I went for a practice session of our Barbershop chorus for the first time in a long while yesterday. The last time I had sung with the chorus was at the fair, before my trip to India. After an absence from the scene of slightly less than two months, after weeks of not practicing, and being away from the three other parts that also make up the Barbershop chorus, it felt like I was learning to sing once again. It was a mortifying experience. I did not have the energy to hold the high notes, or even sing complete songs. I was tentative in trying to find my notes. I had been hoping to play a supporting role during my first practice, leaning on some a strong lead singer who had been at practice more regularly than me. That was not to be. I was thrown into the fire.
I was reminded in real time that what I was doing was not a simple thing. Since childhood, I have had the false impression that I could sing, but the more I learned about singing, the more I realized that I did not know what I was doing. People were being very kind when they listened to me. But now, I believe I can honestly claim that my skills are not as bad as they used to be. I believe that I am improving. I can perhaps claim that I am an integral part of a craft that can bring some pleasure to others. It has taken me many years to get this far, and perhaps in a few years time I could even realize how bad I really am at this moment in time when I am writing this blog. All of this will be a part of the learning experience, an experience that will go on as long as I can join others in trying to create a joyful sound.
With support from the director of the chorus, my singing ability started coming back to me slowly as the practice session continued. The director had been intending to cut the practice session short because we did not have a strong lead singer. Instead, we actually continued singing through to the original end time of the rehearsal.
I settled for this basic barbershop polecat song when it came time for me to sing in a quartet.
A lot of barbershop songs are sung in the key of B♭.