The Science Behind Rhyming PT.1 | SOUNDS

In this video, I’m going to be breaking down the science behind rhyming. This video is going to be geared towards rappers but any artist from any genre can apply these techniques to their lyrics as well.


What Is A Rhyme?

To get started let’s quickly define what a rhyme is. A rhyme is a literary device that makes your words sound catchy due to the middle and or ending of at least two words sharing the same sounds which creates a sonic pattern that the listener can follow along to.

1 Syllable Rhyme

For example, the words Stack and Rack share two sounds. The “Ah” sound and the “K” sound.

This is a great example of what we would call a one-syllable rhyme and these are awesome! But if you only use one syllable rhymes in your lyrics your rhymes will sound like nursery rhymes.

2 Syllable Rhyme

In addition to using one-syllable rhymes, you should also try to use multi-syllable rhymes such as “never” and “clever” These are two-syllable words, and both the “eh” and “ver” sounds rhyme.

3 Syllable Rhyme

But don’t just stick to two-syllable words, see if you can also rhyme 3 syllable words. Now once you start trying to rhyme more than two syllables at a time it becomes a lot more difficult to find words that rhyme that also make sense with what you’re trying to say. And a great technique that rappers use to get around this is using multiple smaller words to rhyme with one bigger word. For example “Fantastic” “Ran Past It”

4 Syllable Rhyme

And this same technique can easily be used on any multi-syllable word no matter how big it is. For example, for a 4-syllable word like “Alligator” I could say “now and later”

5 Syllables – Don’t Chase Rhymes Too Much

It’s also important when you’re chasing larger multi-syllable rhymes to not let the rhymes take away from the meaning of what you’re trying to say. Sometimes you may need to let one of your rhymes go so that the phrasing of your words makes sense. You don’t have to rhyme with every single syllable for it to sound impressive and catchy to the listener. For example

“Alphabetical” “now it’s legible” The “ah” sound from “Now” rhymes with “al” but “it’s” doesn’t rhyme with “fuh” but “leh” rhymes with “beh”, “juh” rhymes with “tuh”, and “bul” rhymes with “cul”


Also, rappers use a few techniques that can make words rhyme better by manipulating them. For example, one tool we use is called “shaving” which is used to take some of a word off to make it rhyme with another word better.

For example the word “Mirror” is a two-syllable word which will rhyme with “clearer” but I could shave a syllable off of it and say “mere” which now rhymes with “fear”.

One of the most common things we shave off of words are “g’s” which increase the rhyming potential of these words and helps them roll off the tongue easier. For example, the word “Shaking” rhymes with the word “Mason” due to them sharing the “a” sounds but “king” and “son” don’t rhyme with each other which causes this rhyme to feel weak. But if you shave the “g” off of “shaking” it will now rhyme due to both words ending with an “n” sound.

Now listen to the difference

Shaking, Mason

Shakin, Mason


Now as you advance in your rhyming skills and are looking to push things even further I highly recommend you use some Alliteration. Alliteration is kind of like the other side of a rhyme. Remember a rhyme is when a part of the middle and or end of a word shares the same sound with another word. 

Alliteration is when the beginning of a word shares the same sound with the beginning of another word. For example, if I were to say I was brutally beaten over my big brown head by a buster with a blue baseball bat. All those “b” sounds are alliteration.

Alliteration can be subtle and is a great way to sprinkle a little more ear candy in between your rhymes. For example, check out these bars.


Notice how I shaved the “g” off of “blessing” and I shaved the “th” off of “them” to make these words rhyme more with each other.

With out this tweak it would have sounding like blessing and left them instead of blessin’ left em.

But notice there isn’t much rhyming happening on the first bar.


So I swapped out the word “issue” with “problem” and the word “”folks” with “people” to get some alliteration on this line to make it pop a little more. Also, the “p” on people created an additional rhyme with the word “me”

And again, alliteration is very subtle. Most listeners don’t realize this is going on but if you were to remove it they would know that it doesn’t sound as good for some reason. For example, in addition to the “P” sounds did you notice there’s another theme of iteration I had already created with the “I” sounds? Listen again and pay attention to all the “I” sounds.

Now let’s have a shootout between a version without alliteration and a version with alliteration



They both sound good but to me, the one with alliteration sounds better.

Now that you understand more of the advanced techniques that we use to make our rhymes sound awesome, stay tuned because next week I’m dropping part two of this video as I break down the science of how we structure our rhymes in time.

And be sure to show off some of the awesome techniques you just learned by spittin’ some bars in the comments section below!

Again my name is Cole Mize with where I strive to make you a better rapper now! Check below for a link to my free eBook The #1 fundamental to rapping. Also, feel free to check out my my 1 on 1 coaching service, and my quick rap guides. And always remember, when it comes to rapping, theirs no rules, theirs only techniques. peace!

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