Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Making a backing track from the vocal?


Dear Sir,

If I understand correctly, normally a singer would need a backing track first before recording the vocal.

However, can it be done the other way around. For example, a singer would record the vocal over a very bad backing track. So it cannot be used.

Can she send her vocal only to an arranger so that he can create a backing track to suit the voice? Can an arranger do everything (intro, outro, instrumental in between) for that vocal?

Thank you.

Hi Jon :

Under most conditions, unless the vocalist is an experienced professional singer, this approach  is loaded with potential problems
( the main one being the need to create a totally in tune track for the arranger to write to ) I've written a lot of tracks where the singer has supplied me with a rough vocal and almost 100% of them have atleast a piano or guitar track to assure a usable pitch center.

Hope this helps:

Phil Kelly

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Phil Kelly


I`m a semi-retired professional music arranger with over thirty five years in all phases of the commercial music production business. I can try to answer questions regarding music arranging, theory, orchestration , and/or composition for most acoustic ensembles .( jazz band or orchestral ) I can try to offer suggestions about studio music recording procedures and some basic MIDI applications , too. In the course of my career I`ve worked with such artists as Doc Severinsen and the old Tonight Show Band, Bill Watrous, Buddy Greco, John Gary, Mel Torme, Julius LaRosa, as well as the Pop programs of the Fort Worth, Dallas, North Carolina, and Houston Symphonies, as well as library music material for ABC, ESPN, and NFL Films.

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