I wanted to ask you about Covers of songs played on guitar.I don't quite understand them.So is a cover the music of the song combined with the notes of the singer singing?


Often guitar cover will mean playing either the lead or rhythm guitar part of a song written by someone else, perhaps to a backing track that includes the other instruments besides the guitar part the musician performing the cover is playing.

In "musician speak" as well as "music fan speak" we often refer to a "cover" as an attempt to perform a song that has been made famous by and/or written by someone other than ourselves. If I perform one of the songs I have personally written, I say "this is an original". If I perform a song written by someone else (famous or not) I say "this is a cover of a song by [name of artist],

A guitar cover can mean different things but will always imply that you are performing the music of another, on guitar. Guitar cover may mean performing a guitar part of another artist's song. Or the term "guitar cover" could mean that you are performing another artist's song and using a guitar for instrumentation.

Whenever I do what I would call a guitar cover - I will create an arrangement of the song for guitar that incorporates enough of the recognizable elements of the song (be at a bass riff, a guitar riff, a certain signature rhythm etc.) to make the song sound authentic and the music recognizable - even though I am using a single guitar as the only instrumentation.

As an example - if I perform a guitar cover of the song "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band, instead of playing the guitar part on the verses, I play more of the bass line - because that's what stands out in the original recording and what is most recognizable. The guitar part by itself would sound like any basic three chord song. It's the bass line that distinguishes the song.

As another example, if I cover the song "Night Moves" by Bob Seger, I will play the guitar part with the distinct rhythm pattern that distinguishes that song.

So when I perform a guitar cover of a popular song, I will try to play the guitar in a way that allows me to accompany the vocals while incorporating the unique elements that stand out in the most recognizable versions of the song. My goal is for my audience to know what song I am about to sing, by what I play in the guitar intro (it might be the horns in the Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire".

One other type performance that is often described as a "guitar cover" is kind of what you describe in your question. A classical guitar arrangement of a popular song will often incorporate the melody as well as other recognizable elements of the original recording - including establishing the rhythm of the song. Such an arrangement is generally meant to be performed by one guitar and could certainly be described as a "guitar cover".


Depends on what you want to do. Strictly speaking, a guitar cover is the guitar part of the song. But if you have the skill and the time to learn other parts as well, including but not limited to the singing, you can incorporate in your guitar playing.

It takes more skill to play more than one part at the same time. It's not impossible, but it will take more of your time to learn to do so.

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    @topomorto My interpretation was that Shev means playing maybe the rhythm part and the melody part at the same time in an arrangement for guitar. Also could mean playing a bass line plus melody = 2 parts. I have seen folks make YouTube videos of them playing one of the guitar parts to a backing track and they name the video "Guitar Cover of XYZ song". – Rockin Cowboy Feb 11 '16 at 3:39

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