September 12, 2011
In any song, rhymes are an important part of memorable lyrics. They are so important, that people who listen to music have been unconsciously trained to anticipate rhymes in certain places. Rhymes serve many functions in a song. They help hold the listeners attention and give a listener a sense of completion and satisfaction. They also make the lyrics easier to remember. It may take a lot of work but good rhymes sound effortless.
When it comes to rhyme schemes, you don't want to sacrifice an idea or the memorable tone of your song to force you in a rhyme. You don't want to get stuck in that scheme, or let it control you and dictate the direction of your song. Take control of your rhymes and use them carefully.
There are four basic types of rhymes. Your perfect rhyme, imperfect rhyme, internal rhyme, mosaic rhyme. A perfect rhyme is the one that everyone is used to and it's when the rhymes have common word endings like true/blue and rain/chain. An imperfect rhyme is when you're rhyming the vowel sound like mind/time and love/enough. An internal rhyme is when the rhyme is within a sentence. Better than a sweater on a cold day, in this example better and sweater are the rhymes. The mosaic rhyme is when it takes more then one word to rhyme with one. For example tell us/jealous and minute/jump in it.
There is one more unofficial rhyme, and that is matching a non sense syllable to a lyric. A good example is Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ethiopia. From their new album I'm with you. “ e i o i e i a live to love another day”. As you can see the random vowels would be considered nonsense syllables and the next line is rhymed with it. To better understand it if you've never heard it, try looking it up on or iTunes to hear a sample of it.
Rhyming dictionaries are your friends, and there's many on the internet. Here is a list of my commonly used ones: