1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Ever wrote a song and...

Discussion in 'The Writers' Block' started by swervinbob, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Location:
    Texas
    you know it can’t be original. In my teens, I started humming a song. I even wrote the whole chorus. This was before I got into guitar. I know the melody isn’t that original. Stock top 40 country from the 70s to 90s. I just figured I’d heard it somewhere. I’m not a country music fan, but you can’t live in Southeast Texas and not be forced to listen to it.

    Lately I’ve done searches on the title and lyrics to the chorus and come up with nothing. There are other songs with the same title, but nothing even close. I may just go jam with a buddy and write verses for it and demo it just for the heck of it.

    I know it’s hard to be original anymore, but it just bugs me, because I still keep thinking I may have stolen this one.
     
  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,900
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    It's easier to be original if you don't care whether other people might like it or it is recognizable as music. The minute you try to fit it into a style 80% of any claim to originality goes out the window. Since most people want to hear songs about the ups and downs of romantic relationships there's another 15% gone. I'd say don't worry about it. And now I want to hear it!
     
  3. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    42,528
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    I rewrote 'make it with you' (new lyrics, same chords) without knowing it. I thought i was ripping off Melissa, but it was Dave Gates!

    Nobody caught it but me.
     
    telestratosonic, yegbert, BB and 3 others like this.
  4. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,202
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    europe endless
    Yeah the main riff from “right brigade” by bad brains.
     
    getbent and swervinbob like this.
  5. edvard

    edvard Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,006
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Bremerton, WA
    For many years, I thought I had stolen a bassline from the Pailhead "Trait" album for my punk/metal/industrial screed against television (circa 1993 or so), but couldn't remember which song I'd accidentally lifted it from. I just listened to the whole album and none of those basslines match. What do I do now?
     
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    94,703
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I try not to do it, but I'll occaisionally borrow a lyric phrase.
    The first song I ever wrote borrowed the melody of Wayfairing Stranger.
    My chorus was different.
    Not my best work, and except for a 30+ year old demo, it's not available to critique.
    Good thing!
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  7. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,179
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    Seligenstadt, Germany
    Well, there is only a certain amount of notes we use....
    I wrote a song a couple of weeks ago and came up with a riff in the verse which somehow reminded me of Saga.
    It became so annoying that I ended up zapping through Youtube videos from Saga, but couldn't find a matching riff.
    It's proof for me that Pop/Rock/Soul/Funk/whatever is simply full of "generic" phrases and chord progressions.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  8. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    42,528
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    I read once that Billy Joel went to write the album that became the nylon curtain and was just blocked... so he took beat songs, started on the second chord and just stole'em and added his own words.

    it always struck me as hilarious and perfect because it would sound 'unique' though familiar. What bugs me is when I have stolen from little known bands, what the heck is wrong with me, steal from people who demonstrated broad appeal!

    and I did it 'MY own KIND a WAY'
     
  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    27,023
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Yup, a couple of times and I found it absolutely maddening after all of the development work. Aaaaargh.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    37,866
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I dreamt this song, being sung by Dwight in a fair festival setting

    I was sure it was in fact an existing Dwight song, so when I woke up, I researched it, and could not find it in existence.
    So, I recorded it. And it's now a blowtorch song

    thanks, Dwight
    :cool:
     
  11. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,175
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Hobart, IN
    I have written over 300 songs since I began playing back in 1957. Can't begin to tell you how many times I thought what I had written was original only to realize a few days later that it sounded an awful lot like another person's song. Oops, back to the drawing board!

    Much easier to stay original when I am writing songs in the style of the 30's and 40's that use far more than three or four chords and include diminished and augmented chords, key modulations etc. Three or four chords songs tend to run out of new melody lines.
     
  12. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    212
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2020
    Location:
    East TN, USA
    12 notes; I,IV,V

    Only so many ways to stick a song together that modern ears will find attractive.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  13. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    Yes, it happens to all of us who write.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  14. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    2,663
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Branson, Mo
    I heard Leo Kottke say that he worked a composition for a couple of weeks before realizing he had recreated Cripple Creek.

    I think it’s fine to write a lyric over an existing melody. It’s a good way to be organized and make it singable. You can always put it over a different melody later or get somebody to collaborate.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  15. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    149
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2020
    Location:
    SanluisObispo CA.
    I wrote a song and played it for 8 months before I realized it was Glass onion for two thirds of the song just played different style wise. But normally no the way I write songs is a little different than most other songs I hear and play. Of course when I write in a blues style it could be any one else's song.
     
    telestratosonic and swervinbob like this.
  16. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,821
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Sand Land
    There is no such thing as original. Everything derives from something that came before it. It's like Jerry Jeff Walker said. "It's all just public domain".

     
  17. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,646
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    Artists are magpies. We build our nests out of what we steal. I've written two hundred songs, and there's not a single original thought in any of them.

    The object of the game isn't to be original. It's to make something good with the materials at hand.
     
  18. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,643
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I heard more than one songwriter say: amateurs borrow and professionals steal. If you're going to steal, steal the good stuff.

    It's meant to be humorous. Take yourself seriously when working, but not necessarily your output when it's done.

    Or something like that. My bandmate of 20 some years says, "Just keep playing".
     
  19. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness Tele-Meister

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    192
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Location:
    Coventry, England
    I was trying to find a melody and chords for verses to go with a chorus I'd written some time ago. Only after I'd put it all together and recorded a demo that I realised that the verse was pretty much a straight musical copy of the Stone Roses' "She Bangs the Drums".

    Ah well........... :(
     
    swervinbob likes this.
  20. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,782
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    The Heartland.....Kansas
    Hmmm....no.

    After pondering my originals over the decades....not that I can define....nothing reminds me of anything I've heard in music land.
    But...since you've planted that thought I may just quit writing altogether to be sure I never risk that possibility. :)

    Carry on....
     
    P Thought and swervinbob like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.