Rhyming And Inspiration

Have a hard time finding something to write about?? Don't have a good rhyme scheme for the ones you do write? This lesson talks about finding creative ways to write songs about many different things.

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Inspiration. This is the main ingredient in the recipe to a good song. It's the reason people write. Without this, you can still write, but there is no drive and determination to get your point across to the person reading/hearing the words. This aside, inspiration is not the only fuel to song writing. Talent and practice are the other must haves as well. If you wish to start writing but completely suck or just want to get better, I just might have some tips for you. First of all, you can't just decide to write one day and expect to be spitting out words and rhymes just like that. It takes time and lots of practice... and even more patience. Even now for me, I can sit down and stare at the computer screen and after an hour I have typed out 2 lines and backspaced about 20 times. Other days, I can write 12 lines out in about 2 minutes and I fly through it. There are some days when you can't think of anything, and don't get discouraged. I mean, if you sit down for the first time and say "hey, I think I'll write a song about something" then you can't think of anything, don't give up! Who knows after all, it could be one of those off days for you. Just take a break and try again the next day. Now we'll get started--I don't want to call it a lesson, but I'll share with you how I go about coming up with song ideas, writing it, and rhyming it. I've got a list of song ideas for you to get you going, then right beside them I have songs by artists who have written good or clever songs about that certain subject. (Now you might not like that artist, but just try forget what type of music it is, think about the lyrics)

Song Ideas

  • Breakup (So Sick by Ne-Yo, Thunder by Boys Like Girls)
  • New boyfriend/girlfriend (Stolen by Dashboard Confessional... GREAT song)
  • Death of a family member or friend (View From Heaven by Yellowcard, Valentine's Day by Linkin Park)
  • Someone going off to war (Letters From Home by John M. Montgomery)
  • A favorite place to be (Home by Daughtry)
  • Summertime (the best time of the year btw!! ) (Sunshine and Summertime by Faith Hill)
  • Memories you have with a certain person or all your friends (Photograph by Nickelback)
  • Going through a hard time and having someone that was there for you (Those Nights by Skillet)
  • Missing a special someone (Broken by Seether, Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's)
  • How great life is (Beautiful Day by U2) These are just a few examples of stuff to write about, but it's really up to you. There are plenty of other things to write about as well.

