YouTube has a wide range of performances and practice aids. For some of the more popular works, there are recordings of each voice part with the sheet music moving along with the music. For other works, there are loads of recordings (some better than others!).
If you want to view some of the YouTube clips slower while you get to know a piece, this is easy to do. If you are watching on a computer, at the bottom right of the YouTube screen is a setting icon (gear symbol). If you click on this, it gives you the option to alter the playback speed between 25% (super slow) or 200% (superfast).
If you are watching on an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, you can do the same by tapping once on the video, then tapping on the More icon (three dots).
Using a piano – real or virtual
If you are struggling to pick out your line or to master a tricky passage it is useful to pick out the notes on a piano, but not everyone has a keyboard at home. If you are using a computer, virtualpiano.net has a user friendly keyboard which you can play with your mouse or keyboard. There are also piano apps available for phones and tablets.
Online learning tools
There are many online choral learning tools – everyone has their own preferences and you need to find out which one works for you.
- Cyberbass – has a wide range of major works. You can listen to individual voice parts or all voice parts, you can select a short passage to listen to over and over again, or you can speed up and slow down recordings.
- John F’s Rehearsal Files – John Fletcher has an extraordinary range of music on his site, with individual files for each voice part or for all parts together. You need to set up a membership – this is free for out of copyright music. There is a paid for option if you want to access copyrighted music – there are various options, but the individual rate for one year is £10.
- Saffron Choral Prompt – you can order CDs at a modest price from saffronchoralprompt.co.uk
01799 586269. You tell them the name of our choir (for a discount); which piece of music and name of publisher; your voice part. You will receive a useful (though not beautiful) recording of a voice singing your exact line with a piano accompaniment playing the other parts. This is clearly most useful for large scale works.