accidentally playing very similar riffs?

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by JLW, May 20, 2007.

  1. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    So I was diddling around on my bass a few minutes ago. I was just playing, and I came up with this really cool riff.

    I was really excited and ready to show the band my new riff, which would probably be turned into a song (it was really catchy).

    So I was sitting there playing it, trying to expand on it and think of a chorus, when I was thinking to myself "this riff sounds really familiar".

    So then it hit me. I was playing something very similar to the song "Dropkick the Punks" by The Faint, but in a different key and slightly different rhythm. CRAP!

    Here's what the tablature is for "dropkick the punks". I don't really know how to write music so this is the best I got. You can view a video of the song here:


    The song I am playing is like this:

    A-----5-------8--10-<between arrows played fast>

    the rhyhtm is different and it's hard to show that through tablature, but I was wondering if this was wrong? By the time I show it to the band, we're all obviously going to add our own spin to the riff, and it will probably sound really different, but the bassline will have 5 of the same notes in the same order as that song "Dropkick the Punks". but in a different key

    While that band will probably never hear this song, I just wouldn't feel right taking a similar riff from another band. I played the similar riff unknowingly and was wondering if it was ok. Like I said, it's not totally the same. Different rhythm/tempo, and it's in a different key, and the second part of the riff is totally different.
  2. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    Seems to me we are getting close to saturation as far as finding totally new stuff to play. I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I asked several people, musicians and non-musicians, if they could hear a resemblance between the two songs, and they said barely at all.

    So I guess I'll use the riff.

    Just goes to show you how even while playing the same notes, something can sound totally different.
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I remember when our keyboard player who didn't write much announced he had written a song. He started playing in and we looked and each other then started singing the lyrics. He looks at us like what the @#$*. He had come up with basically a tune that was a hit six months before. He was shocked and if anyone else we would say he was putting us on. Just shows what the subconscious picks up on even when we don't think we are listening.
  5. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Haha, that's very amusing.

    That's actually happened to me. Although I always have realized that it was already a song before i showed it to the band
  6. SOA_bassist

    SOA_bassist Guest

    May 10, 2006
    my guitar player wrote this riff over a year ago that he really likes. I had him listen to Opeth's " Master's Apprentices ". His riff contained a section that was almost just like the first riff played. He never heard the song before lol. He has been a bit pissed because of that.
  7. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    thus: postmodernism!
    http://[malware url removed].net/vicious-smiley-1815.gif
  8. user3653753

    user3653753 Guest

    Jan 28, 2004
    I'm not sure I can add too much to this thread to answer the question.

    I think that many things we work on and play are similar, and we shouldn't be afraid of our heros and our influences. Through transcription we get other people's music deep inside of us, but those of us who want to progress and have a sound of our own expand upon that information we transcribe and make it unique to us.


  9. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I wrote this amazing tune called "Portrait of Tracy" but sadly I left the written version on the train. The rest is history...

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