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  • Rhyming Dictionaries?!?! Or not...

    I'd love to hear your working methods on compiling potential rhymes. I'm not so interested in why you feel someone else's method isn't very good, or the "right way", I'm more interested in how you do it. Do you use a rhyming dictionary? Do you prefer to use the pool of rhymes that come to you naturally? Do you have a mental only alphabetical approach?

     

    For me... I always go for the natural approach initially. Sort of like the limerick game I used to play with me ol' Scot Grandpa Fred. What comes to mind first, let it happen. Relax and let the muse speak. Sometimes there's a lot there. This is the purge stage where I don't slow down for any sort of reference material. This is the "tap the old memory banks and personal experience library" phase. Au naturel. But I don't stop here...

     

    Then... if and when I get stuck, I go to a rhyming dictionary. The online RhymeZone. http://www.rhymezone.com/

     

    It's not bad in that it does include words that aren't necessarily spelled the same as the source word but still rhyme. A lot won't do this. For "wart" I get escort and court among lots of other entries.

     

    Then, after I've compiled a list of potential rhymes based on how they fit into the current context of the song, I see what sort of line might pop out at me from the potential rhymes. Sometimes the perfect line just jumps out. Going back and forth between the written verse with a blank spot, and the list of possible and pertinent rhymes, I'll let my mind do its thing again, au naturel.

     

    Purge, refine, purge, refine. Back and forth between research and inspiration. Which brings me to... my latest reference book find. I absolutely LOVE this rhyming dictionary.

     

    Sue Young's the New Comprehensive American Rhyming Dictionary

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Comprehensive-American-Rhyming-Dictionary/dp/0380713926

     

    9781439505311[1].jpg

     

    Sue Young is a linguist who set out to write an American pronunciation rhymer. This is not thrown together. And it's not stuffy. It includes slang, curse, etc. A rapper's treasure chest. And it is comprehensive.

    It is among the recommended books in Jimmy Webb's Tunesmith. I finally got around to ordering it after a few years of thinking about and it came yesterday. WOW. What a unique rhyming dictionary. You don't look up words, you look up sounds. Ascertain the stressed vowel sound of a word, and go fishing. 

     

    In Sue Young's world of rhyming, genitalia rhymes with never fail ya. This is a seriously excellent resource for those that find reference books of this sort to their liking. Anyway...

     

    HOW DO YOU DO IT?

    Attached Files
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  • #2

    Almost exactly how you do it.  Let it flow and use a rhyming dictionary (the one you mentioned as well as rhymer.com) if there is a line I can't resolve on my own.

    Don't listen to Justin.
    LCK - 2/21/2012

    Comment


    • rsadasiv
      rsadasiv commented
      Editing a comment

      Not against it, but I never use a rhyming dictionary. Then again, I don't care about rhyme that much - meaning and meter are much more important to me.


  • #3

    Lee Knight wrote:

    Sue Young is a linguist who set out to write an American pronunciation rhymer. This is not thrown together. And it's not stuffy. It includes slang, curse, etc. A rapper's treasure chest. And it is comprehensive.

    It is among the recommended books in Jimmy Webb's Tunesmith. I finally got around to ordering it after a few years of thinking about and it came yesterday. WOW. What a unique rhyming dictionary. You don't look up words, you look up sounds. Ascertain the stressed vowel sound of a word, and go fishing. 

     In Sue Young's world of rhyming, genitalia rhymes with never fail ya. This is a seriously excellent resource for those that find reference books of this sort to their liking. Anyway...

    HOW DO YOU DO IT?


    That sounds like a good one! Online rhyming dictionaries are woefully inadequate. And while Clement Wood's dictionary is more comprehensive, it is a bit old-fashioned.

    “I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.” —James Taylor.

    Comment


    • rhino55
      rhino55 commented
      Editing a comment
      I just google rhymes with ??????

      They'll usually be some yahoo answers and a few rhyming sites will pop up

    • SarahS
      SarahS commented
      Editing a comment

      LCK wrote:

      Online rhyming dictionaries are woefully inadequate. And while Clement Wood's dictionary is more comprehensive, it is a bit old-fashioned.


      That is why I prefer to use Rhyme Genie which extremely accurate and lets you limit potential rhymes to words that are actually suitable for lyrics. It can also find very close slant rhymes in case perfect rhymes are too uninspiring. Rhyme Genie's integrated thesaurus suggests syllable matching synonyms in case you get stuck.

      I usually look up words in Rhyme Genie and collect possible rhymes in TuneSmith so I can easily pick up where I left off in prior writing sessions. It's no that I need a rhyming dictionary to write a good song but they can trigger new ideas and make my life a little easier.


  • #4

    I use rhymezone as well, usually after I get stuck.  Which means I either can't find a rhyme or the ones I do find seem lame or trite.  Sometimes I use the the rhyming dictionary as a memory aid.  The older I get the more often I seem to find myself grasping for that perfect word that is flitting around just beyond the edge of of my conciousness.  Like that guy's name you know or that movie you saw that is on the proverbial tip of your tongue, once you see it written or hear it aloud you say to yourself, "Of course, that's the one I was thinking of."  Often times that rhyme is right there in the list.   Other times, I try instead to find other words to substitute for the one I am trying to rhyme.  The delightful thing about the English language is the number of words with subtly different shades of meaning.  The inability to find the right rhyme can sometimes lead to finding an even better way to express the initial thought.

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color="blue">If I can't be seen as a role model, I will have to settle for being a warning.<br />
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    Comment


    • LCK
      LCK commented
      Editing a comment

      saturn1 wrote:

      The inability to find the right rhyme can sometimes lead to finding an even better way to express the initial thought.


      Exactly. I would just add that it's not just a better way to express it but it often leads you to more novel and more interesting turns of phrase.


  • #5
    I want it.
    ___

    Comment


    • Chicken Monkey
      Chicken Monkey commented
      Editing a comment

      I usually go straight to the rhyming dictionary.  If a web connection is close by, I use rhyme zone, otherwise I've got a couple of rhyming dictionaries, none of them exceptional, on the shelf.  I'd rather edit out a stretchin'-it rhyme after the fact than just go with what pops to mind.


  • #6

    I think a rhyming dictionary is great to expand ones knowledge of words. But I think when writing, if the word comes to you naturally, it's best to write with this  natural free flow of words coming to your mental imagery of thought.

    &quot;Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a look at the American Indian.&quot; Henry Ford

    Comment


    • rhino55
      rhino55 commented
      Editing a comment

      guitarville wrote:

      I think a rhyming dictionary is great to expand ones knowledge of words. But I think when writing, if the word comes to you naturally, it's best to write with this  natural free flow of words coming to your mental imagery of thought.


      I agree to an extnet, but sometimes tight unexpected rhymes can really make move the story along in a great way and often times the unexpected rhymes don't just come naturally.

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