Working with Cover Songs: Make them Fit for Your Own Style of Playing

Most beginners, when playing a coversong, will just get the chords of the song and play the song as close as they can to the original version of the song. Nothing wrong with that you may say? No, indeed, but changes are your singing voice does sound different compared to the orginal song you are covering.  As far as the backing of the song, the song will probably have various sounds coming from bassguitar, guitar, keyboards, drums and other instruments. To get as close to the feel of the orginal song your guitar will need to sound like all those various instruments together. How do you do this? You find your own way by giving the song your interpretation.

To get to your interpretation you may need to experiment with various feels of the song, you may need to alter the song structure: You could leave out some verses of the song, add in a little solo and repeat certain parts several times to make the song fit for your style.
At first it may be a good idea to sing and play the song as close as you can to the orginal, then start experimenting with what you can do to bring the song alive. You need to bring the song alive, this is what really matters. To check if you are on the right track you can play and sing the song while you record the results. Listen back and be honest, is the song pleasing for the ears? You can play the song back to your friends and ask for their feedback.
In most cases you will need to rework the song because you are not the original artist, you need to find your own feel to make the song come alive. You can watch other cover bands and solo singer/songwriters to check to see how they do this. When you listen you may not even be aware that they have changed the song to make them fit for their feel. Very subtle adaptions are often the best as you do not want to stray to far away from the original.

Enjoy your playing and hope to catch you soon again,