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Silenced Fred

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Happens all the D&%N time. Quite a while ago I was "Writing" a riff that I just couldn't wait to show my friend I used to collaborate with. First thing he said when I played it was "Way to go, you just wrote the Kit Kat song". Just then the words melded with the melody in my head and I was indeed playing "Gimme a Break, Gimme a Break, Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar." We recorded a searing blues rendition of it, had a good laugh and moved on.

 

Still happens to this day, I just go ahead and learn the song I accidentally wrote. If I try to avoid learning the song it turns into a "Hang Up" and could lead to writers block.

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as a music fan it's very difficult to not "borrow" stuff from what you're listening to, even subconsciously.

 

I recently read Patty Boyd's biography, and in it she said the George Harrison refused to listen to the radio or even have one on at home, for fear of this. He of course was very famously sued for this and lost.

 

Don

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I always make sure to carry around a pen so if I come up with something I can write it down. I should probably carry a little notebook too but I just end up writing everything on napkins.

 

I do that, but lyrics always come as I'm playing the song and its hard to write it down as I'm screaming it to hear them over the drums and guitar...

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I do that, but lyrics always come as I'm playing the song and its hard to write it down as I'm screaming it to hear them over the drums and guitar...

Maybe try carrying around one of those old pocket recorders people use for dictation.

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Maybe try carrying around one of those old pocket recorders people use for dictation.

 

Most phones have a recorder now. I still call my voicemail every now and then if I'm afraid I will forget a melody or lyric etc...

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Most phones have a recorder now. I still call my voicemail every now and then if I'm afraid I will forget a melody or lyric etc...

I haven't joined the latest generation of the techie phone craze, I use an older Motorola Krazer because it was cheap and I'm still paying student loans unfortunately.

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as a blues player, i have written a number of origional blues progressions. i have written origional versions of every blues progression ever made. all in the key of A. thats a joke, of corse. get it?

try playing blues and come up with something origional, that could not be called stealing from another song. while my education is far from complete, it is interesting to study different forms and genre of american music, where it starts of as irish or british folk, or that french vaudevale stuff. mind boggling in that the further back you go, the more a different form of music might have the same chord progression and rythm for every song, and take it the other direction and try and find something that has not been done before by one form of music or another. sometimes what sounds like something totally origional is actually a common chord progression.

sometimes a useful trick is when you come across a situation where you feel you wrote something that sounds like something else you heard is to try and identify where the song you think you copied came from. you could even use THAT version or music form to solidify/improve your version. it sometimes helps to remove the version you hear in your head from your own creativity, as well as give a better perspective on the validity of your own stuff.

i watched that video that was on here of john bonnemossa (great stuff btw) and i thought to my self, "that sounds a lot like boz skaggs' loan me a dime" and started to think of a song i might come up with for my own version. just then i was thinking of the loose change analogy, and thought of maybe something like "if i had a nickel" and as i'm listening i hear the same thing come from john's lyrics. coincidence?

i wonder if david crosby has the same problems you have? not that i don't, i just don't really write songs.

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I don't write much, I perform, improvise a lot, make my own backing tracks, arrange, and write aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith.

 

I wrote one a few years ago. An instrumental, I was noodling around on the flute for a while and it got stuck in my head. I never quite finished it, but often would play the theme during the "play time" of a practice session (serious time first - play time later).

 

This song stuck in my head for a few years. Then one day, I purchased a CD of a LP I had in my childhood, "Time Further Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet (with one of my all-time favorite alto sax players, Paul Desmond). I was very surprised and had to laugh at myself when I got to the cut called "Maori Blues" and there was the song I was noodling around on. I had unconsciously copped the main theme of the song and developed it from there. BTW, the Brubeck song was developed better than mine ;)

 

I can see how George Harrison got in trouble with "My Sweet Lord".

 

Notes ♫

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I wrote a song once that I thought was PERFECT for an antist. I took it to the pitch meeting and they said, "It sounds too much like her new single." Apparently, I'd copied a song I had not even heard yet.

 

I guess there are only so many melodies and chords, they are bound to bump into each other from time to time. [rolleyes]

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