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How to Form a Barbershop Quartet

Form a Barbershop Quartet

Things You'll Need:

  • Barbershop Show Apparel
  • Sheet Music
  • Internet Access
  • Notebook Papers
  • Pens

How to Form a Barbershop Quartet. Guys! Do you enjoy singing sentimental songs in close harmony with other guys? If so, you should start a barbershop quartet. The four-part-harmony style is uniquely American and was first started by men in barbershops who got together to sing old songs that were fun to harmonize. Nowadays, women do barbershopping, too. Here's how to get started.

Find out which of your friends enjoy singing. You need three of them. Ask your friends to ask their friends.

Determine your own voice range. If you have a strong voice, you can sing the melody, usually sung by the lead. The other voices needed are the tenor, singing the highest harmonizing part; the bass, the lowest part; and the baritone, singing either above or below the lead.

Try your voice in those different ranges and decide which one suits you best.

Train your voice before actually meeting with other singers. For voice practice, see "How to Practice Singing," under Related eHows.

Place an ad in the music section of your local paper.

Post an ad on the bulletin board at your local music store.

Tell the owner or manager of the store that you're looking for others to sing barbershop songs with. He or she just might know the people for you.

Spread the word in the music department of a college near you. Ask if you can tack a poster on its boards, too.

Ask the singers in your church choir. If you're singing in a choir yourself, so much the better.

Practice your barbershopping at a place and time where you won't be disturbed and you won't disturb others.

Go to the music library or music store to find barbershop songs. Look for four-part vocal harmonies.

Start practicing and have fun.


These days, barbershop singing is not limited to male voices. The classic style has carried over not just to quartets, but to choruses as well, and has become a very popular form of singing in women's and mixed groups.

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