Anyone can rhyme, right? Cat. Hat. Boom. What separates the greats from the normies is practice and originality. Here are a few strategies to improve your rhyming skills.
1. Use multiple syllable rhymes
A one syllable rhyme (see cat-hat. Boom.) is unimpressive at best. Try 5 or 6 consecutive alliterated rhymed words (see Eminem/Kendrick). That’s tough. You will always be more impressive and appreciated with complexity. No doubt. Don’t allow complexity to interrupt your message or emotion, though. Those are just as important.
2. Stretch before exercise
A great way to warm up is by writing 1/2/3 words on the top of a sheet of paper and write as many rhymes to those words as you can. I used to do this often, and 20 rhymes was my goal. Start where you are comfortable, but always push yourself and improve.
3. Your pronunciation can affect the rhyme
The way you say things can definitely help you to “stretch” your rhymes. A perfect rhyme is a rhyme in which different consonants are followed by identical vowel and consonant sounds, such as in moon and June. Eminem has mastered the rhyme stretch. He can take two words or word sets that don’t normally rhyme, but he uses pronunciation to make them rhyme. Listen to some Eminem. Any of his songs will help you improve on this skill by studying his work.
4. Expand your vocabulary
This will improve your rhymes and your speaking and thinking as well. Another exercise I used to do was flip to random pages in the dictionary. I start at the top and write any word I am not familiar with, or I can’t define on the spot. I always do 20 words. It really doesn’t take long, and gets the mind warm for writing.
5. Rhyming reference material
Some people call this cheating, but if you aren’t using all of the available references you have, you’re cheating yourself. Rhymezone.com is my go-to. There are countless rhyming dictionaries available as well. Amazon.com or any bookstore will have one. This can sometimes save you in a pinch!
All of these tips will absolutely improve your rhyming. Try them and use what works best for you. Now get out there and write some lyrics.