As you learn guitar, you’ll start by playing simple melodies before moving onto complex pieces. Once you gain some familiarity with the instrument, you may find yourself wanting to add personal flair to the songs you strum. Here’s how to make any tune uniquely yours.

How to Make a Cover Song Unique

1. Incorporate an Intro

Deliver something unexpected to your audience by adding an intro to a well-known favorite. Learn the guitar chords and build on them to create an instrumental solo that transitions smoothly into the first verse. Record yourself as you experiment, so you can refer to the riffs that work best.

2. Change the Genre

Create a clever mash-up by switching its genre. For example, turn a pop tune into a folk one with a banjo or make a hip-hop piece metal by adding an electric guitar riff. As you learn the guitar, you’ll notice there are many similar string instruments to which you can transfer your skills, allowing you to cross genre lines.

3. Play Another Instrument

learn guitar

A fun, simple way to change a song is to play it on a different instrument. If the original artist performed it on piano, try it on a guitar. If you’re still finding your footing with a second instrument, give yourself a vocal challenge by performing the tune a cappella.

4. Alter the Tempo

Turning a slow ballad into a fast-paced ensemble or vice versa will make it nearly unrecognizable. However, some songs may lose their melodic qualities when altered drastically, so experiment with different tunes to see which are best-suited for significant tempo changes.

5. Use a Different Key

If your vocal strengths are in a certain range, switch the key so that it better accommodates your voice. For example, alto and bass singers can take a melody sung by a soprano down to a lower key, making it easier to master and musically interesting.


If you want guidance putting your own take on a song, turn to the skilled instructors at Hawaii MusicWorks in Pearl City. These professionals welcome students from across West Oahu, helping them to build on their existing skills to find their unique musical style. To enroll in lessons, fill out an inquiry form online or call (808) 486-8600.