Songwriting ethics question ...

Discussion in 'The Writers' Block' started by Obsessed, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

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    The 1951 typo threw me and that it's not on the only album he released. What record is that recording from?

     
  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    sorry I have bad eyes and some times I cant focus in on things , it was done in 61.

    I went looking for the album and I found this its an interesting read

    https://heyjoeversions.wordpress.com/more-about-billy-roberts/
     
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  3. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

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    No worries on the typo, I was just like: 51?

    But that album is 1975 and the voice doesn't sound at all like the hey Joe video.

    That could be it, but it's hard for me to believe it's not someone copping Jimi's style rather than vice versa. And that is really clean to be a dub from 1961.

    For all I know it could be some youtuber faking it altogether to get views. Ever seen the John Lennon faker?

    Sorry about getting off topic, but something seems off about it.
     
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  4. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    You've just identified the most difficult part of writing- the initial inspiration comes in a flash, but the real work is fleshing it out and dragging the damn thing over the finish line. The creative arts are littered with people who have unfinished novels/songs/plays/poems because they don't want to roll up their sleeves and do the hard part. They think that because the first part is easy that the whole thing should be, and it's not. Sure, sometimes you get lucky and a whole song just kinda pops out all at once, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

    I just watched a fascinating video with Paul McCartney, explaining the songwriting process behind some of his songs. He explains that he and John Lennon (he actually uses Lennon's last name, as if he could possibly be talking about any other John) used to sit together for 3 or 4 hours and work out a song from top to bottom, from inspiration to finished song. I know that the Beatles are boring old fart music that never influenced anybody and no one cares about them anymore, but McCartney seems to have some experience with songwriting.

     
  5. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I'd mention it to the other band, that you have a track that sprung out of something they inspired, but it's not a direct copy.

    It's probably not required, especially if you're not going to sell 10MM copies of it, but it's courteous.
     
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  6. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Jimi never claimed to write "Hey Joe."
     
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  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed, Roberts was always credited as the writer.

    IMG_0162-1018x1024.jpg
     
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  8. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I was refering to the version and the music and the hooks , Roberts version sounds suspiciously like hendrix or visa versa
     
  9. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    As has already been mentioned, chord progressions cannot be copyrighted. Only lyrics and melodies.

    You did say you changed the melody, right. It would be a nice to tell the other band that they “inspired” your song, and do make sure it doesn’t sound too much like theirs.

    Someone once told me there are only about 200 “good” progressions. It’s your timing, melody, and lyrics that will make yours unique.

    If you listen to “Stuck in the Middle (with you)”, by Steelers Wheel, and then to “All I Want to Do” by Cheryl Crow, and you might notice that the progression, timing, and melody all are very close.

    I’m surprised she wasn’t sued for it. Led Zeppelin have been sued more than once for copyright infringement I believe, and they got through it!

    Make it YOURS and don’t worry about it...
     
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  10. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

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    Delete
     
  11. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    We're all magpies. If you're really concerned, play it for the person who wrote the song that led you to this one.
     
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  12. Toast

    Toast Tele-Meister

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    Would you feel comfortable playing your song for the band who inspired it? Will you ever be able to take pride in your song or will you always feel like its a hybrid 60% you, 40% somebody else? I'd start with those questions, think about your answers, and proceed from there.

    I had to abandon two of my songs ("We're on the eve of catastrophe" and "She digs you, yeah yeah yeah") because something just didn't feel right ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  13. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    From an ethics point of view (not legal), everything comes from somewhere. Blues music in particular is often derivative to certain standards, etc. I think you've got to make the call yourself as to whether you are comfortable with it. Often when I am writing songs, I'll realize that "my" riff is influenced (unconciously) by something else. At that point I make a call as to whether I feel it is too close or not. It's usually pretty obvious to me which way I should choose.

    * edit - Ah, didn't realize this was a zombie thread. As you were. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  14. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting comment,


    as stated above , bands don't pay, venues do, and it keeps ALL music alive. It keeps Bars and Venues in business so they can indeed have an "artists" night as well as bring in all original artists. Its not one or the other, it's all inclusive.
     
  15. Greg_L

    Greg_L Tele-Holic

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    You're worrying over nothing. Just do it.
     
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  16. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    If you really feel bad about it:

    a) Subtract 1/8 note from the bar length in verse but give it back in the turnaround. Now nobody can dance to it.
    b) Use only harmonic minor and whole tone scales in the vocal melody (alternating measures). Now nobody wants to listen to it.

    Glad I could help.
     
  17. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Billy Roberts stole the music from his ex Niela Miller and rewrote the lyrics, then published the song.
     
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  18. preactor

    preactor Tele-Meister

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    "Nothing new under the sun." Somebody will copy your song if it is inspirational enough.
     
  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It is not that old yet. Thanks for contributing.
     
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  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Re-reading all of your very thoughtful and insightful comments really confirms how important this forum is for me. Thank you all so much.

    Now, I have to go back and find that song idea I recorded.:oops: Yup, sidelined by other songs. The plight of it all.:cry::lol:
     
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