#1
The band I'm in has a drummer, bassist (me), lead guitarist, and rythm guitarist/lead singer. The one thing we're missing in our line-up right now is someone who can sing backing vocals. Now, i know this isn't essential to have, but we'd like to have it .

Our drummer can't sing for crap, and our lead guitarist is not interested in singing at all, and his voice is basically like mine anyways. Therefore, the band wants me to do the back-up vocals. Now, I have no experience in singing and my voice is not naturally great, so I was wondering...do you guys have any tips to sing backing vocals?
#2
I'd say singing backup vocals is harder than lead in some ways. You have to be able to harmonize. So you have to practice that alot, its a confusing thing. But once you get that your set and you can do it without figuring it out first. But the good thing is tone isnt really that important. You wanna have a decent tone, but its not a huge deal if its lacking a bit. Personally i'd rather have a backup singer that had an amazing voice than a decent voice, but its not as neccessary.

Harmonies are generally in major and minor thirds. Theres other ones, but start there.
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#3
They can be tough, but if you're harmonizing, make sure you sing in tune. Out-of-tune harmonies blow.
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#4
it's super hard. when my mom sings harmony vocals, i can't even sing the lead vocals... ( )
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#5
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They can be tough, but if you're harmonizing, make sure you sing in tune. Out-of-tune harmonies blow.

+1
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#6
oh, and make sure you work on harmonies THROUGH A PA. I practiced doing harmonies without singing into a mic. But when the time came, the sounds of both voices were to blended for me to hear and harmonize. So i was like, ****.....
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#7
Depends really.
If you mean like punk backing vocals, where it's shouting some phrase as a "backing" to the main phrase, then it should be really easy.

Harmonizing, well, learn to sing first, it's not that difficult IMO.
After that, just requires you to sit down and learn how harmonies work, and knowing when to sing what.
#8
Im in the same boat as you are. Im trying to do back up vocals for my band too. What ive realised, is that you have to know your range. How high, or how low you can go. Take for example, these new pop-punk-emo(?) bands today. Boys Like Girls, or Story of the Year, and few others. The backup vocalist sing pretty high, either in octaves or other sort of harmony, but they go SH*T HIGH! But bands like Breaking Benjamin, Crossfade, Alter Bridge, where the lead singers sing pretty high also, the backup goes low.

So you gotta know your range, if youre more suited towards harmonising in lows or in highs. For me, i cant do highs for nuts, but ive got the lowest range in my band. So i my tune'll be low. Know your range, other wise you'll just sound like crap gasping for air and hitting wrong notes at highs or sounding way too flat at the lows.

Someone here stated harmonising in thirds and fifths...well, i dont know how to do that. I just do octaves, so much easier. :P
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#9
In my personal experience, harmonizing is hard (as everyone has mentioned). However, if you just sing the same thing as the other guy for a couple lines at the end of each verse or something and you are not trying to harmonize it shouldn't be very hard.
#10
just remember that your tone isn't as crucial as your pitch
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Last edited by phatsack at Oct 13, 2007,
#11
when you're harmonizing you must be in tune and focus on your self, not on the lead singer.. and you have to be syncronized.. means you both have to pay attention to each other also.. difficult task:P but when you've done it for a while it's piece of cake