Entries Tagged as 'Rhyming Dictionary'

Rhymes for Songwriters: Part 2

Rhyming Dictionary No Comments »

I thought it would be interesting to try to write a song section from scratch using the Lilac Writer rhyming dictionary.

I approached this from clean slate. I had no idea what sort of lyric I wanted to write. The first step was to just create a blank lyric and save it.

The next step was to run the title generator to get a title idea to work from.

I don't love it or hate it but since I don't have another idea right now, I will copy that to my title.

My goal here is to write one song section. Since normally the title of the song is repeated in the chorus, I will get started on the chorus right away by repeating the title a few times:

Kissing Right
Kissing Right
Kissing Right

Okay... that's a start. Next I will use the timer feature set to 2 minutes and see if can quickly build on that idea:

Kissing Right
Yeah that's what it's about tonight
Kissing Right
Like if finally see the light
We got that spark
Kissing Right

Ok, I got a first version of the chorus done!

It works well to put the title in the chorus. Having the title in the opening line or the ending line of the chorus are both powerful techniques... so I just did both! I came up with some rhymes for "right" right out of my head.

Now that I have my quickly written first draft, I can see that this is not that great. The rhymes I came up with aren't very original. Actually, these rhymes are predicable and generic. Let's see if we can get something more interesting using the Lilac Writer rhyming dictionary.

I added a a new list of rhyming words then looked up "night". Scanning through all the returned results, I clicked on any interesting words I saw to add them to the list. I picked words the fit my idea of the theme or words the might take the story in a new direction.

To get some more ideas to work with, I look up rhymes for the other word in the title - "Kissing". Here are some words I collected from that search:

With those two lists collected. I am about 5 minutes into this song-write so far. I will now refer to my two lists and compose some new lines for my song section. I put my collected rhymes on the side bar and open the lyric for editing:

Here is the second version:

Kissing Right
This isn't about goodbyes
Can't deny we are so alike
After missing and wishing and guessing
We found a spark
Kissing Right
Kissing Right
Kissing Right

My re-write took another 5 minutes. I used several of the collected words.

goodbyes, alike, missing, wishing, guessing

Even though rhymes are often used for end rhymes, rhymes often work great within a line. I used internal rhyme as well as end rhymes in the version.

Now, I think I have a chorus section that I can start developing some verses ideas for. I will probably go through several more rewrites before this becomes a song, but it is an example of how you can use Lilac Writer to jump start your songwriting even if you have no ideas.

If you have some songs that need some new life, try rewriting one song section (a verse or the chorus) using this technique. Search for some fresh rhyme ideas using some of the words in your song then to a timed rewrite incorporating some the words. The results might surprise you!

If you have discovered great ways to use Lilac Writer for your songwriting, let me know!


Rhymes for Songwriters: Part 1

New Feature , Rhyming Dictionary 2 Comments »

The all new Lilac Writer rhyming lookup was quietly released to our growing team of beta testers a couple of weeks ago. We haven't talked about this much yet except for a few hints on Twitter. I encourage you to take it for a test drive.

First of all, I want to mention that the rhyming look-up is not quite complete. There are many, many forms of rhyme and we are adding support for more of the extended and near rhyme forms every day now. You will find some great, useful and interesting rhymes for most one and two syllable words. Actually, lots of longer words will return great results as well. We will turn on the support for triple rhyme shortly.

The Lilac Writer rhyme dictionary is different. It is designed specifically for songwriting. Lilac Writer will return the perfect rhymes you expect. The biggest innovations in Lilac rhymes are the handling of the various forms of near rhymes.

Let's take a closer look at perfect rhyme. Perfect rhyme for a one syllable word by has:

1. The same vowel sound
2. The same ending consonant sound
3. A different beginning constant sound

Perfect rhyme list example: scene/clean/mean/screen

Most rhyming dictionaries do a pretty good job with perfect rhyme. Perfect rhyme is extremely common in songwriting. When an end rhyme is perfect, it provides a tight sonic connection between lines of a song. This is great if your song idea needs a tight connection AND you can find a rhyme that fits the meaning of the song.

