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  • Chris Olson

Playing acoustic covers as a singer in the UK

We've all been there, some local acoustic singer in the UK butchering some rock classic like "Hotel California" after sinking 4 pints of stout at the local open mic night. Whilst audiences may find this utterly awful and maddening, musicians in the crowd will automatically feel a kind of kinship with the poor fella, sensing the sheer vulnerability of him and forgiving the liquid courage as a medical necessity.

I bring this up simply because not everyone knows, or can appreciate, the amount of time a guitarist spends learning their craft, even for an acoustic cover, and then singing this in public. It takes a damn long time, a lot of bravery, and a really thick skin.

Playing these songs from our musical heroes not only gives us confidence to go on to other aspects of playing music, it also gives us a chance to connect with an audience.

For example, if I sit up on stage and play a dozen original songs. You have no way of measuring my talents as a musician because you have no clue as to whether those songs are meant to sound like that. Whereas an acoustic cover done with skill and originality will show an audience a singer's chops...if they are good.

Having done my fair share of open mic nights across the UK, with very limited popular opinion, I can say it's really awesome when the crowd get behind you. Some of my favorite performances have been when the crowd sing along, or in some cases start playing along - thank you to that random harmonica player in Plymouth.

I recently recorded an acoustic cover of Jimmy Eat World's "Hear You Me". Head over to my YouTube channel for the full video. Here is a screenshot from it though, and yes I change colour in the video. I just thought I would make it more interesting for viewers. There are so many acoustic covers on YouTube where the sounds are great but the person does not look at all interested in performing.

If you do head over to my YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe and check out some of my other acoustic covers. There is even a Playlist for you to enjoy and follow.

Please let me know if there are any songs you would like me to do an acoustic cover of. Tweet me or leave a comment somewhere I can find it.

Peace out.

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