    Rhyming

    This is sometimes very frustrating to people (including me) because you want to rhyme but you don't wanna say the same thing over again. I will tell you, the older you get, the easier it is to rhyme because:
  • After you've practiced alot, the simple rhymes (and the more clever rhymes) will come to you more quickly
  • As you get older, you learn more words. People have different things that will trigger their brain for a rhyme, but my way is pretty simple. Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the letters of the alphabet side by side. Now, when you're working on a song and you think "Hmm... what all words rhyme with 'way?? ' " (I'll try to word this right) Look at all the letters beginning with A and go all the way through Z placing the corresponding letter at the beginning of the word you are trying to rhyme with... take the "w" out of "way" and place a "B" in there. Now you have "Bay." Hey, that rhymes! And, saying something about a bay could make sense. Depending on what you're writing about. If "Bay" wont work then continue down through the line of letters 'till you find a word that you like. I don't know if that made sense, so I'll try something else just in case. Here's a little sample of two rhyming lines: You broke my heart, but I'll find a way As I look for answers across the bay You could also say: You broke my heart but I'll find a way If walls could talk, they'd simply say Just take the first letter out of the word you're trying to rhyme and place another one in it to see if it's a good rhyme. Now, this method doesn't always work, and usually it works for the more simple rhymes. You can't go through life rhyming way, bay and say in every song... So you're eventually gonna have to come up with more complex rhymes to keep it interesting. An example would be: Won't you be my inspiration All the stars and constellations Complex and more clever rhymes are where the talent factor comes in. Let's face it, you have to be very creative to be a good song writer, and some people just aren't in the least bit creative with their words. If you're not creative, you're only going to be able to go so far in your ideas (just because you may not have that many) unless you are super determined. Some people have what I call the "IT" factor, and when you have "IT" you have a special gift. It's something that just can't be taught or coached into somebody. But even if you don't have a knack for songwriting, with sheer will and desire you can develop this talent. If the desire is there--you will still have to work harder than someone who has "IT." If you've ever seen the football movie "Rudy" you know what I mean. Rudy was a guy that wanted to play football so bad, but he just plain old sucked. He would try out everyday for the team but the coach never let him on the team. Eventually his hard work and determination landed him a spot on the team and ONE play in a game, and he made the most of it. This is just like sports... in a way. Some people are great song writers, some people arent. It might not be your thing--at least at first. Practice, practice, practice and you'll start climbing the mountain. It's almost a state of mind, and you have to be constantly on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration. After you've been writing for a long time, it's a lot easier and if you've got the "IT" factor, it comes more naturally. Most of my ideas for song themes come at completely random moments. I'll be watching something on TV or hanging out with friends, and all of the sudden I think "that's IT! I'm so writing a song about that!" a lot of times I'll whip out my cell and write out as much as I can in a text message, then save it for later use. So, have you sat down day after day and still can't think of anything? Songs are a like a creative way to look at life, so when you write, think of a creative approach to talking about a certain subject... lets say--a girl/guy. You're don't need to take just their face or their body and say something like: You are so fine Wish I could call you mine Be more creative than that, otherwise your song will be boring. Try comparing the guy/girl you're writing about to something good or pretty, like nature. Stuff like "You're the apple of my eye" instead of "You are so fine" is much better because it's more creative. If you're writing about say, someone who went through a rough time but got through it standing tall you could say "Against the winds of adversity he stood rooted like a tree" (while that's a little too wordy for my taste, it's making that creative comparison) Try to create word pictures in your lyrics, those always make for good songs. When I am in the process of writing a song, I'll take my idea and make it the central theme of the song. Where is the central theme supposed to go?? In the chorus. Think about it, when you hear a song for the first time and you LOVE it and you only remember a certain part, which part is it? In most cases, it's the chorus. Think of the chorus as a climax to the building action (the verses) and write it out first. (this is usually how I do it) I have found it easier to come up with verses this way because you have a guideline to go by. You want the verses to connect with the chorus or the song will end up confusing people. And like I said before, don't try to rush through it because all of your songs will be crappy. In most cases, the more time spent on the song the better it can be. Find a place where you can relax that's quite. Isolate yourself. Another thing, if you're looking to put music to it and you're pretty good at laying out some sweet riffs or piano chords don't rely on the music alone to make your song interesting. Yeah, that's usually what people notice first, but the song can be so much more if you take the time to work on it. Instead of someone singing your song in their head all the time, they could be singing it in their heart as well if you want them too. It just depends on how serious of a writer you wanna be. You'll know if it's good or not when people like it when you let them read just the lyrics and they haven't heard the music along with it. If they like/love the lyrics to your new song then you play it for them... they'll love it that much more--music touches us in ways that words can't. Now you can use the bridge as a third verse or a second chorus, it depends on what you want. Songs have many different formats, and something unique is completely welcome in the world of music. Songs can be laid out in so many different ways... here's a few on the top of my head. Verse Chorus Verse 2 (This is the traditional layout) Chorus Bridge Verse Verse 2 (Something like this would require 2 long verses or the song could end up being very short) Chorus Chorus Verse Chorus Verse 2 Chorus You can basically mix it up any way you want. If you can think it up, you can do it--because it's YOUR song. No one else's. I think that's why people love writing, because they created it and it's part of human nature to want something to call your own. That's what is so great about music, it's an expression, and like I said before it touches us in ways that normal words can't. You just decide how much work you want to put into it. In the world of music--the door to a wide world is open to you, YOU just have decide if you're gonna walk through it.
