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Voice Lesson Glossary Part 1


I don't know about you, but I am definitely a note taker and very methodical in all things. If you know me... you might a little surprised. But it's true - as true as the sky is blue, as the grass is green, and how things taste better with a little bit of cheese :) When I have a brand new voice student, I always lay down a solid foundation of terminology and method. I do this because it allows for my student and I to get on the same page in order to communicate effectively - speak the same "vocal language" - hip with the lesson lingo. I've found that this is very useful and expedites the learning process, so I thought it might be handy to share my voice lesson glossary slash mini encyclopedia full of information that I've collected and put into practice over my past 7 years of teaching. *mind blown* 7 years!?*


With 7 years of teaching voice/songwriting/guitar/piano lessons.. one can only imagine the amount of things I can say about these subjects. I've learned a LOT and experience a TON, so consider this Part 1 - I have a few other things I am beyond excited to share with you, but for brevities sake - I've split it up into manageable pieces. So without further ado - here is it! **note: a glossary is an alphabetical list of terms or words found in or relating to a specific subject... this list will not be in alphabetical order, but rather in order of necessity**


  • Pitch - The note

  • Off Key - when one is too flat or too sharp thus clashing with the notes in the given key

  • Flat - under the note/pitch

  • Sharp - above the note/pitch

  • Tone - the specific sound of ones voice also known as timbre (pronounced tam-burr)

  • Register - the range of where ones voice naturally falls soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass

  • Range - how far one is able to sing comfortable on both sides of the chromatic scale

  • Dynamics - the singers ability to demonstration different inflections in their voice louder + softer

  • Expression - how one communications emotion and feeling in the melody or dynamics

  • Melody - the main tune of the song

  • Background Vocals - vocal parts that fill out the melodic arrangement harmony - echos - oohs + ahhs

  • Chorus - the main part of the song with a specific melody - often repeated several times

  • Verse - the "story" part of the song with it's own recognizable, repeated melody - often sung before and after the chorus

  • Bridge - the "summary" of the song with it's own recognizable melody tying together the meaning of the verses and chorus - often sung after the second verse and chorus.

  • Hook/Tag - the "catchy" part of the song that get's stuck in your head and is repeated often in the song

  • Instrumental/Solo - the part of the song where no melody or lyrics are being sung

  • Instrumental/Karaoke Track - A song that is recorded without the original lead vocal intended for the use of another vocal performer



I hope you find this as useful as I do. Feel free to print it out and use it as a resource when practicing.



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