These can of course give emphasis to certain lines in a song, though not always easy to do, or even work out, they can be worth a little effort. Some people find it extremely hard to harmonise with themselves, but it can be achieved. Many people will write harmony vocals only considering the lead vocal, and neglecting to consider the instrumentation supporting it. This can result in harmony vocals which actually clash with the guitar chords for example. With that in mind if you are trying to write backing vocals prior to coming in the studio we recommend you do so in a quiet environment, perhaps with the lead singer and an acoustic guitar, so that you can hear properly what chords you are harmonising to rather than battling the lack of separation in a rehearsal room.
There’s no real need to prepare backing vocals in advance if you find it difficult. We can help you with it. Come in having an idea if you want them and if so where and we can try ideas out. We can provide an artificial mock up for you to sing along to rather than having to sing to the lead vocal. Most singers find this easier to do, although not all. We can experiment to see what works best for you.
If you are looking for a larger, thicker texture of backing vocals, like a choir or a gang vocal, we do not record these ‘one at a time’ like normal vocals. You need a large group performing all at once – just as the same person singing a line twice sounds different from 2 people singing it together, multiple takes of 2 or 3 people simply doesn’t sound the same. If your group is not large enough to achieve this then get your friends, parents, neighbours or anyone you can to come down and join in.