Being a singer is an awesome thing. But it requires commitment. If you want to practice alone, about the only thing you can do is sing to an MP3.
If you’re going to sing to a track anyway, though, you may as well do it on your own terms. Backing tracks come without vocals and are sometimes available in a better key for your range too (compared to the original).
In this guide, we cover where to find backing tracks for singers.
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Ever wanted to be able to sing along to your favorite songs? Wish you had more control over the tempo, key signature, and sections? Jamzone is an iOS and Android ready app that lets you karaoke to your heart’s content, only better!
Choose from popular songs like Queen’s “We Are The Champions,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” U2’s “With or Without You,” 3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite,” Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Coldplay’s “Yellow,” Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” The Black Crowes’ “Hard to Handle,” and many others.
Jamzone is hard at work adding 400 new tracks monthly and they’re already up to more than 50,000 titles.
Jamzone lets you mix each instrument, control the tempo and pitch, loop sections, and a great deal more. If you’re looking to jam along to your favorite tracks, this app will set you on the right track.
This is not a great app if you’re looking for original backing tracks you can write lyrics and melodies to, but if you want to practice up on some of the best songs ever written, it’s a great place to turn.
Tunescribers is a multi-faceted music service offering a variety of products like sheet music transcriptions, sheet music arrangements, piano performance videos, karaoke videos, songs for sale, and yes, backing tracks too.
If you’re looking for tracks you can download and start writing to today, this might not be the right solution for you (because you won't get your tracks the same day).
But if you’re looking to build custom backing tracks where you can order exactly what you’re looking for, instrument selection and all, you’ll love Tunescribers’ service.
The process is quite simple. Send them an audio file, wait for their team of 27 musicians to create the backing track, and when it’s ready, download the MP3.
When they say to send them an audio file, I assume what they mean is send them your vocal melody or hummed riff / chord progression. Maybe you could send them an audio note explaining what you’re looking for in a track as well? If in doubt, contact them directly and they should be able to steer you in the right direction.
Looking for piano backing tracks? Then Piano Trax might be just the ticket. Their site features over 32,000 songs including “Golden Age” oldies, TV themes, and pop songs too – “What The Hell” by Avril Lavigne, “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift, “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield, and many others.
Want to sample the tracks before you buy them? No problem, you can hear 30 second samples before you commit to the purchase so you know exactly what you’re buying.
Prefer to have your music on your smartphone or tablet? No problem, Piano Trax has a mobile app for iOS and Android. You can even unlock unlimited streaming with a subscription.
And if you’re looking for a song that can’t be found on the website, you can upload your sheet music and request it. If you don’t have the sheet music, you can send them an MP3. Or, if you don’t mind waiting, you can simply request a song and wait for it to be added to their library.
When I hear OnlineMD, I’m immediately thinking this must be some kind of medical / healthcare site. And while that OnlineMD exists too, this OnlineMD offers backings tracks for musical theater.
They have a full catalog of “Tracks2Go,” so if you know what you’re looking for, there’s a chance they may have it already.
If not, you can always turn to their affordably priced services, which include piano accompaniment, reduced arrangement, fully orchestrated backing track, sheet music transposition, and piano / vocal transcription.
So, whether you need a piano only backing track or you need them to transpose the song you’re working on to a more comfortable key, you can rely on OnlineMD to give you what you need. Again, for musical theatre specifically, though, so make no mistake.
Probably not much needs to be said about Karaoke Version by way of introduction.
Either way, though, this is a site where you can find custom backing tracks for your favorite songs, like “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, and many others.
The main idea being that no matter what instrument you play, you can find custom backing tracks suited to your practice requirements.
As a vocalist, you can get custom vocal backing tracks with just the lead vocals, or just the backing vocals, or just the instruments – whatever you need to get your best work done.
It’s very straightforward, and there’s not a whole lot more to it. If you’re working on mainstream music, this site is a great source for backing tracks.
Looking for stripped down versions of popular songs you can sing to? Sing2Music does that! Whether it’s intimate acoustic guitar versions or beautiful solo piano arrangements, Sing2Music provides backing tracks that are fully mastered and ready to be used in a variety of capacities – for practice, jam sessions, live performances, and more.
Sing2Music aims to offer music that’s a notch above your average karaoke backing tracks, which are often low quality and utilize MIDI or cheesy synthesizers.
Sing2Music already has an extensive library of tracks, including the likes of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero,” OneRepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried,” and many others.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can request a track too!
Steve’s Trax Backing Tracks
Steve’s Trax Backing Tracks is home to a ton of professional backing tracks to be utilized by singers, guitarists, bands, and more. Their tracks are available as MP3s and CDs, and they’ve all been crafted with attention to detail and no fadeouts.
In their library, you’ll find all the hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 10s, in all the popular genres, including pop, electronic, disco, reggae, rock, soul, R&B, and more. I’ve listened to a couple of tracks on their website, and I can honestly say they sound great!
