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Rewriting an arrangement
Old 5th August 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Rewriting an arrangement

Good afternoon sluts. I have a good ol dumb question for you all. I heard a song and liked it a lot. But to the point where I noticed overtime that I only like the backing track of this song. The melody and lyrics are whatever. So, I was wondering. If I wanted to recreate just the backing tracks (drums, bass, keys, synths, etc), but not the main melody and lyrics. Would I need permission to do so, although these elements are considered arrangements.
Old 6th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
Good afternoon sluts. I have a good ol dumb question for you all. I heard a song and liked it a lot. But to the point where I noticed overtime that I only like the backing track of this song. The melody and lyrics are whatever. So, I was wondering. If I wanted to recreate just the backing tracks (drums, bass, keys, synths, etc), but not the main melody and lyrics. Would I need permission to do so, although these elements are considered arrangements.
I don’t know..you might want to ask
Katy Perry what she thinks.
Old 6th August 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
Good afternoon sluts. I have a good ol dumb question for you all. I heard a song and liked it a lot. But to the point where I noticed overtime that I only like the backing track of this song. The melody and lyrics are whatever. So, I was wondering. If I wanted to recreate just the backing tracks (drums, bass, keys, synths, etc), but not the main melody and lyrics. Would I need permission to do so, although these elements are considered arrangements.
Yes, you would.

And no, they are NOT "Just an arrangement" YOU are STEALING someone else's composition.

..Let me reiterate if you do this and do not give the original writer's ALL
the appropriate credit (You do not get to "Re-write" someone else's song and call yourself a co-writer, the writers of the ORIGINAL get to choose who, if anyone gets added to a future version's compositional credits)...

...THEN YOU ARE PLAUGERIZING SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK...YOU ARE A THIEF.

Try and explore the limits of your OWN talent, do not try and blood-suck the fruits of someone else's.
Old 6th August 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
I don’t know..you might want to ask
Katy Perry what she thinks.
What did Katey Perry do?
Old 6th August 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

So Planet Claire by B52's uses the "Peter Gunn" riff and they had to credit Mancini - not sure how that conversation went, but apparently they didn't credit him at first. They probably thought that riff was kind of up for grabs. Really they could have come up with an equivalent riff and avoided that problem.

The writer of "Like a Virgin" had probably listened to "Billie Jean" a few times, but he put a sliver of daylight between his song and it's (alleged) parent.

I understand getting fixated on one song. Why don't you cross-pollinate that backing track with something else? Take the vibe and put it over different chords for example?
Old 6th August 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
Yes, you would.

And no, they are NOT "Just an arrangement" YOU are STEALING someone else's composition.

..Let me reiterate if you do this and do not give the original writer's ALL
the appropriate credit (You do not get to "Re-write" someone else's song and call yourself a co-writer, the writers of the ORIGINAL get to choose who, if anyone gets added to a future version's compositional credits)...

...THEN YOU ARE PLAUGERIZING SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK...YOU ARE A THIEF.

Try and explore the limits of your OWN talent, do not try and blood-suck the fruits of someone else's.


Ok and thank you sir for your input. So I guess I would need to get permission to use the 4 on the floor drum notes before I let me drummer play that on my record? Is this what your saying?

Last edited by Sagicorn35; 6th August 2019 at 05:07 PM.. Reason: Correction
Old 6th August 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
So Planet Claire by B52's uses the "Peter Gunn" riff and they had to credit Mancini - not sure how that conversation went, but apparently they didn't credit him at first. They probably thought that riff was kind of up for grabs. Really they could have come up with an equivalent riff and avoided that problem.

The writer of "Like a Virgin" had probably listened to "Billie Jean" a few times, but he put a sliver of daylight between his song and it's (alleged) parent.

I understand getting fixated on one song. Why don't you cross-pollinate that backing track with something else? Take the vibe and put it over different chords for example?

Well, what I like about this song is that it’s simple and has a basic groove to it. The drums and bass is what I like, and of course I would change keys from time to time. I just never thought a musician could get in trouble for getting the idea from elsewhere and adding to that, and calling it good. If you heard Isaac Hayes song “by the time I get to Phoenix”. His bass and drums is what I like. But if I’m gonna get in trouble for two bass notes and 4 on the floor drums. I guess I can’t use it. And remember. I’m not sampling here.
Old 7th August 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
Yes, you would.

And no, they are NOT "Just an arrangement" YOU are STEALING someone else's composition.

