You want to be the big singing hero, the big lead vocals of your singing group or your rock band. Do not forget that the Backup vocalists are the unsung heroes of music. Their job looks simple enough, sure but to do it well requires plenty of observation and practice. They are the ones that makes the lead vocals sounds even better.
Backup vocals can be challenging at first, but there are some ways you can make your backup vocal performance shine. Try these helpful tips:
- Watch & Listen
- Learn to Harmonize
- Blend In
- Perfect Your Phrasing
That’s the top 4 tips on how you can be the best backup vocals! You can read the details below.
Tip 1: Watch & Listen
You will need to listen to the band play in order to fully support and back them up. One particular thing that you have to notice is their energy level, volume and common notes.
Listening and watching them will make you familiar with their style and you can jump right in.
Tip 2: Learn to Harmonize
You have to sound as part of the main voice. Blend in and harmonize. Lead vocalist and backup vocalist must produce a smooth sound. Take note though that it takes more than blending of voice in order to harmonize. It basically means singing complementary notes with other singers.
Once you’re able to harmonize effectively, you can start working on blending in with the lead vocalist during songs.
Tip 3: Blend In
Let the lead vocalist stay in the lime light. All the backup vocals need to do is blend it and makes the whole sound perfect. A backup singer should not be the center of attention.
You should know when to stop and start singing along with the lead vocalist. In order to do this, make sure that you can see his face clearly so you can see the signals and facial expressions. Position yourself on the state where you can watch the lead vocalist for cues.
This way, blending it should not be that much problem.
Tip 4: Perfect Your Phrasing
Proper phrasing is a big part of being a successful backup vocalist. You have to sound a lot like the lead
singer in order to blend in and not distract from the lead vocals. You can do this by matching the lead singer’s phrasing.
Some sounds, like ‘S’, naturally stand out when spoken or sung. To avoid an overly sibilant sound, try leaving off the S’s when you sing backup. For example, if you would normally sing, ‘Sally saw something sad,’ you could instead sing ‘-ally -aw -omething -ad.’
This technique might sound funny at first, but it comes across well during live performances and recordings. It works with any harsh-sounding letter.
As you can see, there’s more to being a backup vocalist than meets the ear. Just take your time and practice as much as you can. Remember that your voice is an instrument that helps the band produce beautiful music.
That’s all there is to it! It can be very rewarding to see the group’s performance applauded by the audience knowing that you, the backup vocalist played a big part of getting it!