How to Become a Backup Singer:

Many aspiring vocalists start their music career as background singers for other artists. There have been a lot of famous pop starts who were originally backup singers including Mariah Carey and Sheryl Crow sang for artists such as Michael Jackson. Learning how to become a backup singer can be a great way to get your foot in the door to the music industry. It is vital to have great backup vocals to make a great live show or even an album/single.

skills needed to learn how to become a backup singerMany people overlook the importance and difficulty of becoming a successful background singer. You need to be able to create tight melodies that blend into the lead singer’s vocal line while not overpowering them. Excellent pitch and vocal control is a must too, also having a great stage presence is required but you want to ensure that you do not upstage the lead singer!

Although it is a challenging job, it can be a very rewarding one. You may get to work with some great musicians and stars such as Meghan Trainor, Matthew Bellamy and John Legend, record in top studios and perform in front of large audiences.

Can I Learn How to Become a Backup Singer?

One thing that will help you is to let go of your own ego and remember that on stage, the show will not be about you. It is important to realize that you are there for support and to help the lead singer in their performance. If you can create good harmonies and maintain a steady pitch that will greatly improve your odds.

Playing instruments is not a necessity, however it may help if you can play some simple chords on the guitar or piano. Basic choreography and dance skills can also help. The most important part is to be able to help save a live performance if something goes wrong. A lot of the time your hard work will not be recognized and you must be able to handle that. It takes a lot of passion and hard work but if you have enough love for music you will be able to make it.learn how to become a backup singer with these steps

  • Let go of you ego, it is not all about you.
  • Be able to support a lead singer.
  • Create great harmonies and maintain correct pitch.
  • Playing instruments can help.
  • Knowing How To Record Vocals
  • Learning basic choreography and dancing skills.
  • Microphone Techniques
  • Be able to save a live performance.
  • Must have passion for music.

Best ways to find work as a Backup Vocalist

As with any industry of work, if you have skills and experience you will have a better chance. A lot of the time it is also who you know. It is crucial to have proper vocal training, knowing all of the correct musical terms when it comes to singing is a must so that you look like you know what you are doing. If you have never taken any professional vocal training we recommend the Superior Singing Method. This is a vocal course that will help you learn how to become a backup singer, it covers all aspects of singing and we highly recommend it.

Read our Review on the Superior Singing Method Here.

Learning how to harmonize correctly and quickly on the spot can help a lot. Being able to blend your voice with other instruments and singers is also a good thing to work on. There are also other aspects of singing that you may not have thought of, it is very important especially if you are singing live to know your equipment. Microphones and sound gear can really make or break a performance and knowing good microphone technique is going to help you a lot. Get to know the microphones that suit your voice, also read up on the basics of PA sound systems and monitors to know how to prevent things like feedback and noise.

Practice learning how to become a backup singer by joining a ChoirA great place to practice your voice is within a Choir, they are a group of singers working together to perform a whole song as one, this is an excellent way to develop your blending and harmonizing. Contact your local Churches and also Some Universities take in members of the public to join their Choir.

If that really isn’t your kind of thing then you could look at contacting local bands. There are always groups looking for someone to help out with singing and there is a wide variety of styles to choose from. Singing in bands can be a great way to develop your skills working with people and also getting to know your musical equipment. You may not get paid for these but they are great places to gain experience to start auditioning.

Which Female Pop Singer Are You? Take the Quiz Here

The most important part while taking these steps is to be networking with other musicians, you never know when an opportunity may come up. If you stay prepared for anything then you will be ready to jump on the chance while it is available.Microphone knowledge is important when learning how to become a backup singer on stage

  • Skill and experience is important.
  • Professional vocal training is crucial.
  • Good microphone technique and stage knowledge.
  • Consider joining Choirs or local bands.
  • Network, network, network!
  • Always be prepared for opportunities.

How to audition to become a backup singer.

Learn how to become a backup singer and prepare for an auditionIt is very important that you are well prepared before auditioning, you must have all of the skills explained above. Ensure that you are warmed up, there are some great exercises that you can learn and practice in this vocal course. Make sure you know who and what you are auditioning for, know the singer or at least the music and what is to be expected. Ensure you know how many audition songs you need to perform as well as the length and style.

Be prepared and have backup material with you, bring lyrics, demos and sheet music. It can also be helpful to have a press kit to leave with them after your audition to show you are a professional and also so they can find more information about you. Try to stay relaxed and be confident, if you have all of the skills described earlier, you will be ready.

Show your skills as a vocalist and what you can do to help a lead singer. Don’t be too outrageous as you want them to see that you can be in the background without upstaging the lead singer. Dress nicely, be kind and respectful. Don’t expect to get it the first time around but if you do everything right you may get lucky.Learn how to become a backup singer and work with pop stars

  •  Be very well prepared before the audition.
  • Warm up your voice properly.
  • Know who and what you are auditioning for.
  • Know what is expected of you.
  • Bring extra material.
  • Get yourself a press kit to leave with them.
  • Stay relaxed and confident.
  • Dress nice and be respectful.
  • Stand out, but not over the top.
  • Have fun.

Singing Tips for Backup Singers

Below are some basic tips to help you get started with singing if you are a new vocalist wanting to learn how to become a backup singer. Follow these steps to help you get on your way towards an exciting career in music. These tips are for basic singing posture, see the infographic below to use as a helpful guide.

Vocal Instructor:

Vocal instructor to teach you how to become a backup singerLearning to sing can be very confusing and difficult. It really does help to have a vocal instructor that can help assist you in learning to sing. A singing teacher can help to show you the correct methods and techniques that you should be practicing if you want to learn how to become a backup singer. If you have a bad singing posture, they can help point out the areas that you need to work on to improve. Another reason is breath control. A lot of the time you will forget about this and stop breathing from the diaphragm. Your vocal tutor will help remind you that this is very important and get you back on track.

Practice With a Mirror:

If you are learning by yourself, the least you should be doing is practicing in front of a mirror. I know that sounds strange but it can really help you to learn. Singing in front of a mirror can help you to identify what you are doing right and wrong. It is especially great at showing if you have bad singing posture or breath control.

Sing in Front of Others:

Singing in front of others is a great way to help you to build confidence and develop your technique. It is a very different situation singing in front of other people Rather than being by yourself you must get everything perfect the first time. This is very helpful in developing consistent vocal performances and will allow you to become a better singer.

Vocal Courses

Take singing lessons to learn how to become a backup singerVocal courses can be of great help to assist you in learning how to become a better singer. You get access to great resources including vocal warm ups and exercises. All of which are essential to help you develop vocal skills. These exercises are often very portable and can be used almost anywhere to help you practice at any time and any place. This includes practicing in your car while being stuck in traffic on your way to work. Practicing vocal techniques and singing warm ups in the car is a great place to learn. The average person spends at least 30 minutes per day in the car doing nothing but driving. You could take advantage of this time to practice singing.


These are just some basic tips to improve your voice and singing posture. For more information we recommend viewing the singing stance info-graphic below to help identify any problem areas you may not have thought of. Click here for a review on the Superior Singing Method. An in depth online/offline vocal course that is suitable for anyone at any age or singing ability.

Singing Stance Infographic:

infographic on singing posture to show you how to become a backup singer