..Let me reiterate if you do this and do not give the original writer's ALL
the appropriate credit (You do not get to "Re-write" someone else's song and call yourself a co-writer, the writers of the ORIGINAL get to choose who, if anyone gets added to a future version's compositional credits)...

...THEN YOU ARE PLAUGERIZING SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK...YOU ARE A THIEF.

Try and explore the limits of your OWN talent, do not try and blood-suck the fruits of someone else's.
That’s being a bit heavy-handed. The OP
asked an innocent question. He’s not
a criminal.

Here is the deal..ALL successful songwriters
and producers “borrow” from previously
recorded pop hits. Why? Because with
close to a billion songs out there for download,
you have to capture people’s attention
with something familiar, if you want some
financial success. If you are just doing
music for art’s sake, then you don’t need
to be that concerned about anything
other than doing what you feel like doing.

Music does not exist in a vacuum. ALL music
borrows or steals from music that came
before it. John Williams stole plenty from
earlier composers works when he wrote
the music for Star Wars and Close Encounters.
Aerosmith’s Walk This Way riff is based
on old songs by the Meters.

The trick is to take what you steal and turn
it around enough so u don’t get sued.
Sadly, with the latest decision about Katy
Perry’s song “Dark Horse”, we have gone
where copyright infringement did not dare
go before..to basic music building blocks.
Flame stole his beat and synth lines from
somewhere else and then sued Dr. Luke
for stealing what Flame himself had
already stolen.

Not good news for songwriters and music
producers. At any rate, I say go ahead
and use what you want, because the
chances of you having a gigantic hit
song are extremely remote.
Old 7th August 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
Well, what I like about this song is that it’s simple and has a basic groove to it. The drums and bass is what I like, and of course I would change keys from time to time. I just never thought a musician could get in trouble for getting the idea from elsewhere and adding to that, and calling it good. If you heard Isaac Hayes song “by the time I get to Phoenix”. His bass and drums is what I like. But if I’m gonna get in trouble for two bass notes and 4 on the floor drums. I guess I can’t use it. And remember. I’m not sampling here.
Go ahead and use the bass notes and drum beat.
They’re really common..I mean, whats next, you
can’t use any chord or note or drum beat
at all because someone used it before?
That’s ludicrous. If you couldn’t use C, F, and
G in a song then that’s the end of any new
songs being written at all. Total B.S.

Unless you have a contract with Taylor Swift
or Beyonce to write their next album, I’d
say you have zero chance of being sued
for copyright infringement.
Old 7th August 2019
  #10
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brockorama's Avatar
 

the melody and lyrics are all that matters

if you're not stealing those....then

create your own new melody and lyrics.....problem solved
Old 7th August 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
Go ahead and use the bass notes and drum beat.
They’re really common..I mean, whats next, you
can’t use any chord or note or drum beat
at all because someone used it before?
That’s ludicrous. If you couldn’t use C, F, and
G in a song then that’s the end of any new
songs being written at all. Total B.S.

Unless you have a contract with Taylor Swift
or Beyonce to write their next album, I’d
say you have zero chance of being sued
for copyright infringement.
Thank you Dave.
Old 7th August 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama View Post
the melody and lyrics are all that matters

if you're not stealing those....then

create your own new melody and lyrics.....problem solved
Thank you brockorama. With all the lawsuit going on and hearing about musicians being sued, and for what they were sued for. I start to not understand. But thank you. I thought I had the right notion.
Old 7th August 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama View Post
the melody and lyrics are all that matters

if you're not stealing those....then

create your own new melody and lyrics.....problem solved
I would agree that is the traditional view.

This is what makes the Katy Perry case so
disturbing. The suit alleged that Dr. Luke
stole a beat and a synth line. Katy’s song is
in a different key and tempo, with different
lyrics and melodies. Yet the jury (none of
whom were musicians) voted in favor of
Flame. It sets a seriously dangerous precedent.
Old 7th August 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
brockorama's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
It sets a seriously dangerous precedent.
I assume the OP is not a famous recording artist.

If I am wrong I apologize to OP.

A scandal for the OP could actually be beneficial in this world.

In any case, he/she should do what they like and see how it plays out.

Don't worry........be happy..... (oops hope I don't get sued for that)
Old 7th August 2019
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama View Post
I assume the OP is not a famous recording artist.

If I am wrong I apologize to OP.

A scandal for the OP could actually be beneficial in this world.

In any case, he/she should do what they like and see how it plays out.

