Tips for Making Cover Songs on YouTube

If you’re an independent band or artist, making cover songs on YouTube is a great way to connect with fans and gather more ears for your music. YouTube provides a massive platform to reach a global audience and showcase your unique take on popular songs. It’s a great idea to drop cover songs between your original content or, if making song covers is your thing, go for it wholeheartedly. Here are some detailed tips for making cover songs on YouTube and optimizing your content for success in 2024.

Why Cover Songs?

Cover songs help you:

  • Reach a Wider Audience: Covering popular songs can attract fans of the original artist who might not have discovered your music otherwise.
  • Showcase Your Talent: Covers allow you to demonstrate your musical skills and versatility.
  • Engage with Fans: Fans often enjoy seeing how you interpret and perform their favorite songs.

Tips for Making Cover Songs on YouTube

1. Choose the Right Song

Choosing the right song is crucial for making cover songs on YouTube. Pick a song that aligns with your style and brand image and brings out your strengths as a musician. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect song:

  • Relevance: Ensure the song has a decent amount of search traffic. Use tools like Google Trends or YouTube Analytics to gauge the popularity of the song.
  • Uniqueness: If a song already has many covers, ensure your version offers something unique. Otherwise, opt for songs that still have room for fresh interpretations.
  • Fan Involvement: Engage your fans by letting them vote for the songs you should cover. This increases engagement and ensures you’re covering songs that your audience wants to hear.

2. Add Your Creative Touch

Simply recreating the original won’t give your audience a reason to listen to your version. It’s important to give it your own spin for it to stand out. Here are some creative ideas:

  • Acoustic Versions: Create an acoustic or ‘unplugged’ version with just your voice and an instrument.
  • A Capella: Perform an a capella version to highlight your vocal skills.
  • Gender Swap: If the original performer is male, consider giving it a female touch, and vice versa.
  • Genre Shift: Change the genre to something entirely different, like turning a pop song into a rock or jazz version.

Understanding the legal aspects of making cover songs on YouTube is crucial. Here are some basics:

  • Mechanical License: Not needed if you’re not selling the recording. This license is for distribution.
  • Synchronization License: Technically needed for video covers, but hard to get and expensive.
  • YouTube’s Content ID System: YouTube’s Content ID system may place a claim on your video if it contains copyrighted material. Some or all ad revenue might go to the rights holder. If your cover is significantly different, Content ID might not pick it up, allowing you to generate ad revenue. Always credit the original artist in the description box.

4. Optimize for YouTube SEO

To maximize your reach, optimize your videos for YouTube’s search algorithm. Here are some tips:

  • Keywords: Use the right keywords in your titles, descriptions, and tags. For example, include “cover”, “acoustic cover”, and the song name.
  • Thumbnail: Select a good thumbnail that is eye-catching and relevant to the content.
  • High-Quality Audio: Use proper tools and instruments for recording to ensure good audio quality.
  • Background: The background of the video should be simple and not distracting.

5. Recording Techniques

Decide on your recording method:

  • Live Recording: Record the audio and video together for a more authentic feel.
  • Separate Recording: Record the audio separately and lip-sync in the video for better sound quality.

6. Promote Your Cover Songs

Promotion is key to gaining visibility. Here’s how you can promote your cover songs:

  • Social Media: Share your covers on social media platforms. Engage with your followers by sharing behind-the-scenes content.
  • Collaborations: Collaborate with other YouTubers or musicians to reach a wider audience.
  • Playlists: Submit your covers to YouTube playlists and music blogs.

7. Engage with Your Audience

Engagement is vital for building a loyal fanbase. Here’s how to keep your audience engaged:

  • Comments: Respond to comments on your videos to show appreciation and build a community.
  • Live Streams: Host live streams to interact with your fans in real-time.
  • Fan Requests: Take song requests from your fans and dedicate covers to them.
  • YouTube Statistics: As of 2024, YouTube has over 2.6 billion monthly active users, making it one of the most visited platforms worldwide.
  • Music Content: Music content remains one of the most popular categories on YouTube, with billions of views every month.
  • Cover Songs Popularity: Cover songs continue to gain traction, with many artists discovering new fanbases through unique interpretations of popular tracks.


Making cover songs on YouTube is a fantastic way to showcase your talent, connect with fans, and reach a wider audience. By choosing the right songs, adding a unique touch, understanding the legalities, optimizing for SEO, and engaging with your audience, you can create compelling cover songs that stand out. Embrace the latest trends and keep your promotion game strong to succeed in 2024 and beyond.

By following these steps and continually adapting to new trends, you can create a successful strategy for making cover songs on YouTube that keeps your audience engaged and your channel growing.

For additional resources on music marketing and distribution, visit Deliver My Tune.