The difference between making an original piece of music and making a piece of music form pre-existing has just hit me and it’s so interesting. With original music, you’re free to make your own thing, not feeling pressured to “Stick to the original version” because you’re making something from scratch. With a cover, you’re making something from scratch in a way but also not really. If you want it to be your own spin on a cover, and not just you covering a song verbatim (I consider this more arranging when you add your own spin on it). I think making a cover your own is definitely a puzzle in itself, trying to figure out what pieces of the original piece you want to keep the same, if any, and what you want to make different. Do you want to make an upbeat song somber and orchestral? Want to make a sad song or emotional piece rock? Then you have to listen to the original track, picking the piece apart for parts of the song you want to use, and parts you want to make your own. Want to just make the entire thing you own? Well then, that’s a whoel different animal! Time to start playing different musical ideas until you find ones that fit the tone your going for.
I find I hit road bumps whenever I want to change something a lot. With that battle theme I altered I mentioned a while ago (I still need to post that) it was upbeat and high energy, and I wanted to completely shift that to something haunting and somber. So taking chord progressions that fit that tone from the original was really interesting because I had to fit my concepts of how I wanted the track to be with the basic melody structure of the piece. In the end, I got something that sounds completely different from the original, that is definitely something my own while still sounding like it’s that track because of me using aspect of the original track to form that idea. And I hope that made at least a teeny bit of sense XD
But I’m hitting the same road blocks with this new cover I’m working on I did with that one, and even though it’s frustrating, at the same time I’m like “Well the more I struggle with this, the more I make it my own and it will get easier with time”. I don’t want to rush it, but I think I’m finally forming an idea of how I want this to sound. At first, I really wanted to use an iconic chord progression in the track, but got some good advice from a friend when I asked if it would matter to leave it in or out. The basic progression will be there unless you drastically change the initial melody of the track, so don’t really worry about it. I found something close to the chord progression that I will probably use for my version of the song, and am heavily taking inspiration form Laura Shigihara’s version of the track as well (which is also really different to the original but still sounds like it’s that song) so like I said, won’t worry about it.
I had a lot of these musings while trying to hash out getting this track down, and have found some interesting work arounds to trying to figure out how to write a track! Breaking down the original version by listening to each track of it individually is something I figured out I didn’t know you could do just by importing midi to reaper, so that was cool! Now I have a new way to learn parts of songs, and come up with ideas for stuff.
Really just wanted to share my findings with this whole thing and my thoughts on the subject. If you have any, would love to hear in the comments!