How To Make A Song Instrumental For Remakes And Covers Sunday July 23 2023, 4:26 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Make A Song Instrumental For Remakes And Covers

How To Make A Song Instrumental

Got a cover song in your future, but not sure about how you will get the instrumentation? While some artists have the instrumental version of their songs out for download, most do not. 

This is where the musically inclined folks of the world have a chance to shine and recreate a song they plan to release or perform in the future. 

Just keep in mind that you can get away with almost anything if you're just looking to find or make an instrumental for fun, but if you want to do an official release, make sure you have the cover and duplication rights to do so. 

Below are some tips to keep in mind for your instrumental remaking process. While it could seem like a hard thing to attempt, I find that creating remakes (especially with digital instruments) can be a simple and fun process! 


A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a common tool for creating an instrumental version of a song. DAWs provide a virtual environment where you can record, edit, arrange, and produce music using digital instruments and audio samples.

They offer a wide range of features that allow you to manipulate sounds, adjust timing, and fine-tune every aspect of your instrumental cover.


There are numerous DAWs available, catering to different skill levels and budgets. Some popular choices include Ableton Live, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Pro Tools, and GarageBand.

Choose a DAW that suits your needs and level of expertise. If you're just starting, many DAWs offer free trial versions, giving you the opportunity to explore and learn the basics before committing to a purchase.

Get The Tempo

The tempo of a song is its heartbeat. To recreate an instrumental version accurately, it's crucial to identify the song's tempo.

This can be done by using a metronome app or other online tools that calculate BPM. Alternatively, you can tap along with the song and count the beats per minute.

Once you have the tempo, you can set your digital audio workstation or metronome to match it.

Having the right tempo serves as a solid foundation for the rest of your instrumental creation, ensuring that your cover aligns seamlessly with the original song's rhythm.

Identify All The Instruments

Careful listening and analysis of the original song will help you identify all the instruments used in the arrangement.

Make a comprehensive list of the different elements, such as drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, strings, and any other prominent sounds.


Understanding the instrumentation is vital as it guides you in selecting suitable virtual or real instruments to recreate the song's sound accurately.

For example, if the original track features a soaring electric guitar solo, you'd want to ensure you have a corresponding instrument or plugin to replicate that element.

By taking note of all the instruments, you can aim for a well-rounded and faithful reproduction of the original song.

Find The Key

Determining the key of the song is an essential step in creating a harmonically pleasing instrumental version.

The key signifies the central pitch around which the song revolves and determines the relationships between the different chords and melodies.

To find the key, you can use a piano or a digital keyboard and play along with the song, finding the notes that sound in tune with the music.

Alternatively, various online tools and apps can help you detect the key of a song.

Once you know the key, you can build your instrumental cover around it, ensuring that your chord progressions and melodies align harmoniously with the original song's tonality.

Related Post: 5 Ways To Tell What Key A Song Is In


Identify The Chord Progression 

The chord progression is the backbone of any song, providing its harmonic structure and emotional flow. To create an instrumental version that captures the essence of the original, it's crucial to identify the chord progression used in the song.

Listen attentively and try to figure out the sequence of chords that underpin the different sections of the track. Many websites and apps offer chord progressions for popular songs, which can be a helpful reference.

Knowing the chord progression allows you to build a solid foundation for your instrumental cover, enabling you to faithfully recreate the song's emotional impact and musical journey.

Use Digital Instruments 

In the modern age of music production, digital instruments and software have become invaluable tools for musicians and producers.

If you don't have access to physical instruments or a recording studio, don't fret! Various virtual instrument plugins are available, offering realistic sounds that emulate guitars, pianos, drums, strings, and almost any instrument you can imagine.

These plugins can be loaded into your DAW, allowing you to play and program parts using MIDI controllers or your computer keyboard.

Digital instruments offer flexibility, affordability, and convenience, making them an excellent option for crafting instrumental covers, especially for genres heavily relying on synthesized sounds.

Related Post: 5 Ways To Make Music Without Instruments


Recreate With Live Instruments

While digital instruments can be impressive in their realism, there's an unmistakable charm to using real instruments in your instrumental remake.

If you or someone you know possesses musical prowess and has access to physical instruments, consider incorporating them into your production.

Recording live instruments adds a human touch and organic feel to the cover, creating a unique rendition of the original song.

Whether it's the warmth of a real acoustic guitar, the dynamic range of live drums, or the emotional expressiveness of a live violin, real instruments can elevate your instrumental version and provide a distinctive sound that sets it apart from digital renditions.

Mind The Audio Effects Of The Original 

Audio effects play a significant role in shaping the overall sound and atmosphere of the song. Effects like reverb, delay, chorus, and others contribute to the song's unique character.

To create an authentic instrumental cover, try to identify and understand the specific audio effects employed in the original song.

Listen carefully for any reverbs or delays applied to vocals or instruments, as well as modulation effects that add depth and richness to the sound.

While replicating the exact effects can be challenging, you can use similar effects within your DAW or with external plugins to achieve a similar sonic vibe.

Experiment with different settings and combinations to get as close to the original as possible while still infusing your own creative touch.

Related Post: How To Produce Music - 12 Things To Consider


Sample The Intro

Sometimes, the intro of a song contains the most iconic and recognizable elements. If you find recreating the entire track daunting, consider focusing on sampling and remaking the distinctive intro.

By honing in on the introductory section, you can capture the essence of the song and establish its identity right from the start.

Sampling the intro provides a solid starting point for your instrumental version, and you can build upon it to expand into the rest of the song.

Additionally, a well-crafted intro can instantly engage listeners and draw them into your rendition, making it a memorable and enjoyable musical experience.

Try Vocal Remover Apps

If you wish to remove the vocals from the original song, various vocal remover apps and software are available that use phase cancellation techniques to achieve this effect.

While the results may not always be perfect, they can provide a starting point for your instrumental cover. Keep in mind that removing vocals may also remove some other elements of the mix and affect the overall sound quality.

However, vocal remover tools can serve as a useful reference or guide when creating your version, and you can fill in the gaps with your own instrumentation to complete the instrumental arrangement.

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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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