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#1025443 - 10/05/13 02:53 PM Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs?  
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KimberlyinNC Offline
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I have always heard and read that when writing a lyric, the rhyme scheme should be the same in the verses, and different in the chorus and bridge...

My co-writers and I have written a song we really like, got good reviews on it but now realized the rhyme scheme is AABB throughout...

do we need to re-write it..it is one we would want to pitch. I know most listeners would not care but a publisher might....
The song I am referring to is
http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthr...&topic=0&Search=true#Post1024773


Help...

Kim

Last edited by KimberlyinNC; 10/05/13 04:08 PM.

*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
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#1025446 - 10/05/13 03:56 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
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Vicarn Offline
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I believe it's to do with stability and non stability.
AABB conveys a little more stability than ABAB. So which you use depends what effect you are trying to convey. E.G

"Silent Night Holy Night
All is calm all is bright"

Stands on its own as a complete statement.

"Silent Night Holy Night
All is calm all is still"

Sets up the expectation in the listener that something more is coming.

I don't think a publisher would worry about anything other than whether the rhyme suited the feeling of the song or not.
But ............ of course I could be entirely wrong.
Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
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#1025447 - 10/05/13 04:08 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Vicarn]  
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Thanks Vic...the song I am referring to is this one
http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthr...&topic=0&Search=true#Post1024773

if that helps you answer the question...:)

Kim


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
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#1025451 - 10/05/13 05:12 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
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Hi Kim.
In this type of song where the singer is positive about the way he feels (without any ifs, buts or surprises) I think AABB works fine ........ IMO :-).

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1025472 - 10/05/13 09:48 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Vicarn]  
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Personally I've done more than a few that were AAAA all the way through. I've had AABBB, and any other combination you can think of. They all got either good or not good reviews based on the content, not rhyme scheme..


Caroline


http://www.myspace.com/carolineholder
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Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#1025962 - 10/11/13 10:03 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Caroline]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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I rhyme for the most part. Sometimes I don't rhyme and catch hell for it. Saying what you mean and want to say is more important than forced rhyme in my opinion.

#1026027 - 10/14/13 03:54 AM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Rhymes are abused by lyric writers more than anyone else. People who write lyrics only dont feel like they have written something good if they dont rhyme, and they feel others will think they are unskilled if they dont rhyme.

Could take a real long time just to master how to use rhyme correctly. Not as simple as we think





#1026037 - 10/14/13 02:34 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Kimberly,

First, let me ask a question. Necessary to whom?

Is it necessary to the average music listener? No. It's only necessary that they find the song pleasing and, further, that the song "touches" them somehow.

Brian Whitney, the founder and owner here, has the most succinct and valuable criteria for a song that I've ever heard. He developed it as a guideline for judges in the JPF contests. "Does it move you?" That's all that's necessary. Does it move you and your intended audience? If your intended audience is the average listener, I'd guess most folks couldn't recall a rhyme scheme in their favorite songs. They probably don't know if the rhyme is a hard or soft rhyme, and many probably couldn't say for sure if there were any rhymes at all.

If your intended audience is an entry level critic, such as peer critiques as we have here on the boards, then many of those are combing through the songs for all sorts of nits. Often they will look for songs with sharp rhyme schemes, replete with solidly uniform syllables and meter because that's what got their songs "busted." At an entry level, this is a good thing, though it does not make for good songs, only correct songs. Just as an actor with correct pronunciation might seem stiff and unbelievable, so it is with correct songs.

If your audience is mainstream, major label pop or country music, rhyme takes a far back seat to clever story twists (in country) and catchy, prosodious phrases. More important than rhyme is sounding similar to, not only what is on the radio today, but similar to what the highly successful songwriters are currently pitching. This takes being let in to the circle, and that takes personal relationships based on skill, trust, affability and a genuine love for the genre. Such songs are nearly always co-written with songwriting and/or production teams. To these folks, rhyme is only important when it either hurts or helps the song be memorable and catchy.

If your audience is the indie market. If you're writing songs meant to be cut by folks not aiming at superstardom, then understanding the artist's quirks and strengths are more important than rhyme. Some of these songs will have changing rhyme patterns, some will be tight as a tick. Here again, the rhyme is only important in that it either helps or hurts the song.

If your audience is you and your friends, then rhyme is as important as you want it to be.

