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Backing Tracks – What Are They and What Are They Used For?

Chances are that you’ve heard of backing tracks but maybe you’re not quite sure what they are or what they’re actually used for. A backing track is an audio recording, usually in MP3 or a similar form, like Compact Disc, that contains part or all of the instrumental recording of a song without the vocals so that it can be sung along to in a variety of settings.

Backing tracks are used by many people, as you’ll realise after reading this article, and there are many excellent providers of high-quality backing tracks if you should ever need one to sing along to!

Why Use Backing Tracks?

‘Why use backing tracks?’, is a question that many people ask, one that can be answered in many ways. Some of the reasons to use high-quality backing tracks in digital form include:

  • They’re of a higher quality than alternatives and can be accompanied by sheet music.
  • There are many options, such as rhythm section only tracks, enabling a musician to play lead guitar and sing.

What’s more, there are many instances and situations in which people may find that they have need of high-quality backing tracks that are accompanied by sheet music and are available in either MP3 or CD format, such as:

  • Live shows – Whether you’re playing for friends or you’ve got yourself a live gig at a local venue, backing tracks are an excellent option for those who can’t afford, or simply don’t have, a backing band to back them up.

You may be surprised as to how many singers use backing tracks, which is not only because they sound spot-on, but also because it can be difficult to find a space that can accommodate a full band.

  • Theatre – Many local theatre productions, especially musicals, have been made possible with the use of backing tracks. Backing tracks are significantly easier to coordinate at a local theatre than a live event, plus they’re so easy to use, making them great for performers at all experience levels.

What’s more, as every song you can possibly imagine is available as a backing track (well, nearly every song), you won’t find it difficult to source the songs you need to make your production a complete success.

  • Demos – Aspiring musicians have long used backing tracks in the studio as a cost-effective means of having a backing band. If you’re interested in the music business, cutting a demo to a backing track is likely to be the most affordable means of getting your voice recorded.

Many young musicians use backing tracks as an alternative to backing bands as they’re more cost-effective, easier to arrange, you don’t need connections in the music industry and they sound professional, enabling you to make a great first impression on your audience.

Whatever the occasion, whether it’s a local gig, the opportunity to cut your first demo, a theatre production like a musical or the biggest karaoke night of all time, there are many reasons why you may find the need to use backing tracks for a performance.

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