Guitarist on Stage

Some Thoughts on Songwriting and Uniqueness

This morning I retweeted a great article by producer/engineer Bobby Owsinski, “It’s Getting Harder And Harder To Write A Song Without Committing Plagiarism.” The article makes the point that because the judicial system now considers similarity of the basic feel of a song to be considered in a plagiarism case, along with melody and lyrics, […]

copyright issues in songwriting

Using Copyright-Protected Music In Your Own Music: How To Do It

I’m occasionally contacted by songwriters with questions surrounding the issue of copyright. Probably the most common question I’m asked is if there is any way to use part of another pre-existing song as a starting point for a new one. If you’re interested in using a bit of recognizable lyric or a short snippet of […]

Copyright Issues

Copyright Infringement and Online Music Instruction

I think Rick Beato’s YouTube channel is one of the most important resources for up and coming songwriters and performers you’ll find online. I don’t always agree with his analyses, but that’s music for you. There are many ways to analyze what’s going on in a song, and you’ll always learn if you keep an […]

Songwriting collaboration

Legal Issues to Think About When Forming a Songwriting Partnership

If you’re the kind of songwriter who goes through regular bouts of writer’s block, forming a songwriting partnership can be a good solution. When you’re stuck, you’ve got another person (or persons) that might be able to fill in the blank spots. But before you go rushing into a creative partnership, you should get some […]

Copyright

When a Chord Progression Might Be Protected by Copyright

If you like starting your songwriting process with chords, you’re usually OK to take pretty much any chord progression you hear in anyone else’s song. That’s because chord progressions, on their own, are not protected by copyright. But having said that, there’s a caution here that you should consider when you do, in fact, use someone else’s […]

Songwriter- Writer's Block

What You Can Copy From Another Song

We all know that songs need to be unique. You can’t take someone’s melody or lyrics and call them your own. Most songwriters know, though, that chord progressions aren’t generally protected by copyright. So that’s certainly one element of a song that you can take and use, guilt-free. If you’re trying to develop a lyrics-first […]