Many tracks are available in several key signatures, so if the original key is a challenge for you, you’ll be glad to know you’ve got options.
If you’re looking for quality backing tracks of your favorite hits, you’ll be hard pressed to find a site as comprehensive as Steve’s Trax.
SBI Performance Licensing
SBI Performance Licensing has apparently been in business since 1977. So, they might know a thing or two about backing tracks. Their library includes over 30,000 songs, including Tim McGraw’s “Standing Room Only,” Walk Off The Earth’s “My Stupid Heart,” Sam Smith’s “Six Shots,” and many others.
SBI says every song purchase comes with a lifetime license. We can’t confirm or deny the validity of their licenses, and we recommend doing your own research when it comes to things like this (before making any costly mistakes).
Anyway, it looks like they offer custom mixes, key changes, multitrack stems, WAV format tracks, custom productions, singer demos, and more, depending on what you’re looking for.
Ever wanted a virtual band in your pocket? That’s effectively what iReal Pro is! This iOS and Android compatible app features chord charts galore. There are standard chord charts, smart chord charts, and you can even edit and create your own.
The virtual band is capable of playing in any style, whether pop, rock, reggae, Latin, jazz, bluegrass, or otherwise. In fact, there are 50 accompaniment styles built in. The backing tracks are fully adjustable thanks to the mixer. If you need to hear that piano a little louder, turn it up!
That’s one of the great things about iReal Pro – everything is adjustable. That means key signature, style, and tempo.
While it may appear primarily a jam app for instrumentalists, vocalists have experienced great success with iReal Pro as well. Once you’ve found the perfect key for the song, you can even share your charts with your accompanists, who won’t have to adapt on the fly!
Standardtrax creates backing tracks for singers and musicians alike. Their catalog includes pop, jazz, big band, Broadway, swing, and more. They pride themselves in bringing something unique to the table with their backing tracks too.
They’ve got minute-long samples on their website, so if you’d like to listen before deciding, you’ve got the option! Having listened to a few myself, I can honestly say these tracks sound very smooth indeed. If ever in doubt, it’s well worth listening to the demos before buying though.
Standardtrax offers backing tracks for male and female singers, and they’ve got additional options like tracks with no solos, CD format backing tracks, custom payments, and more. If you need a new arrangement for an old tune, they seem like good people to turn to for that as well.
Music Backing Tracks
More a search engine than a website, Music Backing Tracks is home to over 20,000 tracks. The UK based company has been in operation since 1985.
They’ve covered a broad range of tunes as well, like Three Days Grace’s “Lifetime,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Elvis Presley’s “I’m Coming Home,” Miley Cyrus’ “Jaded,” Peter Cetera’s “Have You Ever Been In Love,” among many, many others.
You can purchase backing tracks with and without backing vocals, sometimes in different keys, and the tracks sound quite superb to my ears. You can always check out the samples for yourself if in doubt.
Gemtracks is a place you can go to find a recording studio in your locality, hire freelance singers, engineers, composers, instrumentalists, and beatmakers, or submit your music to playlists. They also happen to be a marketplace for original beats.
What’s cool about the beat marketplace is that all beats are only sold once. So, once you’ve purchased a beat, it belongs to you. No one else will have it! The purchase even includes a transfer of copyright contract.
If there’s something specific, you’re looking for, you can search via key signature, length, tempo, and even emotion. There is a lot of variety here, including dancehall, trap, house, lo-fi hip-hop, EDM, and more.
There is a cost to exclusive ownership, though, so be prepared to spend a good amount of money if you’re planning to purchase a beat from Gemtracks.
PremiumBeat (owned by Shutterstock) is a little like Gemtracks in that you can purchase the license for original, high-quality music in a variety of genres – pop, R&B, dance, techno, electronic, rock, film score, and more.
You can search from countless genres, moods, and collections, which makes the process of finding the perfect backing track easy. There are, of course, songs in a variety of keys and tempos, at different lengths as well.
In case you happen to be in the market for special effects, PremiumBeat offers a catalog of SFX too.
PremiumBeat has different license types depending on how you intend to use the track. The Monthly Music Subscription is probably the most cost-efficient option, especially for singers who are constantly adding new backing tracks to their personal libraries.
We’re not sure whether you get exclusive license to the tracks you’ve purchased, but once you’ve purchased them, they are yours to use forever.
Where To Find Backing Tracks For Singers, Final Thoughts
And now you know – there are a variety of solutions out there depending on what you’re looking for! There are apps that work like virtual bands, there are marketplaces where you can purchase licenses for original beats, and there are more “old school” backing tracks websites where you can purchase MP3s of popular tunes for a few dollars a pop!
It used to be that you could only find cheesy MIDI renditions of popular songs, but now it’s easier than ever to find high quality backing tracks and you can even hire professionals for custom arrangements.