How to Make a Cover Song Sound Brand New

Viewers love to find new covers of their favorite songs on YouTube. You can make sure that your cover video stands out from the rest by changing up your technique. The most popular covers often feel more like an original song than a cover.

These simple tips can be applied to any song to make it feel like an original.

1. Change the tempo.

By slowing down or speeding up a song, you can change the sound completely. An energetic song becomes more heartfelt and vice versa.

This YouTuber, Tara Deane, put her own twist on a popular song by singing it in a slower tempo. Deane’s version sounds sweet and innocent next to the original.

2. Adjust the key.

A singer should adjust the key of a song to fit his or her voice. Covers will stand out when the cover artist sings in a completely different range than the original singer does.

You can hear this tip demonstrated when Matt DeFreitas covers Ariana Grande’s song. Ariana Grande sings in a very high key. However, DeFreitas lowered the key to match his voice, making the song sound completely different.

3. Reconfigure the style.

Changing the style of the song is a great way to make it sound brand new. You can take a pop song and make it country, or take a country song and make it hip-hop. The possibilities are endless.

Check out this video to hear UMC feat. Leo Moracchioli turn DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” into a metal song.

4. Replace the instruments with an a cappella performance.

This technique is great for showing off your different vocal skills. It is also useful if you don’t know how to play an instrument but still want to deliver a powerful video.

Break down a song by instrument and mimic each layer with your voice. Record them separately and then put them all together to replace the instruments, like these singers did.

5. Create a mashup.

Find two songs that have similar beats and mix them together, essentially creating a whole new song. This is most effective with two songs that are opposite styles or were popular at different points in time but have similar themes.

Below, Andie Case creates a mashup of “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan. The vast time difference in the songs’ popularity creates a nostalgic mashup that combines classic rock with a modern pop hit.

It’s easy to create a cover song that’s different than the rest. Try these techniques and see which works best with your voice and the song you want to cover.

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Corinne Rivera appreciates every type of music, which stems from her experience in dance and playing the guitar and the flute. She currently resides in San Francisco where she studies electronic communications, explores the city’s art, and attends concerts of all genres.

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