written by Melissa Ellen, vocal instructor at Metro Music Makers
Cover tunes are songs that have been previously recorded and made famous by other singers. I advocate singing cover tunes.
I would like to put an end to the myth that singing cover tunes is detrimental for an original artist. If you are interested in being a great singer, then why not try singing like other great singers and singing cover tunes. You can also try creating your own way of singing the song.
I do not believe that it is harmful to sing like another vocalist. If you are challenged by their work, it will make you a stronger singer to try to imitate what they do. Of course, you should do this challenging work under the supervision of a vocal coach so you do not mistakenly acquire bad habits. If you do this work and at any point feel like you actually sound like the artist you are copying, then it’s time to move onto another artist. Yes, really! You will develop a variety of cool sounds that you may never have discovered otherwise. Just as everyone has their own fingerprint, such is the case with the voice. Over time, no matter how much you sound like another singer, your true unique sound will be the one that is heard.
Another excellent reason for singing cover tunes is the opportunity to make a living singing. There are endless options to make a living singing if you are willing to learn and perform cover tunes, such as wedding receptions, corporate functions and private house parties. You may giggle over the stereotype of wedding singers; however, one reception can pay hundreds of dollars just for the singer. Singing cover tunes at a gig just once a week can afford you the money to record your original work so you can continue being creative and exploring your artistry.