Don't worry........be happy..... (oops hope I don't get sued for that)
Yeah. I thought about that too. No I’m not famous. I’m just a music producer who knows some famous people here and there. And I’m one of the people that don’t agree or see how a songwriter can get sued for something that’s similar but not exactly the same. It makes no sense to me. But anyways. Thanks for the reply.
Old 8th August 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 

If you want to live in reality, "act first clear later" is the status quo.

There'll be no real issues until you sell something and the sales take off (at a smaller level perhaps an algorithm removes you from youtube or something, that's the extent of the trouble you'll get into).

Even then you're usually fine, like Old Town Road sampled NIN and sold the beat online to small time rappers, but then one of the rapper's songs over it blew up, they signed to a major, it was cleared with NIN then, and its been the #1 song on the charts for months on end now.

That producer is WAAAAAY better off having acted first and clearing later, to the tune of millions on millions and a future life that would not have otherwise existed for him. And when released songs do well, get challenged, and don't clear, then there's a suit and its settled then, IE Dark Horse or Tom Petty/Sam Smith. Its not like Dark Horse ceases to exist now, the better move was to release it and then have to share some of the wealth down the line.
Old 8th August 2019
  #17
Keith Richards once stated that all artists plagiarised in some form or the other. I think he was referring to creative inspiration rather than literal inspiration.

I mean, how many bands have you heard and thought something like 'These guys have been listening to way too much Metallica"?

The sad fact of the matter is, there is a finite amount of rhythms and progressions, and many of us, without having had the opportunity of listening to absolutely every piece of music in recorded history, may at any time be plagiarising someone without even knowing it.

That being said, I wouldn't rip off anything outright, especially if I was aware of it. I couldn't live with myself.
Old 8th August 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
That being said, I wouldn't rip off anything outright, especially if I was aware of it. I couldn't live with myself.[/FONT]
That's the way I see it as well. If I think my idea is similar to something else, I immediately check the original on Spotify or Youtube. Sometimes I'm wrong and there isn't any similarity. But when in doubt, just I write something else. There's always plenty left in the tank and coming up with new ideas is the most fun part out of the whole process.

If I was working in a genre where starting from samples was a thing, I'd consider how far the song could potentially go. No point spending money and time on sample clearance if all you're going to get is 1000 streams somewhere. I think that's what newguy1 was getting at as well.

If I'm using other people's stuff it's usually loops from sample libraries that were put out there with the express permission of the creator. So there's still plenty of outside ideas to work with if you don't fancy starting from a completely blank canvas. No guilty conscience, no clearing, no lawsuits.
Old 9th August 2019
  #19
Thinking about it on a different level - how many artists have used the line "I'm down on my knees, I'm beggin' you please"? Or how about "Seeking shelter from the storm"?

Personally, I wouldn't dare use these euphemisms because I'm already sick of them. However, is that grounds for plagiarism? Nah. Just beat to death lyrics.

I prefer George Harrison's outlook: "Nothing often says much more than something that's been said before."*

*(Not used by permission - but I doubt his estate will lose any royalties as a result of my post.)
Old 10th August 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Some of the naysay replies here are way off base. Cop a feel, copy a progression, use a cowbell. It's fine.
Old 16th August 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post

The trick is to take what you steal and turn
it around enough so u don’t get sued.
Sadly, with the latest decision about Katy
Perry’s song “Dark Horse”, we have gone
where copyright infringement did not dare
go before..to basic music building blocks.
Flame stole his beat and synth lines from
somewhere else and then sued Dr. Luke
for stealing what Flame himself had
already stolen.

Not good news for songwriters and music
producers. At any rate, I say go ahead
and use what you want, because the
chances of you having a gigantic hit
song are extremely remote.
Well funny you should say that... I once wrote a riff as the basis for a song that was Clapton's interlude riff from "The Core". I just loved that riff, it's something Clapton is so good at. Except I played it backwards. It sounds nothing like Clapton's famous riff, but it is note for note, just backward.

No one picks up on it... And why would they.
Old 16th August 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
Thinking about it on a different level - how many artists have used the line "I'm down on my knees, I'm beggin' you please"? Or how about "Seeking shelter from the storm"?

Personally, I wouldn't dare use these euphemisms because I'm already sick of them. However, is that grounds for plagiarism? Nah. Just beat to death lyrics.

I prefer George Harrison's outlook: "Nothing often says much more than something that's been said before."*

*(Not used by permission - but I doubt his estate will lose any royalties as a result of my post.)
Guilty!

I've once used a variant of that line...

"I fall down to my knees, I do just what I please
and it's wham bam thank you mam, I start to leave
she said oh hell no, now don't you go
take your time, take your time with me..."
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