A well-crafted cover song can be a thing of beauty and raise your chances of getting attention -says Lisa Popeil
Here are three tips to help get you started on making someone else’s great song yours.
Here are links to four original songs and excellent cover versions. You may even like the covers better than the originals.
Sting & Eva Cassidy: Fields of Gold
Original: Sting’s beautiful original chugs along with a steady drumbeat-great for slow dancing.
Cover: Eva Cassidy’s version is much slower, features acoustic guitar and a free, non-rhythmic vocal. It’s heartbreaking from the very beginning.
Demi Lovato & James Bell: Cool for the Summer
Original: The original has a mid-tempo dance beat and “let’s make a hit” production.
Cover: Young British singer/songwriter/guitarist James Bell turns the song on its head and renders it as a delicate, gorgeous ballad without changing the tempo.
Stevie Wonder & Red Hot Chili Peppers: Higher Ground
Original: Stevie’s 1973 version is funky, features wah-wah guitar and contrapuntal keyboard parts.
Cover: RHCP keep the funk, speed up the groove, layer in the electric guitars and churn it out!
Michael Jackson & Renata Flores Rivera: The Way You Make Me Feel
Original: MJ 1987 version has the requisite ‘80s synths, a slow groove and lots of signature vocal ejaculations.
Cover: A 14-year old Peruvian girl, Renata Flores Rivera has gone viral with her beautiful singing and her use of an ancient Incan language Quechua, not widely spoken today. Great jazzy interpretation.
Lisa Popeil is one of LA’s top voice coaches. She is the creator of the ‘Daily Vocal Workout for Pop Singers’ CD download (for Male and Female) as well as the Voiceworks® Method and the Total Singer DVD, conducts cutting-edge voice research, lectures internationally and is a vocal health consultant. Lisa is a voting member of NARAS, the Grammy® organization, ASCAP, AFTRA and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. www.popeil.com