How to Cover a Song

This is a method I use to sing and play piano together fluently when I want to cover a song.

I really break this down into two main parts – the singing and playing of course.

Playing the Piano

I start with playing, and below I’ve listed my go-to’s for learning how to play a song.  Many of these things involve sheet music because I spent years learning to read sheet music from my piano teachers.

  • I go on Youtube to see if there’s a tutorial and/or to get some ideas on how to play things
  • I will go to Musicnotes to see if there’s sheet music for the song I want to play (they usually have beginner music, but the chords I need are still on there)
  • If I really want an in-depth, accurate piece of sheet music I’ll go and see if I can buy a transcription by the artist – basically a note-for-note record on how they played a song
  • Sometimes I might need to fill in gaps, so I’ll just listen to the song repeatedly and try to match the sounds up with the piano.  This is what’s called playing by ear, and some do this way better than others.

When I’m learning, I’ll learn in one hand at a time slowly and then put the hands together and repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.  The name of the game is repetition.  You know you’ve repeated enough when you can play the song without thinking about it and the normal song speed.

Singing

I use my voice memos app on my iPhone and record until I get my sound the way I want it.  If I don’t like it, I don’t post it publicly.  Cardio helps with this also.  It’s a lot easier singing when you can breathe better.  Much of it is just picking up different things here and there from artists I like.  I feel like playing piano has really helped with accurate pitch while singing, but there’s so much more to it than that.  Singing is connecting with the audience, dynamics, vibrato, breathing, cardio and breathe control, warming up vocal chords, etc.

So…that’s what I do so far.  Any questions or anything you’d like to know feel free to leave it in the comments.  Thank you!

 

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