Be a Star By Serving The Music, Sing Backup

If you want to be center stage and lead act of the show, you cannot sing backup. You must sing behind the lead act, not overpower them. You must be able to play a supporting position to the idol and not feel left out if you want to sing backup.

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To sing backup is much harder than it looks. Backup singing requires a great amount of listening and being very sensitive to the main singer, much as an instrumental accompanist would. You must learn to breathe and begin and end your phrase as the main singer does. You must, in effect be the singers shadow.

Hopefully you have some input or control over where you sit or stand on stage. See to it that you can see the singer at all times. The job of backup singing is much harder if you can’t see the singers face. Watch the singer to learn where they are going. The singer will change course or make a mistake and only if you are aware can you react. Watch the singer intently and always. Be on the lookout for a simple nod of the head or gesture that may indicate a repeat or change of course.

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Learn to blend your phrasing to the will of the singer. You can start your phrase just behind the singers phrase if you want to blend properly. If you are not sure of how loud they are going to be, start your phrase quietly and raise your level as the phrase develops. Do not pronounce consonants too hard at the start of a melody. Two consonants sung slightly after each other will sound unpleasant and is largely avoidable.

The end of melodies are just as critical as the beginning. As the singer approaches the end of a line, gradually decrease your volume so you can avoid the embarrassment of ending after they do. Listen, watch, blend melodies and you can be a professional backup singer every band would love to have.

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