Ever wrote a song and...

Charlie Bernstein

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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".
Yikes! Song writing is how I get away from taking myself seriously. When I write a song, I untuck my shirt, kick my shoes off, and say whatever the hell I want!

I don't know whether the stuff I steal is good. I don't read the ingredients list. I just grab it off the shelf and throw it in the cart.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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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.
Same here. I semi-talk a lot of my songs, so melody is less of an issue.
 

ndcaster

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All my songs are in F# melodic minor. So, no.



/sarc sorta

Forming entirely new ears takes a lot of listening. I'm not there. And you kinda have to meet people where they are.

Respect to those who push the Ear Envelope. They can't make much money, but all musicians should appreciate what they're doing.
 

Beachbum

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You can find examples all day long so if your songs sound like someone else just know that you are in good company.



 
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fretWalkr

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My high school English teacher told us how to avoid plagiarism by saying the same idea in a different way. I learned much later about using an existing song as a template to create a new one. Once in an interview, Jim (later Roger) McGuinn said that he worked as a song writer where they'd take a current hit and use it as a template to write a new song like it.

I've always caught unconscious copying before I went too far with it. But if didn't catch it until it was written and liked what I had, I would change it around a bit to make it my own.
 

swarfrat

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Jucy Fruit the taste is gonna move ya.
It's so easy to fall in love.

The latter was funny. I grew up super sheltered. Who knows where I heard it. In a restaurant or something as a kid. An elevator. It was not anywhere in my conscious brain as a catalogued song. Fast forward 15 years and I had a four track. Played it for my buddy and he laughed and starts singing.
 

andy__d

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I never listened to a lot of Zeppelin in my youth, and was very disappointed when I disocovered one of my compositions had a verse riff that bore a remarkable resemblance to “Ramble On”. We played up to it and occasionally would throw a verse of ramble on in the middle of our song. Which, interestingly, led our bass player to observe that the bass line to Ramble on fits perfectly under Bryan Adams “Cuts like a knife” - so, it became an ad hoc medley.

And, I just realized another one of my songs has the same chords as Rocket Man… dang.
 

naveed211

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Every song I write, the drummer will mention “Oh, that sounds like *insert obscure song or band here*.”

I guess I strive to avoid blatantly ripping off a song the majority of people you meet would know, but there’s just so much music out there. Odds are your song is going to be really similar to something.
 

Telenator

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All my songs are in F# melodic minor. So, no.



/sarc sorta

Forming entirely new ears takes a lot of listening. I'm not there. And you kinda have to meet people where they are.

Respect to those who push the Ear Envelope. They can't make much money, but all musicians should appreciate what they're doing.


What an awesome video! This is all the stuff where my knowledge ends and is in sore need of being freshened up! Thanks for posting it!
 

Telenator

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One of the things I really enjoy about writing blues tunes is that, in it's essence, it's about story telling.
Everyone gets the same 3 chords (intervals) to start with. The playing field is level.
Then, you phrase your story in a manner that is more dependent on expression than it is on music theory.
The very nature of blues is "fair" to everyone right from the start. Sure, there will be several borrowed ideas, and that's what happens when we all start with the same "kit."
It's the way we create riffs to link the chords, taunt the melody, and go outside the basic frame work that make it great.
Some love. Some hate it. Some find it boring. Some just don't get it. That's OK. There are so many other things to do!
 

swarfrat

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Google and algorithmic copyright claims are what's new. It's not something to dismiss, and it would kill music if it weren't already dead.
 




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