How to Choose a Good Quality Backing Track

To purchase backing tracks, refer to this article for more information.

Usually, there are several different versions of backing tracks to one song.

When choosing what backing track to use, consider the following:

1. Key
2. Quality of Sound
3. Backing Vocals Vs. No Backing Vocals
4. Song Structure
5. Clear ending Vs. Fade Out

1. Key
Make sure that the key is suitable to your voice. If you have been learning the song according to sheet music, check that the backing track is in the same key as the sheet music.

2. Quality of Sound
If you are planning to perform the song using the backing track, play the backing track through a PA System and listen to the track from a quiet volume to loud. The sound needs to be clear and have a nice balance of bass, mids and highs. A backing track with too much mids and highs will sound tinny like it is being played from an AM radio station. Play the backing track and then play the original recording to make comparisons. You can also play a backing track and play another version to compare sound quality.

3. Backing Vocals Vs. No Backing Vocals
A backing track is normally available in two versions: one with backing vocals and one without backing vocals. When sourching backing tracks with backing vocals, it is important listen to the backing vocals before purchasing the track (where possible). The backing vocals need to be mixed well into the track (not too loud) and be there to enhance your lead vocals (not take away). If the backing vocals are not of a good quality, it is best to purchase the track without backing vocals. If you prefer backing vocals, keep looking for other versions with backing vocals until you find a good one. If you don’t come across a good backing track with backing vocals, you can always record the backing vocals over the track.

4. Song Structure
Once you purchase a backing track, sing over the track and check your lyrics are structured accordingly. Sometimes the structure of the song on a backing track version differs to the original recording or sheet music. If your vocals come in as soon as the track starts, you will need cueing by way of a count in and/or starting note. You can record this in yourself using music production software where absent in the backing track.

5. Clear Ending Vs. Fade Out
If you are planning to perform the song using the backing track, it is better to have a track that finishes with a clear ending rather than a fade. Reason being, it evokes a live-feel rather than a recorded radio-feel. If you were to perform with a live band, the song would finish with a clear ending and not a fade out. If the track you purchase ends with a fade, you can edit the song so that it finishes with a clear ending or you can search for another track that finishes with a clear ending. If you find a great backing track that ends with a fade but you don’t want to alter the ending, use it. To cover the fade at the end, banter to your audience or if you are also playing an instrument, play over the fade to give the track a clear ending.

Where to Source Backing Tracks

Backing tracks can be purchased from several Music Shops and Online Stores. Purchasing online is a convenient way to instantly download the track. The following is a list of local stores and online locations where you can purchase backing tracks:

Online Stores include:


Karaoke Version

Capital Karaoke

321 Sounds

Music Stores and General Stores that have a Music Section usually stock backing track albums. Check out the Karaoke Section. Google the following stores for a location near you:

Big W
JB Hi-Fi

Where to Source Sheet Music

Sheet music can be purchased from several music and online stores.  Purchasing online is a convenient way to instantly download sheet music, save it onto your computer and print it.

The following is a list of local and online store locations to purchase sheet music.

Online Stores :


Online Sheet Music

Sheet Music Plus

Sheet Music Direct

Ellaways Music

Allans Billy Hydes Music

Physical Music Stores:

The Music Spot
Ph: (07) 3800 5229
129 Browns Plains Road
Browns Plains QLD 4118
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm

Ellaways Music
Ph: (07) 3359 8266
315-337 Gympie Road
Kedron QLD 4031
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-4pm

Music Express
Ph: (07) 3849 7088
2048 Logan Road
Upper Mt Gravatt QLD 4122

Allans Music + Billy Hyde
Ph: (07) 5532 9550
53 Nerang Street
Southport QLD 4215
Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Tools of the Trade

A Professional Vocalist has their own Tools of the Trade, just as an Automobile Mechanic has their own Tools specific to their Trade.

What are some Tools of a Singer’s Trade?

The Essentials:
– Bottle of Luke-Warm, Filtered Water (in BPA Free Stainless Steel Bottle)
– Warm Scarf
– Microphone (Wireless or Wired)
– Backing Tracks on a USB Memory Drive (Good Quality, minimum Bit Rate 128kps, mp3 format)

Following is a list of some of the Tools a Vocalist is recommended to have in their Gig Bag:
– Microphone (Wireless System and/or Wired; a spare)
– Batteries (Fresh Energizer Lithium AA, AAA, 9V; Rechargeable Batteries with Recharger)
– Microphone Leads (Male XLR to Female XLR of various lengths ie. 1m, 5m, 10m, 15m)
– Microphone Stand
– Music Stand & Light
– Library of Backing & Audio Tracks
– Library of Band Charts/Sheet Music/Lyrics
– Music Player (e.g. Laptop/Ipad/Ipod)
– External Backup Hard Drive
– Audio Lead to connect Music Player to a Mixer (various lengths ie. 2m, 5m, 10m)
– Black Extension Power Leads & Power Boards

Following is a list of the minimum PA Equipment that a Band Leader/Vocalist is recommended to have:
– 2 x FOH Speakers
– 2 x Speaker stands
– 1 x Stage Monitor
– 1 x Mixer Desk
– 1 x Table (for Mixer Desk)
– Black Sheets and Skirtings
– Stage Lighting
– Tool Set: black duct tape, variety of coloured tape, black cable ties, microphone wind shields, ear plugs, music stand sheet music clips, microphone clip threads, audio lead connectors, screw driver, measuring tape, pens, business cards

Work Experience Student – Louisa Paua

Louisa Paua completed a week of Work Experience with Ofelia Guizzon and Ofelia’s Voice Studio at the end of Term 2, 2014. Louisa observed studio lessons in Week 10, was part of the Concert Crew for the 2014 OVS “A Night of Show Tunes” Mid-Year Concert and attended a Club Performance Gig as a band member with a Ofelia. Louisa displayed excellent initiative and enthusiasm and her assistance throughout the week was greatly valued and appreciated.

Louisa attends Ofelia’s Voice Studio as a Student and was the 2013 Student of the Year and 2014 Voice of the Year Recipient.

Students wanting to complete their Work Experience with Ofelia’s Voice Studio are more than welcome apply.