It is a very good thing to understand rhyme, and especially rhyme schemes, and to have developed the skill to use them. It is equally important to have a consistent "voice" within a song, to use words, phrases and dialect in context of the character. Rhyme can help and hurt this.

Reaching too hard for a perfect rhyme can be very hurtful. I have an old, dear friend, the late Marv David, who along with writing hit songs in the 40's and 50's, did much writing for industrial shows. Marv was writing for one of those shows and wanted to rhyme "self-fulfilling prophecy." After many hours of work, he wrote "It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, That would have made Jimmy Hoffa see red." Marv kept that on his wall as a tremendous joke to remind himself how chasing after a perfect rhyme could be a mistake.

Finally, I think most songwriters would be better served working on developing their skills in prosody. The biggest problem I hear among writers on the boards here is with their music. Often the meter and phrasing never varies from verse to chorus to bridge, and the rhyme scheme can be the culprit, locking them in to a formula that kills the opportunity to have a musically pleasing and interesting song.

Hope that helps. smile

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#1026038 - 10/14/13 03:06 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Mike: Thanks for that clear dissertation on a important part of songwriting.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2016)
#1026044 - 10/14/13 03:39 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? *DELETED* *DELETED* *DELETED* [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Last edited by Bugsey; 10/14/13 03:39 PM.
#1026045 - 10/14/13 03:47 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? *DELETED* [Re: Bugsey]  
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#1026049 - 10/14/13 05:16 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Thanks Mike,

I believe you summed it up nicely.


Write on, Man,
Michael W. Brown, f.k.a. "bluesriff"

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
Mahatma Gandhi
#1026178 - 10/15/13 04:35 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Michael W. Brown]  
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Thanks everyone for your insight and advice.

smile

Kim


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com
#1033935 - 12/28/13 01:37 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Hi Kim:

I realize this is an older thread but I thought your question deserved an opinion. IMHO, it really does not matter as long as the song works. Ever hear "One Note Samba?" There must be at least thousands of songs that defy normal songwriting tenets.

In general, rhyming technique and adherence to fitting the melody are very important... but don't feel bound by all these "rules" to the point it stifles your creativity.

All the best,

Dave

#1034548 - 01/02/14 03:59 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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The easy answer is NOPE!

Rules can be followed or broken any time in songwriting. Norms are simply outlines you can use to help get your writing into a format that most people will be comfortable with. But if you want to be an outlier then go for it. Folks may hold it against you or they may applaud you for being different. In the end, just be good. And keep improving.

Brian


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1049523 - 06/05/14 11:47 AM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
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There are no firm rules anymore --- if there ever were. Taylor Swift smashed the rules ----- I remember reading some of her lyrics and thinking that the rhymes and rhyming patterns did not work at all --- until I listened to her songs --- She is a master songwriter and I always have a bit of her in my head when I am writing lyrics.

If it sounds good, it is good.

Tom


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#1049526 - 06/05/14 11:55 AM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Tom Shea]  
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I actually think that perfect rhymes are less desirable than close rhymes - or far off rhymes ---- I think that our brains are becoming more accustomed to close and far off rhymes.

It is , I think, similar to the issue of tonality. Our brains have become used to wide range of tonality that would have been rejected in years past. Consider the early part of the 20th century in classical music. Composers experimented with non-tonal or a-tonal or close-tonal music. To the listeners then, it often sounded terrible because they were not used to it. To us, when we listen to that music, it is no big deal. It sounds fine to us because we are used to the looser tonality.

So I think it is with rhymes. I often throw out a perfect rhyme and search my brain for a close one because it sounds better to me in many applications.

Now that does not mean I reject perfect rhymes. Most of my rhymes are perfect, but I don't want to write a song will all perfect rhymes.

Tom


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#1071344 - 01/12/15 05:47 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Tom Shea]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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I think there are too many rules when it comes to rhyme schemes. I tend to rhyme in whatever way makes it easy for me to remember and sing the song.

#1071383 - 01/13/15 04:27 AM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Not sure I buy into the "As long as it works" theory.

If Taylor Swift writes a song, no matter what, good prosody, bad prosody, good lines bad lines, near rhymes, perfect rhymes, millions of people are going to hear it, and millions of fans are going to buy it. Dont mean it's written well.

And that doesnt mean there is a such thing as "As long as it works" for people like us, with no record deal, no publishing deal, no chance of making a dent or a dime in the songwriting business.

How do you know "It works" in which case? Because you post it here, and people say GREAT!

