There are a gazillion cover songs on YouTube now and one more gets uploaded every second (actually I think its much more than that…) So how do you get your cover song to be noticed and stand out above the noise?

Whether you are singing covers on the stage or online, today I’m going to share three techniques that you can use to give your cover songs a unique twist, help them stand out and perhaps gain you a few (thousand) followers in the process.

Nicola x

Practice Steps

You can use drum machines to provide the different groove for you if you’re not killer on an instrument, so have a go at putting one on in the background and singing your song along to the new rhythm. Let me know how you go – or better yet, upload your cover song to YouTube and share it with us!

Video Summary

  1. Change the tempo dramatically.

Make an upbeat song downbeat and vice versa: because I’m a jazz singer, I like to do uber sultry versions of songs. You can also flip this and make a slow song faster. You don’t have to change anything else but the tempo – as long as its a dramatic change, it will make the song sound completely different.


  1. Change the groove/ rhythm

One thing I love to do is to make pop songs swing. You don’t have to move from a straight feel into a swing, you can make songs into bossanovas, or have a cuban rhythm, you can change the change the time signature from 4/4 into 3/4. It can be a lot of fun.


  1. Change the melody slightly

Another great way to change a cover song is to make small changes to the melody. You don’t want to go and change the melody so much that it sounds like a completely different song, but its always a great idea to find different notes to sing in sections. Go up instead of down mix it up add a few vocal riffs and runs if that’s your thing. A few little changes goes a long way to changing the song and making it your own.

So there you go – 3 different ways of making your cover song stand out from all of the other versions of that song that are out there. I would start by picking 1 of the three techniques and when you get good at that try adding two of these techniques into your song and it will sound really different.


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