An Intro to Backing Tracks

January 7, 2019 By Carl Albert

An Intro to Backing Tracks

Backing tracks are common in the world of music but they can be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the concept. Here’s all the information those folks need to understand what a backing track is and who uses it as well as where they can find one.

What Are They?

A backing track is a recording of instruments or rhythmic accompaniments that plays while a musician or singer performs. An easy way to think of it is that it’s the background or “backing” for a performer. This audio is particularly valuable during live performances. Sometimes an artist has a track that is hard to perform live because there are too many accompanying parts and background voices or instruments. The sounds or voices may be layered, which is impossible to do while singing live before an audience. The background tracks provide the audio for the parts that the artist can’t sing on stage while he or she performs his or her part and achieves the full effect.

Who Uses Them?

These are a popular resource for amateur musicians or singers who need the background track to perform live. They’re also a great tool for musicians who don’t have an accompanying band. Maybe they are playing solo, in which case they can’t play drums and guitar and keyboard. That’s where the backing track comes into play. It can cover those instruments that the solo musician can’t play. That way, live audiences can still get the full experience of the song while watching the singer in real time. Musicians aren’t the only people using these tracks. Radio DJs and hosts may use them for their on-air programmes or outside of the recording studio. They can also be used on TV or in theatre productions. Backing tracks aren’t reserved for only one genre of music, either. They can be used for rock, pop, hip-hop, theatrical recordings, and more. Some people who might use them include:

  • Club DJs
  • Bar and restaurant owners
  • Solo musicians
  • Singers without a backup band
  • TV and radio hosts
  • Theatre performers

Where Are They Found?

Once they know what they are, some people might want to get some for their own use. It’s not always obvious where to find backing tracks for musicians but there are some popular places to look. There are websites that sell backing tracks for a variety of artists and genres. The offerings cover a wide range of years and styles so anyone who needs a backing track can find one. There are also some programmes that offer background audio but they might be more expensive than other websites. It’s not a good idea to use YouTube when there are other higher-quality sources on the Internet. YouTube tracks run the risk of copyright issues and poor sound quality. It can make singers and bands sound inexperienced and unprofessional, which is a risk that most performers aren’t willing to take. When finding a resource for background tracks, it’s a good idea to check the privacy policy and terms of conditions before making a purchase. Finally finding the right track can be great fun!