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How close can you get to an already song, and get away with it?


EpiPaul03

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Hey guys. I have been writing a lot. Most of my stuff is really original classic rock sounding. But yet sometimes I think of songs, and then on the radio or someone else tells me that that is already a song or a part of a song and I thought I was being so original...What do you think about this?

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Originally posted by EpiPaul03

Hey guys. I have been writing a lot. Most of my stuff is really original classic rock sounding. But yet sometimes I think of songs, and then on the radio or someone else tells me that that is already a song or a part of a song and I thought I was being so original...What do you think about this?

 

I'm off the opinion that it's almost impossibile to be completely original and people don't like it anyway (if the crap i hear on the radio is anything to go by ;) ). All the same, if I come up with a riff, vocal hook, or song and it subsequently turns out either I'm subconsciously reproducing something I've heard, or somebody else got there first I drop it like a stone. There's no point being in a band and trying to write your own stuff if you just end up sounding like someone else.

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Unless a substantial section of your song is identical to someone else's, don't fret it.

 

Within any genre (rock, latin, blues--especially blues), similar riffs, progressions, verse melodies, chorus hooks, etc. exist in lots of songs. If it sounds too close, then flip a few melody notes, harmonize differently, syncopate the beat, etc.

 

The titles of some of the greatest classical compositions begin with "Variations on a theme by..."

 

Deef

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From my own experience and from what I have heard others say, inadvertently writing something that turns out to have already been done is the single most common problem songwriters face. The best way to deal with it is to always run it by other people before taking the song too far. If it turns out to be an exact replication of something else, change a few notes. I know that's easier said than done because often changing those few notes makes a great riff into a crappy one, but still, it's all you can do. But yes, you can actually get very close to preexisting things without getting sued for copyright infringement. Plus, how likely is it that your song would actually get on the radio and attract the attention of major label lawyers anyway?

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Originally posted by seahorse

From some of the songs I hear on the radio you can get real close and get away with it.
:D

 

That's very true - I've had plenty of fun sitting in my car singing the lyrics and vocal melody of one song over another. I also remember someone once forwarded my an MP3 with 2 Stained songs played at the same time and it fitted bizzarely well - (can't remember the tracks as i'm no Stained fan) proving that people will often steal their own songs and recycle them.

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