A question of musical ethics

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    • #6723
      Hank
      Participant

      In a different post Matt was kind enough to figure out the key and chords of a song I really liked.

      Truth be told I found the lyrics a bit depressing but I REALLY like the tune and rhythm and “feel’ of the song.

      I have put my own words to the tune  but as i am not ever going to publish my lyrics am I “stealing from the original”.

      I remember John Forgerty saying “Man,there are only so many chords to use when I play swamp music… They all sound similar”…. I paraphrase but you get the point.

      Digdog , Paul, Big Mon, Matt , Bert , Tad and others, Y’all are far better players than I am but my time remaining to play is shorter than Y’alls…. Tell me i ain’t stealing……..OK…. If I am I’m too old to give a S++T.


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #6724
      bert
      Participant

      Hank, I understand your dilemma… I’m also in the 4th quarter with no timeouts left. 🙂

      What you are describing is (c) copyrights. Chord progressions, riffs, etc are not copyrightable. What is copyrightable is the melody/lyrics of the music. My primary purpose for owning guitars is songwriting, which is why I love my SCGC VJ so dearly, best ever. I’ve been copywriting songs for 40+ years but quit trying to get published long ago for the simple reason… I don’t want the headaches of being in the music business. I was a member of a wonderful songwriters group here in ATL (amateurs and published pros) for several years, learned a ton, mostly about song structure… need a bridge over here in that one, etc.

      The fine line in copyright is when your work gets published, that’s when the money kicks in…. George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” million seller was a subliminal steal of the Chiffons ‘He’s so Fine’ melody, but not the lyrics. It was a unintentional steal but he gladly paid the damages and was profusely sorry, had a happy ending… some don’t.

      I’ve been reading this thread and can say that as long as long as you don’t borrow the melody or lyrics you’re probably fine. Chord progressions are not copyrightable.

      Have at it, ps – if you want to copywrite… today it’s all online and much more simple than it used to be when a friend got me started.  I did one 3-4yrs ago, ~$50/song and got the copyright # ~6-7wks later.

      Hope this helps, bert

    • #6731
      bert
      Participant

      Well said Old, it’s all influenced from somewhere.

      Sometime after Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Lynne, and Orbison formed the Traveling Wilburys supergroup…. there’s a video out there somewhere with them sitting around talking. Petty said ‘these songs we write have all be written before us, we’re just keeping them alive’…. they all nodded in agreement and said so true.

      I enjoy so many types of music that I have no idea where my influences come from… true.  but, Always have tried to not step on toes. bert

    • #6733
      tadol
      Moderator

      I don’t know anything about the legals or the permissibles or anything, but if you’re doing it for your own fun, not getting paid, not recording and selling, and not claiming someone else’s work is your own, you should just do what you enjoy as much as you can, and not worry about it.


      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #6736
      bert
      Participant

      Tad, that sums it up.  Copyrights are the most contentious issue in the music business.  The fruitless lawsuit over ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is the most high profile in recent times.  I just feel we should all have a basic understanding in this area.  The songwriters group I mentioned included professional writers who had good/bad experiences to tell.

      One guy wrote TV jingles, he had some great stories… and so on.   .02c  bert

       

       

    • #6737
      Mr. Jelly
      Participant

      I don’t worry about that sort of thing. I’ve been through an extensive amount of old blues, old time country, Irish and folk tunes and to me stealing and remaking or whatever you want to call it is the natural coarse of things. There’s no easier way to create a new song than to take a riff or chord movement from an existing song and not get it quit right, and running with it.


      SC 00 Sitka/Hog 1929 Cowboy purfling Buttertoast
      Collings 001 T
      Waterloo WL-S Deluxe

    • #6738
      Hank
      Participant

      Bottom line…..to your ownselve be true….make it your own.

      As I’m a very marginal player I HAVE to make any song my own LOL


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #6739
      bert
      Participant

      Mr Jelly, that is exactly what I’m trying to say… riffs/chord progressions are not a violation of someone’s copyright. I don’t worry about these things either, it’s just good to have a basic understanding.

      Hank, you got it on cruise control. best always, bert

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