The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-17-2019, 12:44 PM
Woolbury Woolbury is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Evergreen,CO
Posts: 191
Default Is this my song?

Have you ever messed around with a chord progression that developed into a full song, only to wonder if you heard it somewhere before? My daughter got married this summer and i have an "original" called Oregon Wedding, but I really don't know how original it is. I can't remember whether I heard it before or it just spilled out. Not a big deal, she likes it, but i wonder how often this happens to those of you that compose original tunes.
__________________
'46 Gibson LG2
'95 Collings 0002H
'80s Martin M36
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-17-2019, 12:55 PM
pagedr pagedr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 235
Default

All the time. It's inevitable that a chord progression will be similar to some other song out there. But I frequently find myself coming up with an idea that I really like, only to realize later on that it sounds similar to something I'd heard in the past.

It used to really frustrate me when I'd come to that realization, but now I try to look at it as a positive because it means that I'm writing music that has similarities to the musicians I idolize. Plus, it's not like I'm releasing my music to the public/profiting off of it.
__________________
Martin 000-17SM
Gibson B-25
Guild T-50
Republic Resonator
Fender Mustang
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:03 PM
ctvolfan ctvolfan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Posts: 124
Default

Happens to me all of the time. Sometimes I come up with a tune and it turns out really really good. Sometimes so good that I wonder if I subconsciously stole it from something I have heard before. Although I do believe I came up with it on my own, I think the real answer is that we are all inspired or influenced by something we have heard before and I also think when you have something in your head that you create then it becomes so familiar to you to the point that you could have sworn you have heard it before. I was playing something I made up the other day for a friend. I had noticed that it reminded me of the song Nothing Else Matters by Metallica and my friend said the same thing. The funny thing is that it really is nothing like the song. Not even remotely as far as note composition. Maybe the style sounds like it or something. With the millions of songs and parts of songs it is virtually impossible to come up with something that somebody hasn't already done similar in my opinion. I don't think the stuff I come up with was copied though. If it was I never do find the song that I think I might have unknowingly stole it from.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:10 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 930
Default

There are only so many notes, chords, riffs, etc. It is entirely possible your song has bits and pieces of other songs.

Even the pros have stepped on other's lawns.
The Rolling Stones have how many songs that they have penned?

Yet, they gave KD Lang partial writing credit for one of their songs after realizing some similarities to one if her songs.

I think you are OK if your song is for your personal use.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:36 PM
upsidedown upsidedown is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,885
Default

That question has worried me many times, with originals.

What got me over it was when a friend asked; "do you think Howlin' Wolf thought about that when he wrote Spoonful?"

(The fact that the song was written by Willie Dixon, not Howlin' Wolf only makes it funnier.)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:41 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,581
Default

Is it a song with words + melody (copyrightable) or just a chord progression (not copyrightable)?

All music is borrowed to some degree, whether intentionally or not, from other music.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:04 PM
Woolbury Woolbury is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Evergreen,CO
Posts: 191
Default

This song is an instrumental, I have recorded it and shared it with my daughter. I just felt funny telling her I wrote it, have a nagging feeling I heard it before but cannot place it anywhere. No copyright thing, but I'd be disappointed if I wrote a song for my daughters wedding and then heard it somewhere else I have written other things, some with lyrics, some instrumental, and I get the whole shared chords thing, but Ive never really had this nagging feeling before.

This is a iPhone recording at early stage, I play a bit brisker now. Any body recognize anything?
[SOUNDCLOUD]An Oregon Wedding.m4a/SOUNDCLOUD
__________________
'46 Gibson LG2
'95 Collings 0002H
'80s Martin M36
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:07 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,328
Default

I've said this before. In western music, with 12 notes and just a handful of rhythm styles, there really can be no more new melodies or progressions. But lyrics? Just considering English, there are something like 171,000 words! This is why I'm so drawn to songwriters like John Prine, Slaid Cleaves, Guy Clark, James McMurtry, Steve Forbert, et al. Sure every song John Prine writes uses the same chords and progressions. But no one can turn a phrase like him.

And this is why I can see why some people are into some rap music. When you've used up all the notes and beats, all you have left is words.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:16 PM
Muddslide Muddslide is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 727
Default

It has happened to me. The instance that comes to mind is over 30 years ago I (thought I) came up with a progression I liked.

I played it for one of my musician buddies and said "What do you think of this? You like it enough that you think I should try to make a song out of it?"

He said: "Yup. And Bob Seger was probably thinking the same thing when he used it to write 'Still The Same'."

...I slowly played through the progression again and--AAARRGHH!!
__________________
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

- John Shedd
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:27 PM
Brooklyn Bob Brooklyn Bob is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
Posts: 472
Default

It happened to McCartney when he woke up with 'Yesterday' in his head. He went around for months asking people about it before coming to the realization that it was original.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:29 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,203
Default

I remember reading a number of years back that Gregg Allman said he had been working really hard on a new song, and excitedly played the beginning for his brother...

He said Duane looked at him and said "Congratulations...you've just written a new verse to an obscure Rolling Stones song..." then he proved it by playing the song...

Happens to even the best of us..
__________________
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."

Dr. Seuss
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-17-2019, 02:30 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 11,024
Default

All I'm thinking is don't play it to Jimmy Page.
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2012 - Huss & Dalton MJ Custom
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-17-2019, 07:04 PM
ghostnote ghostnote is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 387
Default

In one segment of the Beatles Anthology film, Ringo told the story of how he was always coming excitedly into the studio to show the band a new tune he'd written, only to have the other guys tell him what song he'd stolen from someone else. So you're in good company.
Years ago, my duo partner used to write songs like this:
He'd choose a song he really liked, and write completely new words to the melody. Then he'd take his story and write a new melody to it. It actually worked - he got 2 or 3 good songs that way. Now we just write 'em the "regular" way.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-18-2019, 01:06 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,328
Default

It happened tonight at my bluegrass jam. Someone called "Help is on the Way" recorded by Doyle Lawson (in 2009, written by Michael E. Reed Jr.) in the key of C. Nice tune, nice sentiment. After we finished I pointed out "You know that is almost the exact same melody and progression as 'Christmas in the Trenches' by John McCutcheon (1984)." so yes, this is very common. Who can forget "My Sweet Lord" vs "He's So Fine." If they busted George Harrison they gonna bust you too son!
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=