What Are 16 Bars in Singing?

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The 16 bars in signing is something that all vocalists should familiarize themselves with. Learn about the 16 bars in singing with help from the developer of the "Singing Made Simple" technique in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Singing Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi there, Roger Burnley here, vocal coach in Hollywood, California. Today, I'm going to talk about and this is a question that so many people seem confused about, 16 bars in music. Now typically what happens and I'm sure a lot of you have heard of this, it's for an audition. A lot of times you will go in for an audition, let's say it's for a television show or for a Broadway show or a play or a musical or something like that and they will request that you come in with 16 bars completed ready to sing, okay. So let's talk about what 16 bars are. If you don't read music, if you've never seen a music scale that's going to be a little difficult for you but let me show you. If you look at the music that you're going to be singing because typically if you are going in for an audition of this type you will have sheet music. When you look at the sheet music you will see very distinct black bars, okay, black lines going up and down along the music. I'm just making this very simple so if you've never read music you'll understand what this looks like. So those two bars, that indicates a bar, those two lines I should say so you don't get confused. That indicates a bar so you're going to find within the music that you have 16 of those, that's 16 bars. It could be very different you know, depending on this time signature but you don't really need to even understand that right now. All you have to do is look at the music and see where those two lines are and you know that is a bar. So you need 16 of those within that music. Now, the main point what you want to get and you can go to an accompanist or someone to prepare this for you for your audition but the main thing is in your audition you want to get the highlight, you want to take those 16 bars from a part of the song that is going to showcase your voice. That's the main thing and typically in most songs it's like the bridge, that's the climactic part of the song. So you're going to use that but basically what they're looking for is they want to hear what your, the capabilities of your voice. So you're going to try to find the most dynamic and powerful part of the song and use that as your 16 bars. So hope that helps you. Again, this is Roger Burnley, vocal coach in Hollywood, giving you the idea behind those 16 bars of music.

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