How to Cope When You’re Quarantined From the Rest of Your Barbershop Quartet

Quarantine has been hard on all of us. But just because we all had to say goodbye to our Coney Island Babies quartet when quarantine began doesn’t mean that we can’t keep the magic of barbershop quartet music alive from a distance. If you’re struggling without the dulcet sounds of your beloved foursome, follow these tips to keep up with the rest of your barbershop quartet in a safe, socially distanced manner.


Try Zoom.

Holding virtual rehearsals is an easy way to make sure that you and the boys are staying sharp – without sounding sharp! We like to use Zoom: The audio is crystal clear (perfect for harmonizing!) and so is the video, which allows us to see every sneer on Colin’s face in blistering detail. He can be as angry as he wants, but he will never lead this barbershop quartet to victory at the 2021 International Convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Not as long as I am in charge of Son of a Pitch!!!! And that’s just one example of the many different kinds of messages you can send over Zoom’s private messaging platform.


Try long-distance harmonizing.

Leaning out your window and singing into the street isn’t just for showing your support for essential workers anymore! If you listen closely, you might even be able to hear the other members of your group singing ‘Railroad Rag’ in the distance. You can definitely hear Colin muttering about his plan to usurp our authority and force everyone to sing modern-day music instead of barbershop staples. Don’t listen to him, and DON’T listen to those Maroon 5 mashups he keeps emailing everyone!



Ignore your wife’s comments.

“Can you please stop singing in the bedroom closet?” “Are you going to wear that straw boater inside all day?” “Why don’t you listen to Colin? He sounds like he has some interesting ideas for the future of your barbershop quartet.” These are the kinds of comments and questions Susan is going to use to puncture the fragile balloon that is your happiness. You need to learn how to focus on your music and simply not engage. But, I mean, Christ, Susan. You’re really going to take Colin’s side? Is your love of Ed Sheeran stronger than our marriage? Susan? Where are you going? Susan? Ed Sheeran doesn’t have ANY songs about trains, Susan!


Survey the wreckage of your crumbling barbershop empire (virtually).

Is this what you wanted, Colin? Did you want Susan to go stay at her sister’s? Was it worth it to watch me cry into my boater hat over Zoom, all so we could sing a Bruno Mars mash-up? I guess he was right. That’s just the way you are, Colin. That’s just the way you are.


So there you have it: the definitive guide to coping when you’re quarantined away from the rest of your barbershop quartet. If you have any questions, Susan, please let me know.