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A Resource for the Aspiring Vocalist

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Vocal Sheet Standard, Version 1.03

The Vocal Sheet Standard has been released to enable vocalists to understand a new piece of music better. It includes a symbolic system used in lyrics that carries additional instructions for the vocalist. We have made an update to the Standardization, which is now in Version 1.03.

Let's fill the boardroom to get this going!

Let's fill the boardroom to get this going!

What is the Vocal Sheet Standard?

Similar to the stave for music in general, tabs for guitarists, or rhythm patterns for percussionists, the Vocal Sheet Standard encodes additional information for the vocalist. It offers instructions about breaks, phrasing, timbral technique, effects, and overlapping of lyrics with other vocalists. It also indicates who is singing what lyrics by outlining multiple vocalists, backings, and choirs. We took especially care to keep the lyrics readable and well formatted. The lyrics you can practice at Lead Vocals are formatted by the standard.

We have created a comprehensive guide for anybody out there, who would like to adopt the standard within his or her own project.

What's new in Version 1.03?

Our update to Version 1.03 implements a quick way to document backing vocals, which join in to support the lead vocalist singing a specific lyric.

For the case that we do not name the backing vocalist(s), we use the brackets "[" and "]" to specify the lyrics sung by the backing vocalist(s). This indicates that only the backing vocalist(s) will sing the lyric. But what if the lead singer sings the same words at the same time? For that case we can now use the "^"-symbol in front of the brackets, indicating that the backing vocalist(s) will join the lead vocalist supporting the words.

General examples

one two ^[three]

The word "three" is sung by the lead and backing vocalists.

^[one two three]

The line is sung by the lead and backing vocalists.

It's free to use…

If you decide to adopt Vocal Sheet Standardization please mention the name and version of the standard and include a link to Lead Vocals ( because we will make improvements along the way. Any new changes will reflect in the version count. If you let us know about your vocal sheets, we are happy to link back to you in return. If you have ideas for an advancement please reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We welcome your input very much!

Find specific details about the Vocal Sheet Standard at