Competition Tips

Songs To Cover | Making A Cover Original

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How to choose songs to cover and make original when performing. When you want to stand out and be remembered while performing a cover song, a good way is to make the song your own. If you’re going to do a cover, it’s more effective you put a different spin on it.

Choosing songs to cover

Although it may not be your own song, you still want to choose songs to cover that leave your audience feeling like they’ve just heard this song for the first time. Here are some tips on how to achieve that:

Don’t change everything

You should put as much effort into what songs to cover, as you would if it was an original song. When planning which songs to cover, all elements of the song need to be considered and refined until you’ve made the song unique to your performance.

Look at other songs to cover

If you’re not sure how to adapt the song cover, then research other artists who have performed a successful cover. Look at how other artists have reworked covers they’ve done, such as Amy Winehouse’s version of The Zuton’s Valerie.

Although they’re the same song, they are in completely different styles.

Song choice | Don’t pick an obvious song 

Try to avoid covering a song that is regularly covered or popular at the time of your performance. The more people hear your song cover, the more lost it gets in their memory. Choosing the right song is difficult but it’s worth a lot of time and consideration to make sure your performance is enjoyed and remembered. Click here for the importance of song choice.

Remember you to pick songs to cover to stand out, put your personality into the song, don’t imitate another artist.

Be creative

You need to bring something new to the table and make the song you own. Things you can change around include the tone of the song, the tempo it is played at or even the instrumentation. Performing a straight up cover won’t show any imagination on your behalf.

The more ways you can alter the original song to create something unique, the better.  A slowed down, reggae version of ‘trouble’ by Taylor Swift would be something truly unique that would get people interested for example.

Choose a song you care about

It’s important that the songs to cover are ones that you have an emotional connection to, as it will be obvious if you don’t care too much about which songs to cover. Showing emotion throughout your singing adds more to the performance.

Do you need a licence to cover a song? Find out about permissions, royalties and more here.