in woodshedding venues








1. “Discovery” Singing vs. Other Singing: Where & When

Most modern Barbershoppers, wives, guests and passers-by are used to “performance-quality” singing — the precise, highly refined singing that all of us enjoy and grow from. Conversely, woodshedding is “discovery” singing, where experimentation is a natural part of the activity. People who don’t know what “discovery singing” is may misinterpret it as “lousy singing,” and look down on AHSOW. Thus, take care to woodshed in an area as private as possible. If a private area becomes public due to increased traffic, move farther away. This is not to say that the art of woodshedding should be kept secret. Let’s promote what we do, yet actually do it away from ears that would misinterpret what we’re doing.

2. Levels of Volume

Woodshedding done at soft or moderate volumes allows singers to hear the chords and each other.

3. Copyright Restrictions

Please avoid photocopying or reproducing melodies or lyrics.

4. Why Be in Any Hurry?

As Earl Moon said, the purpose of authentic woodshedding is to ring chords, not sing songs. There’s no hurry. We can enjoyably spend all necessary time discovering, locking, and ringing the chords in one phrase of music in one song. It’s better to sing one phrase well than to sing a whole song poorly.

5. AHSOW-Caliber Woodshedding vs. “Horsing Around”

“Horsing around” features one or more of the following: singing in public, singing too loudly, singing too rapidly for all the participants, failing to hold given notes when chords don’t initially lock, failing to hold ends of phrases for swipes, or singing with no serious attempt to ring chords. “Horsing around” may be suspected when participants rush from melody to melody, harmonizing each only once without stopping or going back to make the chords ring. “Horsing around” has proven detrimental to AHSOW, harming AHSOW’s image and future progress. Self-restraint is requested of every individual AHSOW member.

6. True Woodshedding vs. “Replicating” Familiar Arrangements

Genuine woodshedders strive to woodshed to largely unfamiliar melodies only.

7. Personal Decorum

Please be discreet with alcohol in any AHSOW venue. It’s more appropriate to partake elsewhere.

8. Courtesy to Auditionees and Newer Woodshedders

Auditionees for AHSOW membership are entitled to hear a melody sung before they attempt to woodshed to it. Men new to woodshedding will also gain from this practice. It’s courteous to do in any instance, as each man will then know what the melody-singer plans to sing. So, sing all melodies once through, solo — and repeat the opening few measures as an additional valuable courtesy.


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