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Can a Backing Track be Authentic?

This week we’re finding out exactly what makes an ‘authentic’ accompaniment 

We singers want our audience to believe in us, to trust that our performance is genuine. For decades instruments such as the acoustic guitar and piano have been synonymous with authenticity. Accordingly using backing or instrumental tracks can sometimes be seen as a substitute for the real thing. However, can the manner in which we are accompanied really compromise our authenticity? This week we’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

So the question is: Does using a live instrument for accompaniment as opposed to a backing track make your performance more authentic? 

Share your views on FaceBook and our Forum!

Great Comments from last week:

Last week I asked: Does anyone have any useful hints & tips for remembering their lyrics?

Matt Mathews posted:

“Read the lyrics through in meter time, at least 5 times. It then becomes part of your subconscious mind for instant recall. or you could just invest in a teleprompter like the one Pres. Obama uses”.

Gary Wilner Wrote:

“I wish I could help but I have a photographic memory when it comes to songs. If I hear the song once, maybe twice it is committed to memory. This works for both music and lyrics. What I think is happening is that I associate the notes of the song with the words at each part of the tune. It seems to work for me”.

Leah Armand commented:

“Concentrate on the story. Know the lyrics consciously so that if you’re focused you can recall them. When you have practiced a song enough, it gets to the point where as long as you start each verse with the right word, you’ll be able to keep going to the end of that section without forgetting, even if you lose focus or stumble over a few words… The muscle memory gets so strong that you know the syllables of the word even if you don’t remember the word and the next word just comes even though the word before it didn’t”.

Thanks again for the great response guys, see you next week.

C x

  • poppa madison

    I can never forget the impact that a live recording of myself playing guitar and singing a song I wrote had on a Sound Engineer and his two colleagues who were at the time engaged in negotiations with me about a possible recording contract in 2011.

    After I had played to them my computer generated music score and myself singing to that, I mentioned that I had with me that live recording (from 1974) which I transferred from cassette and saved as a computer file.
    They asked me to play it. they listened, and so intently that I felt I was in a recording studio doing a live take.

    The look on their faces was a sight to behold!
    “Now that, is the real deal!” said the Sound Engineer. The others present nodded in approval.
    I said, but it has not been through Pro-logic or any of the audio handling wotsits you people have to do these days to make something sound commercially acceptable.
    “You can forget all that!” said the Sound Engineer.
    “Can you be ready for Woodstock with that next year?”
    I think that says it all about original accompaniment and its natural appeal.