What Is A Slant Rhyme?

Sometimes when writing a song, we like words from one line to another to rhyme. How many times have we heard one line end in “…you” and then the next line end in “true” or “blue” or “do?” It get’s pretty trite and boring unless it is done in a new and artful way.

A slant rhyme on the other hand, sometimes called a near rhyme or an imperfect rhyme, is one where only one of the vowel sounds or even one of the consonant sounds matches between the two lines. Let’s look at some slant rhymes for “…you.” The next line of the song might end in any of the following:


A consonant-based slant rhyme for “…cat” might be:


You get the idea.

The slant rhyme has at least two benefits. One is that you have a lot more words to choose from. Most of your songs, if a listener is going to connect to them, need to be common and universal. Here are the 3000 most common words in the English language. Using slant rhymes gives you more options.

The second benefit is that you can surprise your audience a little with a word that they weren’t expecting. You can say something new that hasn’t been said before. Sometimes a perfect rhyme can dull down a song and lose an audience.

So as you are writing songs, don’t feel like you have to rhyme every line or stick to an unchanging rhyme scheme. Also try to use some slant rhymes to make you song special and more delightful.

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