How to Learn New Songs and Make Them Your Own
We all know that performing cover songs is a great way to build your name online or get some easy gigs that pay instant cash. Cover songs are fun to do and because there are so many great songs out there to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to repertoire.
So whether you’re into creating cover videos for TikTok or YouTube, or if you’re already out there gigging and want to perform covers that don’t sound like a clone of the original artist’s version, learning how to make songs your own is the key to sounding authentic.
In today’s singing tutorial, I’ll break down five steps design to help to you learn a new song fast and then re-arrange it so it sounds like your own version.
Here’s how to learn new songs and make them your own
1. Use the lyrics
To get the general feel for a song, put it on and sing along with the artist, but make sure you grab the lyrics and read them as you sing so you can’t make mistakes. Listen and sing to it a few times until the general melody and some of the lyrics are in your head.
2. Then transcribe it
Transcribing means, working out the chords and melody by ear. Alternatively you can grab the chords online and this is where having an instrument comes in handy. If you can play the chords, then you can change the rhythm, the tempo, arrange the chords and start to make this song your own. You start can do this even with basic playing skills.
3. Sing along while you play the chords
This will help you to really learn the melody and lyrics because it will be obvious which you dont yet know as soon as you take the backing singer away. You can also try this with a karaoke track.
4. Change the melody a bit
Start messing around with the song ie: Use the same chords but mix up the melody. Have a go at improvising but remember to keep it simple! Use the same chords but try a different groove or tempo. This can dramatically change how a song sounds.
5. Change or add chords
Quite often pop songs can easily be enriched by adding extensions to the chords, adding in a passing chord (ie ii V I instead of V I). The better your skills are, the more you will be able to get involved in this step.
Did you like this video?
Let me know if you enjoyed today’s tutorial in the comments below.
Get 10 sing-along tracks with the most common scales and arpeggios that you need to know.
Includes 10 tracks:
1 Major Scale
2 Major Arpeggio
3 Minor Scale
4 Minor Arpeggio
5 Dominant Scale
6 Dominant Arpeggio
7 Blues Scale
8 Major Pentatonic Scale
9 Minor Pentatonic Scale
10 Dorian Scale
Each track has an example then a piano plays the scale/ arpeggio with you to help you pitch each note correctly. Also comes with a handy PDF guide.
Try these tutorials next!
How to find your niche as a singer and stand out from other singers in your local area or musical genre. Three easy strategies!
Q: Do I have to move city/country to make it in music? A: I moved from Australia to London for my music. Watch the vid to see my thoughts on whether you REALLY have to move or not.
How do you know if you are tone deaf? Take this quick test and find out! This is specifically for singers.
Ready to learn more and improve faster?
Join my six week Singing Academy and build the voice you’ve always wanted.
Get Four FREE Vocal Warm Ups!
I'll also send you tips on improving your singing.