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Cadence and Syllables - SECRETS


Posted on : 2:09 AM | By : Lyrics Express | In : , , , , , , , ,

Today - I want you to PAY ATTENTION...
I really want you to understand something:

THE GOOD MUSIC SINGERS --- THE BEST BANDS --- THE BEST RAP STARS all have a little secret that I see a LOT of you artists struggling with...

What is that LITTLE Secret?


OK Let's go to Dictionary.com again and look up these 2 words: CADENCE and SYLLABLE

n.   pl. ca·denc·es
  1. Balanced, rhythmic flow, as of poetry or oratory.

    1. A unit of spoken language consisting of a single uninterrupted sound formed by a vowel, diphthong, or syllabic consonant alone, or by any of these sounds preceded, followed, or surrounded by one or more consonants.
    2. One or more letters or phonetic symbols written or printed to approximate a spoken syllable.
tr.v.   syl·la·bled, syl·la·bling, syl·la·bles
To pronounce in syllables.

Do YOU know what a syllable is?

It's ok if you don't - I can show you really quickly --- and EVEN if you do think you know what a syllable is - keep reading - because it will refresh your memory - and it WILL help you out. TRUST ME.

Ready to learn? (Or refresh for you stubborn readers)

OK - so let's teach a little hand clapping trick...

Clap your hands to the beat of words to punctuate the syllable structure of the word:


How many syllables was that word?

  • PAR - TY

2 syllables? Yes!!!! You got it!

Now let's get deeper into it:

  • Trinity Rivers

How many syllables in those two words?

  • TRIN - I - TY - RIV - ERS

How many did you count? 5 did you say? Well you pass this class so far. YAY!

See how easy that really was? Yup - uhm... what does that commercial say? So easy - even a ____ can do it?

Alright - so... Let's really focus on this for a moment, because this is REALLY IMPORTANT 
(really important is 5 syllables too, by the way.)

The CADENCE of the SYLLABLES  in a spoken WORD or group of spoken WORDS is probably the MOST important structure for a singer/songwriter/poet to work with.


Because it determines how many words you can comfortably put into a measured beat section of your music - that's why silly.

OK - let's say you have a verse that you want to set to music.

The MUSIC has 20 beats (think METRONOME BEATS) in a section that you want that verse to fit in.

So you want to run either 2 lines of 10 beats or 4 lines of 5 beats - (who said "huh?" back there?)


You got me going
I'm under your spell
I feel nothing now
And it's just as well

We have a total of how many syllables in that verse? 
tap tap tap... go ahead, count them... I'm waiting... 

(4 lines of 5 syllable sets of words ---- RIGHT? - is that what you got?)

Why is this important?

Because a lot of you are out there trying to RUSH or STRETCH your syllables - to where they do NOT sound clean, perfect, easy on the ear... They sound --- ahem.... rushed or stretched.

You can rush or stretch them "SOMETIMES" but you really don't want to be doing it ALL the time.

Like a DRUMMER - do you really want to hear a drummer miss a beat or rush a beat? Nope - ya don't... Trust me... I know.

So how do you improve your SYLLABLE CADENCE?

You practice.

You pretend you're back in kindergarten every single day - and you walk around counting syllables in every word that you are saying... Maybe you tap your finger on your microphone as you sing...  Maybe you count in your head... Maybe you clap your hands over every beat - or tap a pencil on the desk - IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW you count them....

AND you spend a couple of days actually forcing yourself to count out the syllables - becoming aware of them. So that it's like second nature.

Becoming AWARE of them - allows you to become MORE NATURAL at producing the right stuff when you are writing your lyrics out.

And after a day or so of practicing counting syllables- try listening to just an empty BEAT TRACK - and  try singing to it. You will find a completely different EASE come over you as you can count the beats - and put the words into it syllable perfect... It takes practice - and sometimes changing words around a little to get it right - but YOU WILL get it right...

It WILL help you - I PROMISE...

If I never write ANYTHING ever again - this is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of ADVICE you will ever get when it comes to writing lyrics for music or poetry...  

Learn to count your syllables.

If you do this - I promise - you will find things fit easier together. You will find yourself blending beats and words together with more ease than you can imagine. You'll learn to match rhymes in with the WHOLE sentence behind it - making more sense of what you're saying.

Listeners will be able to understand you more clearly and people will be able to work with you more easily... Because they will be able to pick up on your beat and syllable structure - and they will be able to count on your next step and placement.

This is what the BIG BOYS and BIG GIRLS don't want you to know - because it will give them competition. Or - maybe they do it naturally - and THAT is what sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

Try it - what have you got to lose?

Lyrics Express is available to help assist you with writing your song lyrics, your poetry, any form of writing... If you need any help - just ask. I like helping people - and I'm good at what I do.

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Comments (1)

Yo, I just wan-ted to stop and say that,
with all the ab-so-lute sh1t on the in-ter-net,
you are a shi-ning,
light to be thank-ing
and nev-er for-get that

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