Write Lyrics That Rhyme & Relate
(Give Your Lyrics Excitement & Shape)
Learn to write lyrics using different kinds of rhyme patterns.
A Quick Lesson on Rhyming
Rhyme is a powerful writing technique of matching and repeating the sound between words, whether the end of word or the end of lines in your writing.
Since poetry and songs have become such a big part of our culture, we have mastered the art of noticing rhymes. When reading poetry or listening to songs our brains can instantly tell whether or not a lyric rhyme.
But even though many lyric writers use rhyme very often, never feel obligated to use this writing technique in your written works.
Small Misconception of Rhyme
Many will assume that rhyme has only to do with matching vowel 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 has a great article on rhyme that includes many different styles of rhyme. Below are some of those different styles:
- 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)
Rhyme Styles & Patterns
Lyric writers & songwriters don't worry about which of the above styles of rhyme they write in, so neither should you, I just want you to be aware of variety of ways rhyme is expressed.
If you write rhymes in your lyrics, feel free to match words by sound (Wars & Stores) or by sight (when & then). But below are common examples.
Rhyme Pattern Examples - 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 lyric...you're also free to write rhymes within your lyrics.
You can also write using different rhymes for different stanzas within your verse to write even more creative lyrics. Finally, set one pattern for your verses, one for your chorus and another for your bridge.
Basic Rhyme Checklist
- Choose a pattern - This will help you keep structure to
- Follow your structure but remember to stay creative
- But experiment
- Don't repeat yourself, that's not
- Don't think too much.
- Write down everything. Get it out of your head.
- Remember to take a break.
- K.I.S.S = Keep it simple silly!
Adding rhyme is a matter of creative expression, so understand that there will always be people who don't like your rhymes. Remember you're an artist. Be creative and stay true to your song's lyrics.
Ready To begin?
If you desire to be a poet...
Take some time each day to read the works of your favorite poet. Identify the writing technique they use, and then once a week - for 8 weeks - try to duplicate one of their written works.
If you desire to be a lyricist and/or songwriter...
Join my free training group to learn everything about lyric writing & songwriting in 8 weeks. Learn to write great lyrics & songs like your favorites from the radio and train to become a great songwriter in four steps:
Download my free 6-step exercise manual to learn to develop your lyrical content.
When you've completed your exercises we'll transition into structuring your
lyric into a real song.
- Next, you'll learn important skills and tips about each song section not taught in music
theory class to learn how to
structure your next song.
- Then, you'll follow audio & video songwriting lessons to complete your
- Also, get exclusive deals on all professional songwriting tools & courses offered on this website.
In a few weeks you'll have access to everything you need to start writing great lyrics & songs. You've already taken the biggest step by searching for this info, so take the next step.
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Updated: April 3, 2020
Do you have an example of rhyme you'd like to share? Post in the comments below.
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