#1
I know there has been many threads like this but I'm not sure how to go about this.
Sometimes I come up with (imagine) a riff so vividly already in song format with drums and bass and I fear the melody is used before. I don't mind using a similar melody but this is becoming way too common. I'm imagine things that I always end up saying like "this songs like a song..." or something I'd hear on the radio. I get extremely put off by this and it hinders my progress with an idea

It can be a played out melody but I use it different and make it my own. Thing is, I would still like to know if It's from something else or if I made it.
#2
All music ,created by you or anyone is "from something" and relative to a greater force free from our own conception. A musicians originality is only a matter of being able to "deviate" from the music they perceive . If you enjoy playing something ,whether or not it's "stolen" a "cover" or a second hand loop, should be irrelevant .Unless of course your concerned with copyright infringement in your quest of exploiting music and therefore depending on the quantity of production vs demand you may eventually have to consider collaborating with a lawyer.
Last edited by TheJasbo at May 22, 2013,
#3
If you're so busy trying to figure out what's been used before, then you'll never get anywhere. There's no logic in worrying about that. If you wrote it, it's yours. That's all that matters.
#4
I find the most effective way of getting around this is when I think my song sounds too much like another, I'll record a demo, write down everything I need to remember it and leave it for a week or two. You come to it with fresh ears and aren't as afraid to deviate.
#5
If you like it, and if you genuinely hear it all in your head, I'd say compose it. It sounding like a lot like another song isn't necessarily be a bad thing... but if your compositional method begins with chord progressions and ends with melodies... well you might should consider things differently. Music theories are wonderful ways of explaining and communicating music, but they're not particularly good as a means for legitimate musical expression.

Sometimes I come up with (imagine) a riff so vividly already in song format with drums and bass


This is good composition because you're following your own creative output and your 'ear' so to speak. The only instance where I could ever see this going wrong is by you genuinely trying to recompose a song, and to a further extent (and this is the real kicker), trying to compose within a particular genre. You are FAR FAR FAR more likely to steal, or come close to stealing, a riff, lyric, motif if you try to compose imitate the sound of a particular genre. Remember, once upon these times genre's didn't exist and there were only bands; unique bands;... bands with their own unique sound, a sound so unique that it, by the quality of its work, spawned an entire generation of imitators.
Last edited by Erc at May 22, 2013,
#6
THanks guys.

Really helping me get over this odd obsession of trying to figure out where I get things from. Here's just an example of a melody being used differently.

Made this video a while ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_H93xoP3UQ

Also, I don't ever create with genre in mind. I suck at writing kick-ass in your face metal riffs so I sort of gave up trying to right certain sounding things. I'm just happy when something acceptable comes out
Last edited by Phazon at May 23, 2013,
#7
Who cares if your songs sound like something else? I mean, most likely they aren't going to be on top 10 or anything and there are just a few people that will ever listen to your songs. Write music for yourself, write what you like.

I mean, Led Zeppelin copied other songs but nobody seemed to care about it (and that was consciously stealing - their first album was full of "covers"). They are one of the best selling artists. I'm not saying what LZ did was right - but whatever, you aren't even doing what Led Zeppelin did. Just don't worry about it and write music you like. You are the sum of your influences so your songs will have something similar to your favorite bands' songs.

Also if you find out that your song sounds too much like something else, just don't play that song or release it on an album. You can always write more songs and not every song needs to be released on an album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoyEVTN_h9I

All these riffs sound really similar but I'm sure none of these bands copied each other. They just happen to sound similar. Also that riff is so simple that even if you haven't heard any of those songs, you could write the same riff.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 23, 2013,
#8
it depends too how far you want to take your music. if you want to "make it", yes you need to worry about this because you might get sued. the easiest way not to would be to openly admit that artist or band was your inspiration. for example stevie ray vaughan did a song called "rude mood" which he openly admitted was a take off of another old blues song called "lightning sky hop" and they are pretty similar.

honestly, i usually find when you think it's already a song, it's usually not but it's a keeper. all the time i've made a good song, i keep thinking "this has to be a song" but so far it never has been. there have been a few songs i wrote that sounded like another artist or song, but i usually know right away and those usually happen when i get into a new artist but i always throw away those songs as they aren't very good usually.

if you're worried about lyrics, look them up. music can be harder though because you have to find the song. just ask around to different people if they think it sounds like another song. if they say yes, listen to that song and see if it's different enough. i've had someone say one of my songs sounded like jeff buckley. i checked him out to see just in case i had to throw away a song. i didn't, but i heard similarities and that's fine.

if you find your song is already a song, try maybe changing the key, rhythm and or tempo. try other melodies over the progression if you need to make it more unique. add a bridge, intro, instrumental parts and other things like harmonies to make it sound more like something you made. but also, don't get too attached to songs too early. i've seen some people who just really love a song they wrote but they are really not good or clear rip offs but maybe they don't realize yet. not everything an artist does is amazing. if you do find out you ripped off a song, don't be afraid to just chuck it and start over. gauge how similar it is first though and see if you can fix it first.
#9
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear

honestly, i usually find when you think it's already a song, it's usually not but it's a keeper. all the time i've made a good song, i keep thinking "this has to be a song" but so far it never has been.



Exaaaaactly!

It only happens with the real good things I've made.
#11
Quote by Phazon
I know there has been many threads like this but I'm not sure how to go about this.
Sometimes I come up with (imagine) a riff so vividly already in song format with drums and bass and I fear the melody is used before. I don't mind using a similar melody but this is becoming way too common. I'm imagine things that I always end up saying like "this songs like a song..." or something I'd hear on the radio. I get extremely put off by this and it hinders my progress with an idea

It can be a played out melody but I use it different and make it my own. Thing is, I would still like to know if It's from something else or if I made it.
You know, pop bands are encouraged to sound like themselves. By that I don't mean, "developing a signature sound and style". I mean writing a song that is very similar to their last big hit, and maybe changing the key.

I, IV, V, I, has become part of our genetic and cultural selves. You assimilate melody and harmony perhaps from before birth, but certainly from the time mom sings you to sleep. I think we're all awash in a bath of musical snippets, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle if you will, ready to assemble them into a newer, unique form.

When you come right down to it, the wheel was only invented once, every round, task oriented, thingamabob that came later, is just an adaptation....