5 Essentials Things All Backup Singers Should Know

5 Essentials Things All Backup Singers Should Know


Backup singers/vocalists provide harmonic accompaniment for the lead singer. The job of a backup singer is tasking and a lot of times harder than that of the lead singer. If you are a backup singer, there are basic requirements that enhance your success in that role. We will look at five of them.

1. BASIC SKILL SET

A. Ability to learn songs quickly

B. Ability to recognize and sing the correct notes

2. BLENDING 

 Blending requires you to blend your voice with others without a noticeable difference in timbre. Blending is a major ingredient that separates amateur backup singing from the professional sound you hear in top records. Every voice is unique. For a solo artiste, uniqueness is key, but for the backup singer, you need to blend, become invisible, and modify your vocal to fit the required sound. There are some factors in blending:

A. Volume and Dynamics 

Blending requires you to match your volume to that of others. Too high and you will overw others; too low and others will overshadow you. Every backup singer also needs to follow the musical dynamics of the piece. Any deviation will mess up the blend.

B. Breathing points

Breath management ability varies among individuals by reason of training and practice. Good blending requires backup singers to breathe at the same points in a musical phrase.

C. Phrasing

Sustained notes, crescendos, rests, delineation, staccato, etc., must start and end at the same time, and be observed by everyone.

3. HARMONY

As backing vocal, 95% of your job description involves singing harmonies, hence you should be at home with singing harmonies. you should be able to sing any harmony given to you irrespective of what voice type you are. That is of course as allowed by your vocal range.

Please learn how to sing other harmonies no matter what voice part you normally sing.

4.FOLLOW - DO NOT LEAD

You are to follow the lead vocal irrespective of any mistake he/she made,its not your duty to pick any song from the back just because the lead vocal was a little bit nervous or doing any other thing you felt unnecessary, just keep calm and follow.

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5. EXTRAS

A. Look Good

People often look at the backup singers as much they look at the song leader. So dress well and look your best. You are a major contributor to the image of the band.

B. Concentrate

A backup singer should not be taken away when ministration is going on irrespective of anything be focus,cos its easy to lose concentration with the lead vocal in any ministration, there are some of the things that will catch your attention,just make sure you are always focus.

C. Know your lyrics

The projector that you depend on will someday fail you. Learn your lyrics until it becomes a part of you. How will you be able to express a message that you barely know?

D. Be Professional

Do not get too excited that you forget what you are supposed to do. Do not leave your microphone because your body is pushing you to dance to the rhythm of the song. Do not just "enter the spirit" and leave those you are meant to lead. Being a backup singer is a great responsibility. Treat it as such.

The backup singer's role is crucial to the success of every band.

Being a backup singer helps you prepare better for a solo career by giving you a solid training in performance; so you get to learn and grow without having all eyes totally on you.

So if you are a backup singer, keep your head up and do your job well and also remember to aspire and train yourself to be a lead vocalist.

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