#1
My voice is decent when compared to the average person but probably not that great when compared to those who can really sing.

Do I have to be a fantastic singer to sing background vocals or harmonies?

Also you don't have be a good singer to write vocal melodies either right?
#2
as long as you can write melodies that your singer can sing and likes, then go for it, i do the same for our singer (altho he is useless when it comes to theory and stuff)
and i'm not amazing but i'll sing backing with my band =]
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#4
There's an argument for having to be better than the lead vocalist, because you're the one who's going to have to sing harmony lines. That can be difficult to do if you're getting distracted by the main melody.
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#5
Quote by steven seagull
There's an argument for having to be better than the lead vocalist, because you're the one who's going to have to sing harmony lines. That can be difficult to do if you're getting distracted by the main melody.
Also you have to sing while playing your instrument, sometimes it's not easy.
#6
Quote by steven seagull
There's an argument for having to be better than the lead vocalist, because you're the one who's going to have to sing harmony lines. That can be difficult to do if you're getting distracted by the main melody.


Well I think the TS is speaking about having a "good-sounding" voice, which is a different skill than matching/harmonizing pitch. When I first started singing I could always match pitch, but my voice sounded like shit.

TS - I think if you have a decent sounding voice you can sing backing vocals, the lead vocalist's voice will still be the main sound heard (if your levels are mixed accordingly).
Last edited by fixationdarknes at May 22, 2011,
#7
It depends on the demands of the material. If you're just sitting there in the background shouting "Go Johnny go!!" or something like that, then really don't need to be a good singer at all. If you're a Bon Jovi tribute band and you're doing the Ritchie Sambora part... you better be a kick-ass singer.

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#8
Quote by musicandthewave
My voice is decent when compared to the average person but probably not that great when compared to those who can really sing.

Do I have to be a fantastic singer to sing background vocals or harmonies?

Also you don't have be a good singer to write vocal melodies either right?


Remember, the audience's focus is on the lead singer, so as long as you don't screw up majorily, it doesn't really matter. The lead singer is usually the better singer.

ron666
#9
All you need to know how to do is hit notes. If you need to sing the lyrics word for word, it's trickier. But say you're jumping in for a chorus that has drawn out notes in it. My band was recording one of our new songs the other day and the chorus is like that. It goes from D-A-E for three progressions and there's one long note that follows it, even though the lyrics are different. Our drummer jumped in nailed a high, ball-less harmony. Now, he did actually sing the words, but all you heard was that harmony note ringing out. When it's all said and done, most of the time background vocals tend to be more like tones than actual words. You usually don't want to hear consonant sounds out of the backups.
#10
You dont really have to be awesome at singing to be a bg singer. as long as ur "above average" i think you'll do fine. Also, practicing ur part really makes a difference. A not-so-good singer can take a song home with an awesome harmony, if that individual practices the poop outta it.
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#11
I play in a band of five people, and we all sing. Does that mean we're all great singers? Nope. We have one guy who sings what could be considered "lead". He's pretty good. Then we have a girl who also sings, but her voice isn't as powerful, so she usually does harmonies due to her higher voice, and sings our more mellow songs. I have an aggressive voice that works well with certain parts of songs, but I can also relax my voice to the point it sounds like quiet yawning. But I can't hit or hold notes very well, therefore I don't sing a lot of harmony parts, but will jump in with a lyric line in between one of our singers. Then we have our other guitarist, who also takes vocal duties. He can do simple harmonies and occasionally doubles a lyric line. He's got a decent voice. It's a bit more lively than the main guy's voice, so we employ his voice where it's needed. Finally, our drummer. Since his voice is incredibly average, plus he's drumming, he just sings during sing-a-long parts or giant band choruses.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but to get to the point; you don't have to be very good, you just have to offer something else to the song, without sounding extremely bad.