5 Tips to Become a Better Backup Singer


Probably one of the most ignored and downplayed aspects of most bands are the backing harmonies/vocals. However, the truth is that backing vocals are genuinely vital and can make a band shine. Much has been written about the lead singer or solo singer experience, but what about the unique requirements of those singers not in the limelight-the lowly but so essential backup singers? If you are just starting your musical career as a backup singer, here are some excellent tips to help you become a better backup singer.


Listen Closely

Monitors are important. Whether you use in-ears or floor monitors, this is probably the most crucial aspect in your backup singing ability. In a scenario where one of the singers cannot hear themselves, the result is a terrible sonic bloodbath. Certified Los Angeles singer, Scottie Haskell recommends that it is crucial to check the reverb in the monitor mix. Do not be shy to request the sound guy to adjust your monitor level accordingly and also make sure that you can hear each singer to stack the vocal parts nicely.


Learn to Harmonize

A good backup singer does not have to be a great singer, but it is vital that you create harmony parts and also be firm regardless of the other vocal parts that surround you.

It is always good to ensure that you are familiar with the melody before attempting to find harmony parts. You can practice singing along to recordings, listen carefully to the harmonies and then sing along. You can also research online for videos or CDs specially created to enhance vocal harmony skills, and you will find yourself improving your backup singing experience in no time.


Learn to Blend

One of the keys to becoming a good backup singer is learning how to blend. Regardless of the number of vocalists available, it should always sound like one voice. To achieve this, it is advised that you watch the lead singer consistently, and make sure that you can see their face. That way, you will be able to tell when they are going to sing and also tell other things too. For example, if the lead singer sings an incorrect verse, you can keep up and blend in comfortably. Learn to recognize small movements, gestures of the leading singers. Sometimes the lead singer may want to repeat a specific verse of a song, and if you miss that gesture, it can result in trouble.


Singing Consonants

When singing consonants, it is recommended that you sing the starting in a silent mode. This helps to avoid a creation of myriad sounds of strong consonants. You can either leave out the first consonants of words or maybe sing the start of a word silently and then become louder as the song progresses.


Know When to Stop

The ending is significant. You should ensure that you do not sing longer than the main singer does. To achieve that it is good to try and drop every first consonant of each word you sing. First, this will make sure that the main singer gets the lead in the phrase and secondly, it will aid you to keep in sync with the singer, so you will not go beyond the point at which they stop. It is good to keep your eyes open, be prepared to stop and watch the subtle cues.


Final Thoughts ...

These five tips work the magic and guarantee a significant improvement in your backup singing career. If you incorporate them into your performances, you will be able to bring your band up to another level of success.



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What are some other great tips for backup singers?

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