darcel_065-bwIt’s been said that music is the food of life, it is the very essence of one’s soul. Without music life would bland. It has the power to provide influence and allows us to express ourselves through singing.  Many professional singers get their  start  by singing backgrounds. Background singers provide back up voices in a live performance or in the recording studio. Although not the same as singing lead,  background vocals contribute a lot to a song in its entirety. Background singers are to a lead singer as  a supporting actor is to the starring Actor in  movie or play. If you possess flexibility and can perform in various singing styles, then singing backgrounds can possibly be  a career option for you.

There are several career paths a background singer can take. You can perform live, you can sing in the recording studio for television commercials, or sing radio jingles, There are opportunities in Musical theater… as well as some others you might be able to list. In certain genre’s of music, vocalists are needed to sing backgrounds, whereas in others areas of music, they are not used at all.

To obtain success as a background singer, first you have to start small to gain experience. This can be achieved by singing in a small ensemble, choir or group where there is also a person singing lead and perhaps a band or rhythm section. It’s important to be familiar with the style of music  you are singing backup on since this will determine how you approach singing the song. Keeping in mind the importance of listening to the other singers, and considering the vocal blend as well as any specific inflections that will be sung, in terms of entrances of vocal lines, matching vocal quality of  the  other singers, the loudness, softness and any other dynamics that come in to play that would affect the synchronized group sound. All of this requires patience and versatility, good pitch, and matching vibrato of the other singers when needed, thereby establishing an overall even blend as well as being able to find, sing and hold harmony parts while not overpowering one another or the lead vocals or instrument. So, while versatility is important, flexibility in personality along with, a good attitude in terms of being easy to work with and being willing to take direction are essential and could easily be a factor in whether or not you are called again for work.

Presentation is another important key, particularly in live performance, many background singers perform small dance steps, or do a unified sway while they sing, so being able to move to the beat during the song helps you to  present your work in a refined way, keeping movements subtle so as not to upstage the lead. Keeping in mind that it also compliments what is going on with the lead singer or instrumentalist.

Though the income of Background singers varies with the job. Job placement is unpredictable, Either way, It is good work if you can get  it… so you can see where Singing backgrounds would require a lot of hard work and patience… So, If you have the talent and you’re up for the challenge, do what you need to  in order to emerge as a winner and to reap the enjoyment of being a background singer.