Learning how to sing can be quite difficult if you don’t know the proper vocabulary. As you develop your skills as a vocalist, you’ll need to expand your knowledge of music terminology. Familiarize yourself with common singing terms (listed below) on your journey to becoming a vocalist.
9 singing terms you should know as a vocalist
1) Pitch – how low or how high you’re singing your notes
Your pitch determines how well you will sing the song at the most basic level.
2) Tone – the characterization of the notes you’re singing
For example, Taylor Swift has a more poppy, bright tone, while Adele has a deeper, darker, more resonant tone.
3) Genre – style of music you’re singing like pop, R&B or jazz
Different styles (or genres) of music will require different things from your voice, so it’s important to know the difference between them.
4) Tempo – how fast or how slow the song is going
Measuring tempo is how you keep time and keep your song consistently paced.
5) 8-count – a way to keep tempo by counting your measures
The speed of your 8-count determines the speed of your song.
6) Diaphragm – a muscle in your abdomen that helps control your breathing
Expanding and contracting this muscle gives you more vocal strength and stamina.
7) Vocal range – the notes that you can COMFORTABLY and CONSISTENTLY sing
While you may be able to sing notes higher or lower, your vocal range isn’t what notes you CAN hit. It’s what notes you can ALWAYS hit.
8) Voice type – alto, soprano, tenor or baritone
Voice types help you determine what part of your voice feels most comfortable to you so that you can develop your vocal skills more efficiently.
9) Vocal rest – a period of time taken to rest your voice and hydrate for the purpose of maintaining and/or repairing your voice
Learning when you need vocal rest is key to maintaining a healthy singing voice.
The human voice is a very sophisticated instrument, capable of various sounds, effects and techniques. This means knowing specialized terminology is critical to growing your skills as a vocalist. Start learning these singing terms and more at Brionn Warner Music.
Want to test your vocabulary? Try MasterClass’s list of 100 terms here!