My grandfather was a great singer and I think I inherited his musical ability. I'm still a beginner but I really enjoy singing, so I decided that I should join a barbershop quartet like he was in. Are there songs that all barbershop quartet members should know? What else can I do to practice? Thanks in advance for any help!


A great way to get started in barbershop is to join a barbershop chorus. These are large choirs that sing barbershop music. Joining one will have lots of benefits for you.

  • You'll be able to sing right away without the pressure of having to carry a whole part by yourself.
  • You'll learn lots of standard barbershop songs and harmonies.
  • You'll make lots of friends, which will be quite helpful when you are ready to form a quartet.

If you are male, you can start your search for a local chorus on the Barbershop Harmony Society (S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A.) website.

If you are female, you can search for a chorus with Sweet Adelines or Harmony, Inc.

As for standard songs, there are lots of traditional barbershop songs, but the Barbershop Harmony Society has defined 12 standard songs that they call Polecats. The idea is that if everyone learns these 12 songs, you'll be able to sing instantly with any group of barbershoppers that you happen to meet. The sheet music for this list can be purchased from the Barbershop Harmony Society.

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