The best backing track apps for singers make live performance easy and help you sound your best, wherever and whenever. Using just your smartphone, you can unlock tools for pitch, projection, transposition and much more.
Are you looking for handy accompaniment that’s cheap and portable? In this article, we’ll guide you toward the latest and most useful option on the market today.
The best backing track apps for singers
Music apps are a great way for singers and musicians to develop their abilities and extend performance opportunities. No matter what your skill level, there’s always room for improvement. Whether it’s getting some additional coaching, learning some new tricks or finding fresh ways to write and perform, there’s always something you can do to further your skills, perfect your act and perform more diverse songs.
Apps offer technical help for things like pitch, projection, tuning and making improvements to your musicianship, as well as musical accompaniment. If you want to become more organised and effective as a singer or musician, you just have to unlock your phone and download an app.
We’ve carefully chosen the best singing apps for vocal training, apps for recording and apps for performing live. Whether you use an iPhone or Android smartphone, we have a range of great options.
Finding the best apps for performing musicians
Whether you sing, play the guitar or another instrument, a backing app can take you from being a solo performer to a full-scale act. While we’re providing information on some of the top apps, do be aware that more is always being created. Keep an eye on what’s out there by searching in your smart phone’s store.
Depending on your operating system this could be Google Play, Amazon or the Apple App Store.
Best app for playing backing tracks for musicians on stage
These are some of the best iPhone & Android apps for singers and musicians performing on stage. Whether it’s for backing tracks, lyrics or even recording, these apps will have you covered. Some even allow you to create as well as playback your own compositions of backing tracks.
#1 SoundCloud (iOS & Android)
If you are a budding musician and haven’t heard of SoundCloud yet, then we urge you to download it immediately. SoundCloud is now considered a staple for both signed and unsigned artists, having been around since 2007.
SoundCloud really is an essential music app. Amongst other things, you can keep an eye on musical trends, upload your tunes, rate other people and generally bask in the brilliance of music-minded community.
#2 GarageBand (iOS)
If you want an incredible music creation tool that has been used by some of the biggest artists on the planet, then this is it. Created in-house by Apple, GarageBand gives you the opportunity to create, share and export tracks using a host of incredible software instruments, or your own played directly into the app.
We cannot overstate how cool this app is, whether you’ve been playing for 10 years or 10 minutes, making music has never been easier or cooler. The interface is intuitive and easy to learn which makes you come back time and again. What’s more, you can edit your tracks, share with bandmates or collaborators and even export them directly to the web.
#3 iReal Pro (iOS)
At the sharper end of the pricing scale for music apps, iReal Pro has really gone to great lengths to justify the price tag. Designed primarily as a practice aid, this app has the capacity to help you become a much better all-round musician. For singers, there a ton of backing tracks and you can record and listen back.
For instrument players, there are chord diagrams, scales and the ability to edit backing tracks to suit. Our favourite feature (amongst hundreds) is the option to view scales based on chords. Perfect for cementing musical theory and improving improvisation. Buy this app and improve your playing today.
#4 Reason Compact (iOS)
Operating as an accompaniment to the incredible desktop app, this little mini version of Reason is still a cool app for musicians on-the-go. You can use it to feed the desktop app or you can just play around with sounds and create cool lead lines and melodies for songwriting.
The interface is simple, there are tutorials and, of course, that classic Reason sound too. If you are new to music production this is a great app to cut your teeth and experience some of the power that lurks behind one of the worlds’ favourite Digital Audio Workstations.
#5 Setlist Helper (iOS and Android)
When your repertoire begins to grow, you’ll appreciate the brilliance of organisational apps for music. With so many songs to remember and manage, you’ll need somewhere to keep all your info. Setlist Helper has been designed to do exactly that. Features include an online account so you can sync across devices, which is very useful.
There’s also Dropbox support for sharing, mp3 attachments, a search function and Chord Pro format 7, so you can add musical notation if you need.
The best lyric app for singers
Some apps offer the presentation of lyrics also (much like a karaoke machine). This is super handy for practising and knowing when to come in. Here’s a rundown of the top ones.
#6 Backing Track Studio (Android)
Simplicity is the key when it comes to this app. Use it to catalogue, cue, arrange, play and pause your performances. It has remote pedal support and a handy dark theme for low-light environments. You can even add lyrics so you won’t miss a beat. A great app with some great features. Perfect for solo singers to practice with and take to gigs.
You can create custom playlists for different gigs, which is really handy and yes, it will suspend sleep mode on your device so the screen won’t lock. Just plugin and perform without any worries.
Backing track app for live performance
#7 BackTrax Classic (iOS)
With a simple interface, loads of great functions and the ability to play in the background, this is a great option for anyone wanting to use a phone or tablet to help deliver a solid live performance. Add lyrics, font size options, running time, multiple set-lists and a progress bar and you have all the ingredients for perfection.
You will have to load tunes through iTunes and make sure they are DRM free, but aside from that, it’s a breeze.
#8 Musixmatch (Android)
Said to have the largest choice of lyrics out there, you can sing and learn almost any song with this app. It syncs with YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and more – plus you can translate to and from other languages.
Best app for singers warming up
If your focus isn’t live shows but warm-up and practise, you may be better going with one of these.
#9 Warm Me Up! for Singers (iOS and Android)
Warming up is a key part of a singer’s routine. This app is a huge aid for singers of all ages, abilities and voice types who want to make sure those vocal cords are in top shape before a rehearsal or performance. With a simplistic interface and over 50 different warm-up exercises, you can be sure that you hit the stage in perfect singing condition.
The app was created by voice coaches who have helped warm-up musicians and stage actors in musicals. A great app and a must for would-be singers.
#10 Theta Music Trainer (iOS & Android )
For those looking to improve their all-round music skills, Theta Music Trainer is one of the coolest music apps available. The interface is a little dated but the functionality is second to none, allowing users to get a better grasp of numerous musical skills.
From working on your hearing and sound differentiation to getting to grips with musical notation. There are a wealth of options and you’ll soon find your all-round skills and confidence improving. The lessons are cleverly constructed and really well executed.
#11 Pocket Pitch (iOS and Android)
Sometimes you just want an app to do one thing really well. This is that app. There are no bells, no whistles, just a really good pitch pipe. Use it to tune up any instrument including your vocal cords.
You can select octaves to suit and there’s an interface so simple that you can open up and use in just a few seconds. Added extras are limited but there’s a handy little piano interface if you want to jam out a couple of chords as part of your warm-up routine. Simplicity itself.
With this kind of technology at your fingertips, you have so many more opportunities to write and perform live. But as well as top tech, you’ll need to work on your vocals and practise so that you’re note-perfect by the time you get in front of that audience.
- Why do singers use backing tracks?
Some singers accompany themselves on the piano or guitar. Others sing a cappella. But more use backing tracks as these are portable, convenient and provide a more comprehensive and fuller backing sound – helping the singer to sound more impressive.
- How do you sing with a backing track?
Even if you know the song well, you must practise with the specific track. It’s best if you can have it customised to suit you, in the right key and with the kind of accompaniment you like. You have to perform the backing track as rehearsed – it won’t speed up or slow down to fit you.
Which do you think is the best backing track app for singers? What have you found to be the best apps as a musician on stage? Let us know in the comments below.