Backup singing isn’t as easy as singing a solo.

Ironically, a lot of singers prefer to be lead soloist; to be in the limelight, forgetting they need backup singers too.

Being a backup singer doesn’t mean you aren’t or can’t be a fantastic lead soloist. It actually means you can do a lot more than just being a soloist. The reality of this is, being a backup singer can be a lot harder than leading a solo. As a backup singer, you got so much responsibility to carry out like, paying attention to details, following up with the lead, blending with others, and sometimes cover someone’s mistakes (including those of the lead).

I tell a lot of singers that it isn’t just enough for them to be a great at singing solos and arias alone. There is a need to also be great at backing up too when the need arises. So let me share some tips on being a better backup singer.


Trust me, these tips will help you to become a better back up singer.

  1. Improve Your Song Listening Skills

Listening is a vital part of being a better backup singer. You cant be a better singer if you do not learn to listen closely. The key here is that when listening, always ensure you pay attention so you do not go off tune or key.

2. Ensure you blend with the lead vocal/Vocal Matching
The key here is to ensure there is a vocal match with the lead. As a backup singer, never stick out when backing up. Your goal should be to blend with the rest of the crew. Don’t clash but blend.

3. Do not ad-lib or Phrase with the Lead

This should be a no no for you as a backup singer. It is actually unprofessional when you are phrasing with the lead. When you do this, you would likely end up causing a lot of confusion and end of messing up the music.

4. Learn to harmonize

Another important concern with backup singing is the inability of backup singers to properly harmonize. Your ability to hold your part while other members of the team sings different parts sets you apart as a backup singer. So learn to harmonize the music.

5. Do not be too loud

In simple words, the backup should not be louder than the lead. Control your volume.

6. Do not misuse vibrato

Backup singers should watch the use of vibrato. Try not to overuse it.

7. Know when to stop – Be alert and not get carried away with the music. This is especially necessary in other to avoid coming in late in the song.

8. Mind your diction

It is important for backup singers to watch their diction. Ensure you match your vowels with the song. Be careful when singing the consonant and most importantly, practice your S and T sibilants and eliminate them as much as you can.

9. Be adequately prepared

Backing up songs is not a task you just jump into as it is commonly done. Ensure you do your vocal warmups, physical stretches plus eat healthy. Most importantly, have the right attitude.

I hope this tips on how to be a better backup singer helps.

1 Comment
  1. […] Look for the best of the best. Get a back up singer with good aural skills. One whose ears are quick to pick out their vocal parts to your song. They should also have a strong sense of singing their lines without mistakes. You may want to read this article on How To Become a Better Backup Singer. […]

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