I say learn everything you can learn about songwriting, and combine it with your natural ability, and strive to write a great song. Not strive to write a money making song, because that has nothing to do with songwriting.

All you got is your sense of pride and accomplishment, not much else, so might as well do it right.

#1074538 - 02/18/15 08:23 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Bugsey]  
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I got used to a lot of music structure from back in the fifties; particularly that of Les Paul and Mary Ford recordings. They did a lot of AABA ABA where she sang the first time around (AABA). Then Les came in for an instrumental verse (A) and then she took it out (BA). On slow tunes it was sometimes a vocal AA, instrumental B, and an out A. I tend to record the same way.

As others have said, the song, its length, its tempo, its message, and how it is to be artistically presented, sort of dictates its own structure - and they're all different in their own way. Mike said it the best of all!











George
http://www.GuitarsInSync.com
Music in the Les Paul and Mary Ford Tradition
#1074573 - 02/19/15 07:08 AM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Guitars In Sync]  
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In todays music, you should be careful with your rhyming, so its a great question. I agree with everything Bugsey, Mike, Brian and Tom and others have said.

Here's a little more to add..

Besides stability/non stability, as Vic writes, rhyme schemes is also about repetition and underlining.

When publishers prefer rhyme schemes to be the same, it's because they repeat a form, a way of singing the song, and therefore works as a memory aid for the listener and makes it easier to remember and sing along to (both verses and choruses).

However, today, perfect rhymes tend to date a song, making it sound like it was written for Tin Pan Alley or Broadway musicals. This is because there's a trend for authenticity that suggests that lyrics should resemble the way people speak (be colloquial).

We don't speak in rhymes, so when using a rhyme it directs attention to that it is written, not spoken, which in turn puts the lyric more in the fictional domain, not the real world. It becomes more "made up" and less "authentic".

However, contemporary music also is very rhythm driven, and rhymes contributes to rhythm, through the phrasing. Therefore inner rhymes, alliterations and repetition of words are used much more now, as a solution to the problem that it sounds dated with perfect rhymes yet rhythm needs to be underlined.

What won't work well is the old

A
B
A
B

rhymes. If you want to sound about 1940-80'ies, that's what you should write. If you want to sound more 90'ies and beyond, you could try:

A
B
A
C

and make the most important word in your lyric, the one that rhymes. Rhyme is a technique to highligt or underline words, because it attracts attention to the writing itself (as I wrote above). So, rhyme is a way of communicating specific things from the writer to the listener (a tool).

If you get too busy with rhyming, todays listeners tend to lose interest, because the song then directs attention towards the writer (as the communicator), and not the content nor the music. That is the modern version of "telling, not showing", I believe, and people don't like to be "told".

These are not universal laws, but a few pointers to very strong trend you may want to consider, if you are working with lyrics in today's market. There are many way to work around these things, doing "retro" or using these conventions to make a point, thematic writing ect., so it's not a black and white good/bad thing. Knowledge about trends and uses can be a tool in itself, when putting it to work on specific projects, and and help you make more effective choices to reach your own goals/targets.

One exception to the above may be hip hop/ urban, where the music is less dynamic, and therefore still requires a lot of rhyming structure to make the song work. Still very little perfect rhymes are used, though.

So the overall point, rhymes can put your lyric 20 years back really, really fast, if you are not careful. It's a very effective tool, and that can be both good AND bad, so use it carefully. The MAB'ism "less is more" applies cool

There may be many more, but just a few thoughts to make the thread a resource for others.


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#1081462 - 04/28/15 10:44 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Posts: 55
DooWahDiddy Offline
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DooWahDiddy  Offline
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Posts: 55
New York, NY
It's really funny to come across this thread; I came here to start one about how I think it's interesting that false rhymes kind of give you "street cred" in the pop/rock world. But Kolstad put it very well; I come from the Broadway world, and it's true: false rhymes are very looked down upon. So when I write pop tunes I have to kind of turn that impulse off, and not make it TOO perfect. ;-)


#1081520 - 04/29/15 03:17 PM Re: Is it necessary to have alternating rhyme schemes in songs? [Re: DooWahDiddy]  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,177
AaronAuthier Offline
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AaronAuthier  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,177
Canada
Yeah false rhymes only work if there is no other rhyme that fits. As long as it has meaning I say you're good to go. Sometimes they work better than perfect rhymes.


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