How to Perform with a Backing Track


If you’re taking your first steps into live performances or you’re wondering how you could polish up your existing act, you will probably want to learn how best to utilise a backing track.

A backing track could either be the focal point of your performance or just provide a welcome boost to difficult to reproduce vocals – either way the following tips will be sure to help you engage better with your audience. Read on to learn more.

Step One: Decide What You Need

Anything that you can recreate live without too much difficulty should be done. If you produce electronic music then this could be difficult without spending too much time staring at your laptop.

In this instance, you may benefit from the use of pre-recorded samples which you can play and then add to as required.

Step Two: Consider Adding Instruments

If you’re performing a complex piece of music then it may not be practical or possible to have every band member on stage with you. This is especially the case where several musical instruments can be heard.

If you find yourself to be in this situation then consider adding some instruments to the backing track, leaving you and your band focusing on the instruments that your fans would prefer to see you playing live. This will usually be that electric guitar solo you’re known for.

Step Three: Remove all But the Essential Background Vocals

If you’re a singer then your fans are going to want to hear you sing for them live. This can be difficult depending on genre but is worthwhile if you care about keeping your fans talking for weeks after the show.

Also remember that if at any point your production hardware fails such as your microphone or playback software, your fans will know exactly just how little of their favourite song you have been singing.

If your song features an artist who can’t be present then of course their vocals will have to remain on track but all present band members should be singing live if possible. Your audience will be able to notice the difference.

Step Four: Consider a Remix

If the song you will be performing is particularly difficult then it might be worthwhile remixing some of it. It doesn’t have to be a completely new song but could be one you have amended.

If you manage to pull this off, it will give your performance that personal touch and really excite your crowd.

Step Five: Involve Your Audience

Certain genres don’t contain many instruments so it might be the case that most of your performance is pure backing track. If this sounds like you then try getting your audience involved as much as possible.

Your audience singing along where required will make them forget about the background music they can hear as they’ll be too busy having fun.

Depending on your success it might be time to try something new. Buying backing tracks online is common so don’t be afraid to experiment with your sound. Most vendors will offer you the ability to create your own using their expertise. Just tell them what you want and they’ll produce it.

Nearly everyone in the industry is using a backing track to some extent so make the most of yours and make sure that your live performances are something worth talking about.