Background Vocal Careers
By Tom Gauger
As a jingle singer myself, singing on numerous commercials such as FOX TV, UPN, Oâ€™Charleys and many others, and as a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency booking many a household name artist, I have concluded that there are many reasons to strategize in background vocals as opposed to an actual artist career.
The reasons are many, but mainly because, like many of us, I like creature comforts. I like knowing what bed I am sleeping in, or the comfort that I am watching TV at night sitting on my own sofa. Sound shallow or superficial? â€?I donâ€™t know, but what I do know, is that I have enjoyed a career in background vocals since my early teens when I started singing radio spots and continue enjoying session work to this day.
As you begin to ponder while reading this article, trying to figure out your own singing career blueprint, try to stay not only focused, but open to new ideas thinking outside the box. I will try as best I can in the next few minutes to discuss, outline, and offer suggestions that you might try, as you not only figure out where you want to go with your career, but how youâ€™ll go about doing it.
If youâ€™ve read any of my past articles, which can be found at www.reelmusian.com/reelmusician_023.htm, you will notice a certain theme that permeates through most ideas and â€œhow tosâ€?that Iâ€™ve written, and that is attitude. Iâ€™ll say it again, that attitude is everything. Ever meet an individual, at a store, gathering of some kind, and they are just as kind as they can be and are authentically caring and not a â€œtaker,â€?â€?You want that. Superimpose that onto your singing career. When individuals meet you, they know that you are not a pushover, but a kind and easy to work with kind of talent.
Letâ€™s start with being honest about your singing abilities. To be a background singer, you must be incredibly flexible. One minute Iâ€™m singing a real smooth lead spot, and the next theyâ€™re wanting a gritty sound and then a mixed black/white sounding choir backing up a lead singer for a commercial of some kind. How flexible are you? That will determine the amount and scope of work available. Now donâ€™t fret. There are plenty of singers out there who specialize in a particular style, simply because they couldnâ€™t sing a smooth spot for anything â€?But keep that in mind as you look at a career in background vocals.