This page is designed to be a quick reference for vocabulary introduced during the lessons on Stringsavvy.com as new vocabulary is introduced, it will also be linked back to the original lesson that introduced it for easy review!

Articulations and Technique

Arco – Play with the bow on the strings.

Pizzicato – Pluck the strings. Also written as pizz.

Double Stop – Playing two or more notes on two different strings at the same time.

Left Hand Pizzicato – In this case marked by a (4+) for 4th finger pizzicato. Plucking done with a finger on the left hand.

(U.H.) – Play with the Upper Half of the bow from middle to tip.
(L.H.) – Play with the Lower half of the bow from middle to frog.
(W.B.) – Play with the Whole Bow from frog to tip.

It is important to be comfortable playing with all parts of the bow.


Bar line – A vertical line that helps us seperate the staff into easy to read chunks

Beat – The strong sense of equal amounts of time passing. Often audible by a strong accented sound.

Common Time – Means playing in 4/4 time

Half Notes are worth two beats, generally played on 1 and 3

  • ( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +)
  • Can also be counted “Wuh-uh-uh-uhn Three-ee-ee-ee”

Half Stepan interval. Also referred to as a Minor 2nd. Half step is two consecutive notes with no note in between them. Example E and F. Refer to link for diagram and example.

Eighth Notes are played on both ONE and AND ( 1 + 2 + )

Ledger line: A line extending the music above or below the staff.

Measurea grouping of notes contained within two bar lines. Also may be referred to as a “Bar.” Follows the guidelines set by the Time Signature.

MeterThe measuring of a rhythmic feeling or pulse. Often described or represented by the Time Signature. An example is given showing a poem with a set rhythmic feel.

Ostinato – A repeated pattern played over and over again exactly the same way.

Pulse – The feeling of the beat of music. See also “Beat”

Quarter Notes are played only during numbers ( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +)

  • Can also be counted as Wuh-uhn Two-oo Three-ee Four-or

Round – A musical composition in which two or more voices sing exactly the same melody over and over again, but with each voice beginning at different times. “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is a well known children’s round for 4 voices

RhythmA way of measuring the passing of time. Notated on paper with symbols such as Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes.

Staff – A collection of 5 lines and 4 spaces that holds all of our music and organizes it in an easy to read fashion.


Subdivide: The act of splitting up a beat to better understand its length or count. For example counting a quarter note as “1 +” for the purpose of feeling the entire length of the note more accurately. An example of hopping between jump ropes to keep time is given.

Time Signature – A instruction telling the player how to interpret the pulse or beat and read the music following. The Time Signature consists of two numbers one on top of the other.

The first number (top) tells you how many beats there are in a measure. The second number (bottom) tells you what type of note counts as one beat. Example: A Time Signature of 4/4 would show that there are 4 beats per measure, and that a quarter note (1/4) gets the beat.

If you are ever confused about what type of beat the bottom number represents, just turn it into a fraction with 1 on top. If the time signature is 6/8, the bottom number is 8: turn it into a fraction with one on top (1/8). Now you now that in 6/8 time there are six beats per measure and an eighth note (1/8) counts as one beat.

Whole Stepan interval. Also referred to as a Major 2nd. A Whole step is two consecutive notes with one note in between them. Example D and E (There is an Eb or D# in between them) Refer to link for diagram and example.

Other Terms

Practice Journal – A personal journal you use to keep track of what where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished, and where you’re going. See Keeping a Journal to learn how!