Jump to content
Lee Shapiro

Creating sound-alike music for specific bands

Recommended Posts

I'm currently working on a project for a client where I need to create four short (around 2 minutes each) pieces of music that sound like typical songs from
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and The Who.
This is something new for me to try, as I've always written songs that basically sound like MY music.  So this is a little outside my wheelhouse.
I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or advice in how to even begin.  (We can't use actual music from these groups due to copyright issues)

One thing I was thinking was finding isolated drum tracks (or MIDI files) for these bands and then just taking it from there.
I have a lot of various VSTi plugins of guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards.  So I have the software needed to recreate the sounds.  But I'm not a guitar player, I rely on software like Music Lab's Real Guitar series (along with Overloud simulated amp rigs), but creating the guitar parts (rhythm and lead) that emulate the style the guitarists from these bands would play is my main concern.

So any advice would be much appreciated.

Edited by Lee Shapiro

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee I think this might get a little more traction in the songs forum.
Generally I don't scroll down for the uncategorized threads here (and I think others don't as well)

I have a pretty good collection of midi files for the bands you listed.
Some better than others. Reach out with a list of what you're looking for.

John @Cactus Music had offered a bunch of midi files at one time, but I don't see a link in his signature.

Midi Hits is a good source of some generally pretty  covers. On sale 5 for $19.99 at the moment.
Lots of the rhythm tracks are very well done. GM guitars, so so.

On 8/17/2022 at 3:37 PM, Lee Shapiro said:

But I'm not a guitar player

I've reviewed your tunes, could have fooled me...


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are literally 1,000 of free midi files. And you can use them without copyright issues because you are creating the music and not using the original recording.  

PM me and I’ll send you some links  I also have a few tutorials about using these files  


  • Thanks 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Beatles, you might want to listen to Todd Rundgren, esp. Deface the music (but also Faithful, which is more copied than original), and The Rutles, esp. the first album.  Both albums use a variety musical elements to create sound alike music.   Please, don't ask me to try to enumerate on which elements are used to call to mind associations that remind listeners of Beatles music . I think a solid listening of the albums should help them jump out and grab your ear.  Also, some songs by Billy Joel have very close "borrowings." There's also early Julian Lennon

I only mention these because decades ago I did some academic-style explorations related to how musical elements tap into audience associations.  I am sure other avenues would be just as valid.

"I have always thought in the back of my mind: Cheese and Onions. . . . .  Do I have to spell it out?  C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S! Cheese and Onions . . . . ."

"I just want to touch you . . . Oooooo--Ooooo . . . "

"Take It Home"

What elements are borrowed?  How are the elements varied from the original/well-known Beatles tunes? How have they been combined so they are not stolen but used creatively in new compositions copyrightable on their own while taken as a whole, reminding listeners of the Beatles?

Warning: Laura uses an F-Word variant that some might not want to listen to.

Edited by User 905133
added some links to famous original sound-alike Beatles tunes; some typos fixed
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your responses guys, I appreciate them.
I'm trying to come up with songs that sound like those bands, but I can't do a straight cover of one of their songs.
As I mentioned I think I can get away with using either an isolated drum track or a MIDI drum track from their songs, and just build on it with something new.

The Stones, The Who, and Zeppelin will probably be relatively easy because they have distinct sounds (like the drums or guitars)
The Beatles, I think, will be the biggest challenge because they are primarily a vocal group (and I'm trying to write an instrumental).  So if you take away The Beatles' harmony singing, it's hard to find a sound that would be identifiable and separate them from other 60's groups  (that copied their instrumental styles).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...