The Lockers Tokyo

Barbershop Chorus

About The Lockers Tokyo

We are a Tokyo-based barbershop chorus. If you are looking for a chorus in the Tokyo area singing English songs to have great fun on weekends, this group is for you!

We rehearse every 1st, 3rd and 5th (if any) Saturday of the month, from 2PM to 5PM, mostly at public halls in the Tokyo metro area. We are still small (10+ ish members) but eager to expand membership to pursue a high-flying goal, which is to achieve international-available level performance in BHS in the U.S. We have already been coached by great barbershop talents like Roger Ross, David Wright -- hopefully with more to come!

Chorus directors speak English, as do most members to some extent, but rehearsals are conducted primarily in Japanese. Music-related terms are fairly easy to grasp, so we hope you won't find this a big issue. If you should have any questions please feel free to ask any singing fellows.

Everyone in Harmony

We do not have strong restrictions about membership, e.g. age, gender, past experience etc. Creating music together is so much fun, and we welcome anyone who wants to take part!

Sing with us!

Ready to harmonize? Come give barbershop a try and sing with us at our next rehearsal, free of charge. We are looking forward to meeting you!

What is Barbershop?

The Lockers Tokyo is a barbershop-oriented group. If you are not familiar with the concept, here is a general summary:

Barbershop is...

Tenor, Lead, Baritone or Bass?

Barbershop is sung with four different voice parts - Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass. Unlike in most vocal styles, these voice parts correspond more strongly to roles within the ensemble, more than vocal ranges. Not to say that having a low voice won't help you be a good bass, but singing like a bass is just as important! So what do those roles really consist of?

Lead: As the lead, it's your job to sing the melody and communicate the emotion of the song to the audience. It's a great role to be expressive in, and takes lots of charisma and consistency. The other parts will be working around you to make you the star, which can be very exciting! It's typically written in the range of a classical tenor, but below the barbershop tenor. Incidentally, having the melody in the second highest part is one of barbershop's most defining characteristics.

Bass: The bass's job is to provide the foundation of the sound. As you might expect, it's the lowest part, and a lot of the time is considerably lower even than the baritone. Because the other parts are relying on you, it can feel fantastic to sing bass when everything is locking in. You'll form a strong relationship with the lead to become the powerful center of the sound.

Tenor: If you love singing high and beautiful, this is the part for you! The tenor is the highest part in the ensemble, and is often written in a way that would form a duet for the lead part. Where the other parts have a lot of responsibilities in forming the core of the sound, you are floating freely on top being that extra sparkle that brings so much life and magic to the sound. Light, bright, and precise is the name of the game!

Baritone: Sometimes described as the "anti-lead", as a baritone you have to be everywhere at once, filling out the sound between the lead and the bass, adjusting from moment to moment to make each chord sound amazing. You'll find yourself singing parts which feel a bit random and without coherency on their own. Being the glue that holds everything together and singing in service of the overall sound, rather than your own part, is the challenge that makes singing baritone such a fun and rewarding experience.