All About Songwriting

Your #1 Songwriting Resource

Songwriting Tools – The Rhyming Dictionary And Thesaurus

It’s a known fact that the world is full of words and for me, writing lyrics can be a challenge in itself and I reckon that any tools that make it easier for me to put down my songwriting ideas from head to paper need to be adapted into my songwriting process.

The two online tools I use when I need a bit of help with my lyrics are a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus.

These tools enable me to expand my vocabulary and put down my ideas in a much more original and descriptive fashion.

Writing lyrics is all about making sure that the story I’m trying to tell or the concept that I’m trying to describe is told in a way that is totally, 100% me.

To do this requires a broad understanding of the language at my disposal, hence the importance of the rhyming dictionary and thesaurus

If you go into a good bookshop you’ll be able to purchase these important songwriting tools but there are also some really good online versions available for you to use for free.

I have chosen the most popular of each version for a brief discussion.

Rhyming Dictionary

Of course when you spot a tool like this for free, it normally means that it’s a demo or sample of the commercial version. This is not like that.

This tool is an amazing database of…

  • End rhymes
  • Last syllable rhymes
  • Double rhymes
  • Triple rhymes
  • Beginning rhymes
  • First syllable rhymes

All you need to do is type in the word you want to find rhymes for and off you go. It gives you a fantastic list of results.

The way I find a rhyming dictionary useful is that I see words that I probably would not have thought of as words to end a line with.

When I spot one of these words I immediately see a whole new line flash before me and that is all I need to start writing again. I am always amazed how just one new word can launch a whole new tangent.

Of course you need to be open to the possibilities in the first place.

Thesaurus

This tool is so valuable to a songwriter no matter how experienced they are. This site is both a thesaurus and a dictionary in one so you are getting double the value from the site.

Quite simply a thesaurus is a book of synonyms. These are words that have the same or nearly the same meaning as another word.

For example, if I type the word SONG into the thesaurus I would get these results:

  • Anthem
  • Ballad
  • Chant
  • Chorus
  • Lullaby
  • Lyric
  • Melody
  • Tune

The thesaurus enables me to describe stories, concepts and situations much better. It allows me to put a new twist onto the same old phrases and cliches that I tend to fall back on when I get a stuck on something.

My challenge to you is this. Adopt both of these tools into your songwriting process and see what happens.

If you are stuck, use the tools to brainstorm ideas and let your mind become open to whatever possibility appears before you. Once the possibility is realised then run with it.

Sometimes not knowing where you are going can be a really fun thing to do.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

5 Comments

  1. A great rhyming dictionary for songwriters is Rhyme Genie (http://www.rhymegenie.com/) since it can find near rhymes as well as perfect rhymes and includes a comprehensive thesaurus with 2.5 million entries.

  2. i like using an online “Word-Association” or “Word-cloud”-Generator. it helps in as many ways as you can think to use it.
    Personally I find it most useful by typing in a feeling, thought, or idea (in the word form that I can think of) and you can find any number of words, many of which are synonyms, that can help with flow and meaningful continuity of a Feeling of a line.joeyo.

  3. My two favorite books!!! <3

    • Corey Stewart

      April 3, 2018 at 6:15 am

      There are times when writing songs where these two books drag me out of the quicksand that is Songwriters Block and present me with new tangents to explore 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *