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You can sing a tag at Virtual International

Sing at Tag at Virtual International

Singing tags is one of the hallmarks of being a barbershopper. In fact, many of us were introduced to the wonderful world of barbershop harmony when we learned our first tag. It’s one of the easiest ways to get involved in the hobby, and pretty much anyone can do it.

With smartphones and tag apps at our fingertips, as well as the growing community of tag masters, we have access to hundreds of wonderful tags. No matter where you are, there’s almost always an opportunity to find a quiet corner (or a noisy lobby) and ring a few chords at any event.

Above: a group sings tags together in the ocean during Virtual Midwinter 2021

The BHS Virtual International Convention is no different. While it was initially thought that singing would be near impossible in a setting like the BHS Virtual Campus, we discovered that simply wasn’t the case. As we neared the end of our Virtual Midwinter Convention (VMW), the sweet sounds of barbershop harmony could be found in several locations around Campus. If only we had realized sooner!

Of note, the experience in the AHSOW room on Sunday night was nothing short of amazing. Using a Virtual Reality headset, one attendee was actually able to have his avatar direct us in singing a few polecats. It was incredible to join over a dozen other people to sing “Heart of My Heart” at VMW. Was it perfect? Of course not. But it was exactly what we all needed after so many months of isolation, and ringing those chords made it seem like everything was normal again, at least for a little while.

Recommended tech settings

If you’re interested in joining or starting a tag session at the upcoming Virtual International Convention, there are a few things you should know.

  • It’s best to have a wired internet connection. Going wireless adds to your latency (a fancy word for the delay or lag you hear online) and can lead to a more frustrating experience.
  • Private volumes, meeting rooms, and other small spaces within the virtual world can also offer lower latency and a greater chance of success.

You can also change your preferences in Virbela to reduce the load on your computer.

  • Set your graphics options to “fastest”
  • Set the framerate to “20
  • Check the box for “Low draw distance”
  • Select “dynamic” avatar complexity (see graphic)

What to sing

  • Since fast or even medium tempo tags can be a challenge, we also recommend starting with something nice and slow. Choose a tag with solid chords that you can really sink your teeth into. It may be a little difficult to sync up at first, but don’t give up.
  • Take your time, get that starting pitch, and make sure whoever sings the first word takes an audible breath so that everyone else can join in at the right moment.
  • Keep trying and use simple tags with only a few chords before you attempt longer or more challenging material.

If you don’t have your favorite tags memorized, you can find plenty of tags to sing on the BHS website or other sites like and there are a couple of suggestions with links to sheet music below.

Please join us at the BHS Virtual International Convention, and let’s sing some tags!

Like Leaves, We'll Fall

Arranged by Jake Tickner

Like Leaves, We'll Fall - TTBB

Like Leaves, We'll Fall - SSAA