Changing Rhyme Schemes | How To Transition Into A New Rhyme Scheme Perfectly!



In today’s lesson, we’re discussing changing rhyme schemes. And I’m going to be showing you how to transition into a new rhyme scheme perfectly by using 4 powerful moves! And I’ll be demonstrating everything today using a rap verse that I wrote and if you’re not a rapper, don’t worry, these techniques can be used for any genre of music.

KEEPING TRACK

When it comes to having smooth transitions between your rhyme schemes it’s first very important to understand the length of your rhyme schemes and where your rhymes are placed within the bar.

This is why It’s helpful to use bar sheets which you will see me using in this video. If you would like your own free copy of these bar

 sheets you can get them here.

To learn how to use them watch my video lesson on how to use bar sheets.

RHYME SCHEME LENGTHS

Now when it comes to the length of your rhyme schemes 4 bar and 2 bar rhyme schemes are most common. But don’t ever box yourself in. Do what you think sounds best.

However, as a general guideline, it’s typically best to keep your rhyme scheme going for an even number of bars 2,4,6,8,12, etc.. so that your rhyme schemes are even and feel complete.

If you wish to learn more about how this works, be sure to watch my video called “The 4 Bar Theory”.

Here’s a breakdown of the length of my rhyme schemes throughout my 16 bar verse.

TRANSITION MOVES

Now let’s let a look at the 4 moves that I used to make perfect-sounding transitions between all of my different rhyme schemes.

A key takeaway here is that I often used multiple moves for a transition to give my rhyme schemes a greater contrast from one another. Or in other words, making each rhyme scheme sound noticeably different from the other.


BAR 2-3 (2 moves)

For my first rhyme scheme transition, I made the following two moves.

MOVE 01: LENGTH 

Change the rhyme scheme’s syllable count so that it’s a different length than your previous rhyme scheme. (add or subtract)

For example, Bars 1-2 have a one-syllable rhyme scheme and then bars 3-4 had a two-syllable rhyme scheme.

MOVE 02: DENSITY

Establish an additional rhyme to connect with your end rhyme so that your rhyme scheme feels more aggressive.” 

For example, Bar 3 has an internal rhyme “pocket” which sets up the new end rhyme “lost it”. 

This causes my rhyme to occur more quickly as opposed to having to wait until the next bar to complete my new rhyme scheme.


BAR 4-5 (3 Moves)

My second rhyme scheme transition happens between Bars 4 and 5 and I made the following three moves.

MOVE 03: TIMING

Change the placement of your end rhyme scheme

For example, on bar 5 my end rhyme scheme is now beginning at the end of the 3 beat with ‘December’. My last end rhyme scheme was placed directly on the 4th beat.

MOVE 01: LENGTH

My new rhyme scheme now has 3 syllables. The rhyme scheme before had 2 syllables. 

Also, you can get away with 1 or 2 of your syllables not rhyming sometimes because matching up the timing of your syllables still makes it have a musical cadence pattern which makes it sound good to the listener!

For example on bar 6 beat 3 “no”, doesn’t rhyme with the rest of that 3 syllable end rhyme pattern in pink but the syllable placement does match. And on top of that it rhymes with my internal rhyme scheme which is highlighted in yellow.

MOVE 02: DENSITY

I created an internal rhyme with “remember” which rhymes with the new end rhyme “December”


BAR 8-9 (1 move)

My third rhyme scheme transition happens between Bars 8-9 and I only made one move.

MOVE 03: TIMING

I’m now placing my end rhyme to begin on the end of the 2nd beat and carrying over to the 3rd beat. Though this rhyme takes place in the middle of a bar I still consider this an end rhyme because no rhyme occurs after it.


BAR 10-11 (1 move)

My 4th rhyme scheme transition happens on bars 10-11 and I only made one move.

MOVE 04: RHYME BENDING

Choose a new rhyme scheme that sounds similar but slightly different than your previous rhyme scheme. 

You can make these subtle rhyme scheme shifts as often as every 2 bars and it won’t sound too jarring to the listener because these are very subtle jumps in sound happening in your rhyme scheme transitions, allowing you to change your rhyme scheme more gradually over time.

Notice how on bar 10 and bar 11 on beat 3 “wastin time” and “leprechauns” sound similar but aren’t perfect rhymes. 

The varying shades of Purple demonstrate this throughout Bars 9-16 of my verse.

At first, you may think bars 9-16 are all the same rhyme scheme that just land on different beats within the bars. However, if you say one of my bright purple rhymes from bars 13-16, right next to one of my light purple rhymes from bars 9-10, you will realize they don’t even sound close to each other. Pretty cool huh?


BAR 12-13 (3 moves)

My 5th and final rhyme scheme transition happens on Bar 12 and 13 and I made the three following moves.

MOVE 02: DENSITY

I increased the rhyme scheme density by adding  “Pepperidge Farm” on the 4th beat of bar 12 while also continuing to rhyme on beats 1 and 2 of bar 13.

MOVE 04: RHYME BENDING

I also bent the rhyme scheme between “Pepperidge Farm” and “It gets hard”

MOVE 03: TIMING

I shifted the end rhyme to primarily land on the 4th beat. My end rhyme before was beginning at the end of the 2nd beat and carrying over into the 3rd beat.


RECAP

So the next time you’re trying to transition into a new rhyme scheme try one or a combination of the following moves.

MOVE 01: LENGTH Change the rhyme scheme’s syllable count so that it’s a different length than your previous rhyme scheme. (add or subtract) Every single syllable doesn’t have to rhyme all the time.

MOVE 02: DENSITY Establish an additional internal rhyme to connect with your end rhyme so that your rhyme scheme feels more aggressive.

MOVE 03: TIMING Change the placement of your end rhyme scheme

MOVE 04: RHYME BENDING Choose a new rhyme scheme that sounds similar but slightly different than your previous rhyme scheme

I’m curious to know, which of these moves do you already use a lot? And is there a move you like to use that I didn’t cover? Let me know in the comments section below!

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