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Old 05-07-2014, 01:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Fear of sounding derivative?

Haven't posted in this forum in a long time, I guess I'm back for now.

Any ways, I've been writing songs for my band. I've started writing about 15 in the past 3-4 months and have sort of just stopped working on quite a few of them (all of them are missing little touches, bits of lyrics etc.) because I'm afraid they sound far too much like other songs or sound too derivative of my influences.

Do any of you ever experience this? How do you deal with it?
My soundcloud and my band, Mabel's Flight. Basically plebeian hipster music
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
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I think at one point we all (songwriters) came across a song we just don't want to work on because it sounds close to something else.

As far as I can remember my songs always sounded derivative in some way, because I write songs I'd like to listen to, so, my songs usually have strong roots in the bands I like to listen to. But in the end this derivative thing is more in your head than in the song and when I ask people questions like: "Do you think this song sounds like this band's work?" they'll usually point to a different band (sometimes bands I never heard of ) or say: "No, I don't".

Recently I wrote a song which really sounded a lot alike another band's song, but it happened because this other song was in my head and I shouldn't have tried to compose with someone else's work in my head.
But then comes one thing: You can't write like anyone else, you have your own brain and heart which are completely unique and so, there's always something completely yours there, you just have to try to find and you will. From there you can take what you found and write something new.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:46 PM   #3
Jes Johnson
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Truth is, everyone borrows a little, even if they do it unintentionally. The main thing is you don't want it to be too obvious. If other people hear someone else's song when you play something, then it's a problem. If they don't, then I wouldn't worry about it.

When you're first starting, this is almost unavoidable. You're almost guaranteed to sound like the people who influenced you. But the more you write, the more you develop your own character. Keep working at your craft, and it'll become less and less of an issue.
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