As a barbershop singer, you know that barbershop singing is fun. How do you learn new songs? Probably from a printed music sheet. Perhaps the learning part is not quite as much fun as the singing part. What if you could join with three other guys and instantly harmonize to a melody? Instant fun. This is how barbershop singing started, by ear singing, and we know it today as woodshedding.
The Ancient Harmonious Society Of Woodshedders (AHSOW) was formed in 1977 with the purpose to preserve the skill of woodshedding as an art form within The Barbershop Harmony Society. If you have attended a convention, seen signs for the AHSOW room, and wondered what goes on in there, read on. The AHSOW room is where barbershop singers go to practice woodshedding. Everyone is welcome, from those who haven't yet tried ear singing (but would like to) to those who have been doing it for 40 years or more.
Woodshedding is three individual voices (tenor, bari, and bass) creating barbershop harmonies by ear to a lead's melody, without any written arrangement. The melody is introduced by the lead so all can become familiar with it, but should not have a well-known arrangement This art hearkens back to over a century ago, to the origins of barbershop quartet singing, where four men would gather (frequently at the local barber shop) and harmonize to the familiar tunes of the day. At the recent SLD convention, singers of all ages stopped by to woodshed with other singers. Those new to the art were given some tips, and everyone was encouraged to try it out, no matter how new they were.
This is great fun and anyone can join in. Check out the AHSOW website