They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and in music, imitation can work both as a complimentary tribute to the original musician and a positive boost for the cover artist’s popularity. Great songs have been immortalized by cover artists for years and now, with the help of the internet, redesigning and sharing familiar songs to win the hearts of viewers worldwide has never been easier.
These days, it doesn’t seem to be enough to simply replicate a classic song though. To really get some attention, musicians are finding incredible ways to reimagine current pop hits and old favorites in styles that are completely unique. Whatever your instrument might be, the musicians featured below prove that to cover a well-known tune in a breakthrough way, all you need is practice and a lot of creative imagination.
“Jurassic Park Theme” – The Piano Guys
Initially a marketing experiment to help one man sell more pianos at his store, The Piano Guys quickly transformed into a musical collaboration that exploded into the world of viral music videos. The 4 creative geniuses behind The Piano Guys compose, record, and film their own piano and cello arrangements of familiar songs that become instant YouTube hits.
This hauntingly beautiful rendition of John Williams’ classic “Jurassic Park Theme” was released just in time to be a part of the hype associated with the 2015 film Jurassic World. The Piano Guys managed to convey the powerful emotion of the full-orchestral original with just two instruments and it’s captivating.
“Dubstruck” – The Snake Charmer
Famed as India’s first and only bagpipe artist, Archy Jay, who goes by “The Snake Charmer,” certainly found her musical niche online. She’s a self-taught bagpipe musician who writes her own tunes as well as covers popular theme songs and rock classics.
This bagpipes/dubstep rendition of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” will change the way you think of the Scottish traditional instrument forever.
“Bad Romance” – The Harp Twins
Camille and Kennerly Kitt – better known as The Harp Twins – are identical twins that compose, perform, and arrange both original and cover songs on the electric and acoustic harp. Their YouTube fanbase is massive and only continues to grow as the duo adds more music to the mix.
The Harp Twins are talented at expanding the light and soothing vibrations of the harp to fit into the world of rock and pop music. This cover composition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” makes the pop hit sound like it could have originated on the strings of the harp.
“Game of Thrones Theme” – Dan King & Steve Werner
Musicians have been reimagining the deep-stringed sounds of the Game of Thrones theme since the show began and the results are nothing short of encapsulating. This particular creative rendition will win you over with calming cello, rhythmic djembe drumming, and an enchanting metallic hang drum melody.
“Fix You / Clocks” – Simply Three
Although the full orchestra-feel behind many Coldplay songs is exactly what makes them so electrifying and unforgettable, cover artists are certainly making a case that less instruments can be equally captivating.
Comprised of just a bass, violin, and cello, Simply Three has been stealing the hearts of fans with their musical ingenuity since 2010 and this magical recreation of two classic Coldplay songs is no exception.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Jake Shimabukuro
An ever-popular karaoke hit, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” has also seen its fair share of instrumental covers. With a long, varying melody, this iconic song offers quite the challenge to cover artists, making the successful renditions out there even more impressive. This incredible cover by ukulele master and composer, Jake Shimabukuro, landed him on the TED stage in 2010 with his quick and creative finger work .
Regardless of what instrument you might play, approaching your favorite songs with an open mind can be a wonderful and creative challenge to take on. These musicians are evidence that cover songs can be just as unique and well-received as an original. The internet is just waiting for you to join the stage and showcase your own personal style.
Do you know of any other cover songs that are surprising and fun?
Join the conversation and share in the comments below!
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