 2 rhyme, and lines 3 & 4 rhyme.
Here we see another 4-line rhyme - lines 1 & 3 rhyme, and lines 2 & 4 rhyme.
We see a third 4-line rhyme, where only lines 2 & 4 rhyme.
...and you're not limited to just 4-line rhymes. Here's a 5-line rhyme.
Keep it simple and only write rhymes at the end of your lyrics...you're also free to write rhymes within your lyrics.
Write using different rhymes for different stanzas within your verse to write even more creative lyrics.
Set one pattern for your verses, one for your chorus and another for your bridge.
- Choose a rhyme pattern - This will help you keep structure to
There are dozens of rhymes and hundreds of combinations to create. Study your favorite song for examples of patterns you may want to write in.
- Follow your structure but remember to stay creative
Structure is very important, but if there's only 1 way to write your lyrics, break the rules! "Color outside the lines" and rhyme in a different way. Remember this is your original work.
- Experiment with writing odd patterns or
rhymes you don't
Try to write in new rhyme to use…they may work…they may not, but at least you’re being unique.
- Try not to use the same words - that's not
Unless absolutely necessary, don’t rhyme the same words. Overuse is irritation to your audience. Also limit writing the same vowel sounds over and over. Find a new sound to rhyme with every new stanza...using a new rhyme pattern for new stanzas is even better.
- Don’t think too much -
Artists are creative, not brainy.
Let your creative energy flow through to your paper as you write, with gentle guidance from your lyrics structure. Your main focus is to write down your thoughts, so let them be free! You'll find words that rhyme almost magically.
- Don’t be too neat
Here’s another point about letting our thoughts flow…Have you every seen those movies where the songwriter is jotting down lyrics on a worn notepad, not caring how neat everything is? That’s how you should be. Taking time to clean things up block the creative process.
Don’t let neatness get in the way of your creativity.
- Write down everything…
Even if it you don’t think it fits your current lyric. Who knows? It could be the start of another great song.
- Take a break
Rest your brain for a moment and do something else. A little while later, reread what you've written. This will help rebuild your mental energy for a fresh start. Once you’re ready, continue on.
- K.I.S.S = Keep it simple silly! Less
is always more.
For now, write using simple rhymes until you get better...or until you find one that fits your style. Don’t try to impress your audience with your rhyming prowess.
Adding rhyme is a matter of creative expression, so understand that there will always be people who don’t like your rhymes…or lyrics…or entire song for that matter. Remember you’re an artist. Be creative and stay true to your song's lyrics.
Have you written any poetry before? If so, did you use a special rhyming style? I'm curious. Post in the comments section below. If you found this page helpful bookmark & share it with your friends.