To understand what a backing track is, you must first get an idea of what they can do for you as an artist. When people think of these tracks, they often picture poor Ashlee Simpson and her lip-synching fiasco years ago. Although some artists do lip-synch to this day, backing tracks are most commonly used as an aid in the actual music of a song rather than to give artists a way to “cheat” their live performance.
Backing tracks work by playing alongside singers and bands, offering synthesised beats, background vocals, or other functions during the performance. Although these tools may have a negative connotation attached to them, the truth is that they are powerful and important tools of the music industry. No matter if you prefer to sing and listen to alternative rock or rap, you are likely to hear a back track at least once during a live performance. Now that you understand the basics of this tool, you must take the time to consider the reasons people use them.
Whether you are just making a name for yourself, need to put on a performance at an event, or just want to enjoy some karaoke with friends, backing tracks of entire songs exist. You can easily buy the music and backup vocals of nearly every song currently in circulation, allowing you to sing along with your own voice even if you do not have a band. Often, this is the best opportunity for you to showcase your skills without having to pull an entire band together for a single performance. Not only can this simplify your performance, but it can be a tool used to put yourself in the right light for potential talent recruiters.
In some of their songs, bands enjoy introducing an instrument not played by one of the existing band members. This can be a fantastic way to add depth to a song, create a unique sound, and generally improve a track, however, one or more band members cannot simply pick up a new instrument and start playing it, and it is not practical to bring along an additional musician for just one song played at a concert. Instead, backing tracks allow these bands to play their song with the new instrument included without the frustration or added cost. When they want to play the song, they simply play the track and then play or sing along with their own equipment.
Similar to adding an instrumental addition to a specific song, some bands use background vocals in their work. In many cases, the other band members sing these, but this is not always possible with every group. Instead, a backing track of these vocals can be played while the band plays the actual music and the lead singer sings his or her part of the song. If you ever went to a concert and listened to a performer sing live with disembodied voices singing background vocals behind them, you heard a backing track.
In short, these tools can deepen a song, adding sophistication without detracting from the live performance of the actual band.