  • 78 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      shaymack37
      I've also found that people love lyrics that they can relate to, especially lyrics about a strong negative/positive event that took place in their lives. But instead of writing in the first person, like, 'My mom was a *****, and my father was dead', use the third person perspective, 'Her mom was a ***** and her father was dead'. Then you sound more like you're telling a story instead of sounding like a whiner. I think people get off on songs in the story-like format. 'Her mom was a *****, and her father was dead, throughout her hometown, the slander was spread.'
      sinister2491
      what if your like me? i simply write a poem or series of poems with the same rhyme scheme then take the best lines and slam them together.
      vincymon
      Writing songs. I hope I can do that some day. Cuz in the mean time, I'm just a guitarist.
      Axeman20
      This lesson is now bookmarked. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
      LilM-experiment
      Mrasi wrote: good lesson, but where do you put the solos?
      the way i lay out my songs in general is: Intro Chorus Verse Chorus 2 Solo Verse, a sort of chorus where i take part of the chorus and make the rest different, or outro depending on wut i'm in the mood for XD hope that helped, i just tend to like it after my 2nd chorus
      KeeSe
      Not a great article, but not bad either really. There are better ones out there..
      cricketgalco
      I feel the inspiration is most important~ The rhyme, well I don't agree. However if one really wants to rhyme their words they can consider doing that a little bit here and there.I think your seuggestions were good~
      fretboardfreak
      thanks i gave this too our leadsinger and he made it work now how do you u write a guitar solo intro outro and so on
      funky3000
      I've spent a lot time finding articles about songwriting that will really help me write something without that doesn't need music... this article help me found a way to do that. Great lesson.
      NagorRoberts
      Dude this helps, although not every line has to rhyme. also rhyming can depend on how they're going to be sung. sometimes it's possible to rhyme really strange words. my problem is i always end up writing songs that sound like trivium. haha. help. lol
      SHFJdannymac
      nice, I am a decent songwriter and use some of these tactics already but I must say just reading this makes me want to go back to some of my songs that I have unfinished do to writers block and push onward.
      EldonsName24
      why are guitarists comin' here to ask where a solo goes, this a lesson about songwriting, decide where YOur "OWN" solos go, it's really up to You guys
      Prisoner5
      Not bad, but very very basic. I realize that was probably the intention, but you are turning people onto the same stuff everyone else has been writing...ah well, i'll stop bitching. Just wanna say, if you wanna hear good rhyming, even if you hate rap, check out eminem. I used to hate him but I always respected his rhymes.
      Jack Carael
      Decent lesson, but indeed pretty basic. The only thing I really must disagree with is the following statement: "Stuff like "You're the apple of my eye" instead of "You are so fine" is much better because it's more creative.". More creative =/= better. Personally, I think "You are so fine" is a much better sentence than "You're the apple of my eye".
      420ismybday
      Spiderpig wrote: good lesson but i lay my songs out like this. intro verse1 solo1 chorus verse2 solo2 bridge then i would play a final solo and end on a few power chords chorus
      this look knida complicated but at the same time simple because the lyrics would be more and the solos would add rhytheme to the lyrics. I like that. nice man
      EnDZYm3
      I've been writing for awhile now, and I found that I write better lyrics/poetry after an experience such as someone pissing me off, lusting after some girl in class, having a bad day etc. And ALWAYS HAVE PAPER ON HAND, soemtimes you might randomly think of a good line, and then it slips you're mind because you never wrote it down.
      Chill.
      Very good information. Thanks, im good at writing but not brilliant at laying out thanks.
      Spiderpig
      good lesson but i lay my songs out like this. intro verse1 solo1 chorus verse2 solo2 bridge then i would play a final solo and end on a few power chords chorus
      Je55
      Yes, this article is helpful. But if you can't find yourself, your core feelings and emotions, your lyrics will be garbage.
      timguitarrocker
      Spiderpig wrote: good lesson but i lay my songs out like this. intro verse1 solo1 chorus verse2 solo2 bridge then i would play a final solo and end on a few power chords chorus
      thats good, but a few to many solos for me.
      piratekiddo
      That was pretty awesome but I'm trying to write a song about like the good ole' days setting so if anyone has any song names, please post them.
      LukeElliff
      Nice lesson but for structure I prefer Intro Verse 1 Chorus Verse 2 Chorus (Verse 3 --- only if i feel like it Chorus) Interlude/Solo Chorus x2 Outro
      AngelWolf
      this is already what i do, for the most part. apart from the alphabet bit. but i could never explain exactly how i could write the songs to my mate whos gunna sing. but you've explained it. thanks. also.. you've given me the alphabet idea which ill use when i get stuck. cheers. also you reminded me to carry a pen and and a bit of paper with me.. you know for the friend thing that you think "thats a good theme/line for a song." coz i usually forget it before i get home to creat it.. and its usually the best ideas i have.. so thanks's allrounds
      lucas_22
      good stuff... i dont really have a problem song writing but your tips are exactly what i try when i song write. Great lesson
      MachoNacho
      really good lesson im 12 years old and in 7th grade and i am trying to write lyrics for it. If any1 knows where to put the solo in the song plz contact me.
      Shredhed_777
      Great lesson!!!! I happen to write death metal music, and I can come up with good riffs, but I'm stuck at putting them together. BTW not all death metal bands use the ARRRRRGH technique (i.e. Possessed, Opeth(ie damnation album) ) but it still kicks ass..... \m/\m/
      guitarp_11
      @MacjoNacho -- the solo usually goes where the bridge is. "Bridge" can be intertwined with "Solo" or 'Instrumental Break". Also, solos can be put almost anywhre. If you look at "That Smell" by Skynyrd, the solng start off with a small solo/fill. If you have al the words on top of a melody, experiment.