This 624-page book is a new kind of rhyming dictionary that encourages writers to be more adventurous in their rhyming. It's an invaluable brainstorming tool for writers of Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Hip Hop and Poetry.
SURPRISING RHYMING includes over 150,000 rhyming solutions for some 1400 different rhyme sounds and is designed to help writers create unique rhymes and avoid tired old clichés.
The thousands of ‘surprising’ rhymes in this book are based on an in-depth study of the unconventional rhymes that have been used by influential songwriters and lyricists such as: Chuck Berry, David Bowie, Sara Bareilles, James Bay, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Sia Furler, Hozier, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, Carole King, Michael Kiwanuka, John Lennon, Lorde, John Mayer, Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Bonnie McKee, Randy Newman, Dolly Parton, Christina Perri, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Paul Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Taylor Swift, Cat Stevens, Bernie Taupin, James Taylor, Jimmy Webb, Lucinda Williams, Stevie Wonder, and many more.
As Stephen Sondheim once remarked, "The ears expect certain rhymes, so you want to fool them because one of the things you want to do is SURPRISE an audience".
In addition to regular 'perfect' rhymes, SURPRISING RHYMING offers an astonishing array of alternative rhyme options that are much broader than those found in traditional rhyming dictionaries (which only show perfect rhymes).
For example, if you're looking for a rhyme for the word “true”, rhyming dictionaries typically offer perfect rhymes such as "blue", "due", "knew" or "who". Instead, SURPRISING RHYMING pairs “true” more imaginatively with words like "smooth", "tune", "gloom", "soon" and "groove".
If your rhyme word is “suffer”, traditional rhyming dictionaries offer rhymes like "rougher", "tougher" or "buffer". SURPRISING RHYMING’s alternative suggestions for “suffer” include: "lover", "brother", "summer", "discover" and "another".
If you need a rhyme for the word “gamble”, you’ll normally be offered “ramble”, “scramble” or “shamble”. But SURPRISING RHYMING’s solutions also include: “bangle”, “dangle”, “candle” and “handle”.
Typical perfect rhymes for the word “amazing” include "blazing", "erasing", or "stargazing", but SURPRISING RHYMING broadens your options with 'near' rhymes like "chasing", "facing", "raging", "waving" and "embracing".
Using too many perfect rhymes can sometimes make a lyric or a poem sound tedious and predictable—and prone to clichés. To avoid this, SURPRISING RHYMING focuses instead on false-rhymes, half-rhymes and near-rhymes that are less predictable—and therefore more likely to surprise an audience.
The book also includes many new words that have been added to standard dictionaries in recent years.
Research for this book found that many successful writers feel they can achieve much greater flexibility by inserting ‘false’ rhymes into their rhyming patterns instead of always using perfect rhymes. In fact, many established writers try to steer clear of perfect rhymes because they believe rhymes that are too exact can often limit the expression of true emotion.
Using imperfect rhymes to create word pictures or to convey what you want to say more accurately can often be more effective than pure rhymes. That’s why SURPRISING RHYMING invites writers to challenge themselves and make their rhymes bolder and more original … and less predictable!
The book is laid out clearly to make it quick and easy to find the perfect word to achieve a memorable rhyme—with separate sections for one-, two-, three- and four-syllable rhymes, along with many useful tips on rhyming.
SURPRISING RHYMING is edited by Brian Oliver, the author of the five-star rated book, “HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! 101 Common Mistakes to Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” and also “HOW [NOT] TO WRITE GREAT LYRICS! 40 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Lyrics for Your Songs”.
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About the Author
Brian Oliver is a journalist, musician and songwriter, and also a highly experienced music publisher and music consultant who has been involved in the music industry for over 25 years. As a publisher, he has worked on the songs of legendary writers such as Neil Diamond, Janis Ian, Albert Hammond, Chip Taylor, Gilbert O’Sullivan and John & Johanna Hall; bands like The Stranglers, Spandau Ballet and The Shadows; film & TV composers such as Colin Towns; and highly talented new writers like Joni Fuller. He has also been a consultant to major companies such as Universal Music, Warner Music, BMG and Zomba Music Group.