WELCOME TO THE BARBERSHOP FAN CLUB!
As a Barbershop Fan, you are joining thousands of enthusiastic music lovers who share your passion for the joy of singing and community.
Your status offers you access to exclusive content and resources to help you get and stay connected with a uniquely American musical tradition: barbershop harmony!
We’re here to help you connect with the joy of singing and with our global community of barbershoppers. So, if you have any questions, reach out and ask: contact email@example.com.
We’re glad you are with us!
PHYSICAL & VOCAL WARM-UPS
LEARN A TAG
FREE CHART + LEARNING TRACKS | "M-O-T-H-E-R"
FOR HIGHER VOICES // SSAA
Sheet Music: M-O-T-H-E-R (A Name that Means the World to Me)
Sing along with learning tracks!
Learn More: How to Use Learning Tracks
STEP 1 | Listen to the full mix
Get the big picture and form of the song.
Follow along with the sheet music with your eyes. Don't sing, don’t hum, and be, well...silent. Make sure your eyes track along with your sheet music (even if you don't read music) and listen at the same time. Do this 3 or more times.
STEP 2 | Hear your part alone
How YOUR voice part fits into the big picture of the song.
Use one earbud in, or pan to the left or right speaker side, and follow along with the sheet music. Don't sing, don’t hum, and you guessed it, be silent. Get a really good idea for your part. Notice the tricky spots. Keep looking at the sheet music! Do this 3 or more times.
STEP 3 | Ooh singing
Learn the pitches in isolation.
Same as in step 2 (one earbud in, or pan to the left or right speaker side) and follow along with the sheet music. Except this time, very quietly sing “ooh” or hum along...just get a really good idea of the pitches of your part. Your singing should be very gentle and quiet because we want you to hear the recording louder than your “ooh” singing. Do this as many times as you think you need...possibly 4 to 6 times for most of the chart, and 10 or 12 times on tricky sections.
STEP 4 | Silent singing
Isolate and lock in the words of the song.
Listen to your part only (one earbud in, or pan to the left or right speaker side) and follow along with the sheet music. Silently mouth the words to your part. You can now focus on the words and rhythms without worrying about the pitch. Fight the urge to sing, don't exhale an airy sound, and focus on word mastery...silently mouthing along. Do this 3 or more times.
STEP 5 | Soft singing
Put the pitches and words together, but still have the track to lean on.
Sing at a quiet volume with all words and notes with your part learning track. Just be note-and-word-perfect at a very soft volume. Your vocal production will be too light for performance in this step, but it’s OK for now. Just sing quietly enough that the recording is louder than your voice. Do this 3 or more times.
STEP 6 | Quartet singing
Put the pitches and words together, but you no longer have the track to lean on.
Switch earbuds (or change the speaker sides) and sing YOUR part against the other 3 parts...yes, your part is missing and you must create the notes all by yourself! You may discover you are singing wrong notes or words during this step. If quartet singing is too difficult, you may have to first sing with the full mix (all 4 parts are clearly heard). After you are feeling confident, make yourself sing against the trio at some point... it reveals all! Do this 3 or more times.
Barbershop Voice Parts
Barbershop publishers use the familiar voicings of TTBB, SATB or SSAA on the cover. However, once you open to the sheet music, all three voicings are converted to TLBB: barbershop Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass.
Because barbershop is close harmony and a cappella, experiment with different keys to fit the voices in your group.
Performance Best Practices
Barbershop is a style of arranging in close, four-part, a cappella harmony; it is not an era, style of music, or genre. When performing barbershop pieces, there are four best practices to keep in mind:
- Barbershop has unique voice-part ratios
- Barbershop performers may freely interpret rhythm
- Barbershop singers use "just intonation"
- Barbershop singers perform expressively