The perennial problem with perfect rhyme is that there aren't that many matches for most words in English. This can lead you using very cliched rhymes like sky/fly or love/above. Millions of songs have been written over the past couple hundred years. The most obvious, singable perfect rhymes have been used and abused. Using cliched rhymes is a great way to make your song sound amateurish.

The remedy for this problem is to extend your search beyond perfect rhyme to family rhyme. Family rhyme for a one syllable word has:

1. The same vowel sound
2. A similar ending consonant sound
3. A different beginning constant sound

Example of family rhyme matches for "scene":

The Lilac Writer rhyme look up will give you a great selection of family rhymes along with other types of near rhyme like additive and subtractive. These choices will help you write lines with a connection very close to perfect rhyme but avoid overusing cliches. Even better, you don't have to compromise the meaning of your lyric just to make an end rhyme work.

The concept songwriters come back to again and again is "prosody." Do all of the elements of the song support the idea and emotion behind the words? If the lyric is about a concept that where there is doubt or an unresolved emotion, then many songwriters deliberately choose a weaker connection between lines. One of our goals is to provide near rhymes with various levels of sonic connection.

Starting with the word "night"

  • Perfect rhyme: light
  • Family rhyme: hide
  • Additive rhyme: rights
  • Subtractive rhyme: shy
  • Assonance rhyme: eyes

This list is ordered from the tightest rhyme to the weakest. I bet most of you could write a song section using that list in about five minutes! All of these forms of rhyme are useful and extend your options to words you might not have considered before.

That is a brief introduction to the new Lilac Writer rhyme look up. Try it out. Look up some words for your latest song or re-write!

Happy (and prolific) songwriting!


Screencast: Rhymes Tab

Screencast , Rhyming Dictionary 3 Comments »

The rhymes tab allows you to build lists of rhyming words.  We get lots of questions about this feature and sometimes it's easier to show how it works.  So we have recorded our first screencast.

Contact Form, Help and Rhymes Updates

Rhyming Dictionary 4 Comments »

We added a few improvements to Lilac Writer.

At the bottom of each page you will now find links to this Blog, a new Contact Us form, and Help.

The blog link is a quick link to this blog. The blog entries have more detailed articles on some of the features, so you might want to check out the earlier posts.

The Contact Us link goes to a new form to make it easy to send questions, comments or other feedback to the Lilac Writer team.

We have also rolled out a new feature in the Rhymes tab. When you look-up rhymes, the perfect rhymes are shown first the larger list from NearRhyme.com. Perfect rhymes are those with matching vowel sounds and ending consonant.

We have clearly indicated BETA on this section as we evaluate the effectiveness of the searches for Perfect Rhymes.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know. You can try out the new Contact Us form in the processes!

Happy Songwriting.

The Lilac Writer Team

Want to lookup Rhymes?

Rhyming Dictionary 1 Comment »

We heard you and we implemented it... the number one request from beta users has been for an easier way to look up rhymes.

Now looking up rhymes within Lilac Writer is super simple. Here is how it works:

- Select a lyric project you are currently working on, and go to the Rhymes tab.

- Enter a keyword in the "Lookup Rhymes" field and click the "Find Rhymes" button. The result will display right below... see screenshot below.

- The returned list includes a nice selection of perfect and near rhymes. You can now copy and paste any of these words to your rhyming lists!

This new feature makes it easier to follow the 3 step lyric writing process.

1. Brainstorm - Use the ideas tab and do free creative writing with a timer running (5 or 10 minutes works pretty well). Start with an idea, title or just any object around you. Include as much sensory detail as you can.

2. Look up rhymes - use interesting words from your Brainstorming session to build a worksheet of rhyming words. Select some words and find 3-5 words that rhyme or are near rhymes.

3. Write a song section - Start composing a song section. A chorus is always a good place to start. Refer to your list of rhymes or your Ideas using the sidebar as you compose lyric lines.

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