3 Ways Musicians Can Personalize a Cover Song

Covers are a great way to get your name out there and build a solid fan base. Chances are, you’ve chosen to play a well-known song by a popular artist. So you already have an audience out there that is eager to hear a fresh rendition. Even though you didn’t write the original version, there are still ways to take your own spin on it.

Play it with New Instruments

Many people can play what the original artist played verbatim, but the trick is to make your cover unique. Kurt Hugo Schneider does this by incorporating different instruments, from the piano to the guitar to occasionally even cups. The varying sounds within the same, familiar rhythm catches people’s attention. In Schneider’s video, covering James Bay’s “Let it Go,” he uses his prowess on piano to revitalize the song.

Sing with a New Style

Another great way to make a cover song your own is to bring your own type of voice to the piece. Each person has a different vocal range that fits a certain key, so you probably have to change it from that of the original singer. You also have your own unique singing style. Add vibratos and melismas. Sing high and low. In her cover of “Riptide” by Vance Joy, Jasmine Thompson keeps the catchy guitar but makes the piece hers with fresh vocals.

Make your own Music Video

Fans love when a musician does the whole nine yards. A music video allows fans to see the song in the same way the musicians do. Joseph Tyler of Twenty One Pilots did a cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and included a video along with it. He even incorporated his fans into the making of the video, inviting them to personally invest in the music. The video also highlights the duo’s quirky personalities.

Follow these tips to help improve your next cover of a hit song.

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Megan Trainor spends her days doing crossword puzzles, reading the news and looking for new music to listen to. She is usually a sucker for guitar but appreciates songs with meaningful lyrics and a strong bass.

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