This article will explain how you can use well known bands to create the best cover songs that you can make money from.
A cover song is a new performance or recording of a previously recorded, commercially released (or unreleased) song, by someone other than the original artist or composer. (wikipedia)
A cover song is not an original song, but cover songs can actually be helpful to your career depending on how you use them.
As an artist aspiring to create and perform original music it can turn most artists off.
The main point of doing cover songs is to attract the fan base(s) of well known artists or bands. Performing cover songs at shows can be a quick way to let people know
about your band by getting them used to hearing something already familiar
to them from a more established band.
One bit of advice I can give is to do your homework on who your covering
because every artist has his/her business affairs setup differently.
Some artists, (like Prince) for instance want to be paid for any performance of their music, including indie artists performing their best songs as a cover,
“one situation required a youtube user’s page to be shut down because of a childs dance performance on video with the Prince song playing in the background on the radio”
Other artists or music groups look at independent bands performing covers of their songs as a way to stay relevant, usually after they have retired and is no longer actively creating music to put out for the public.
“One band, particularly Pink floyd would be flattered for an independent artist to perform their groups best classic songs as covers because it helps them to make money from music they already have cataloged and it keeps their catalog active so its like they are touring even though they may have retired.”
The better you are the worst off you may be. Performing covers can be dangerous mostly depending on how good you are at replicating a bands style, (once again every artist is different) because if you sound too much like a bands song that your covering people might mistakingly buy your music in confusion with the original band and then later complain once they realize they didnt purchase music from the original band like they might have intended.
If your band is good fans will buy your sound because they can relate and rate your performance based on the original version. You dont want people to be fooled into buying your music because they think you are a certain band because you sound so much like them, so you want to be close but still add your own twist on popular cover songs.
Performing well known bands best songs as covers is also a quick way to make real money and fans while touring and promoting. Fans buy music they like, period so if you have positioned yourself correctly those same fans of that well known brand will support you as if you were the real band and then ask the question how does your original music sound.
Usually an artist or band would be excited to see another artist or band perform their music as a band and fan, but when it comes down to record labels and catalog owners who arent artists they want what they are owed. Basically the label owns the artist and their music, so its the owner of the music who might have a dispute if they feel violated, not necessarily the performing artist. Most performing artists would be honored to have their songs performed by others as covers.
Using cover songs is a great way to capture fans of popular bands, especially if your original music is simliar to the band song you are covering. It also helps with developing your craft because you start to understand the tricks the popular band uses to make great music, and it becomes a part of you and your craft.
Cover songs can be good or bad depending on what song you are covering and from what artist.
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