Joining a new band but how can I...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by john_g, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    bring in my original music and still leave with it if it doesnt work out?

    I met a mostly originals local band and they like the fact that I write alot of music as well. Now, some of my stuff is pretty well formed with everything but a vocal (I dont sing), and other things are just bass, drums and keys. So input would obviously be needed from a vocalist at the very least.

    However, in the back of my head I am worried that if it doesnt work out and I leave, I would still want to take my songs with me (and I would leave out the parts contributed going forward in other bands) and I wouldnt want a band I left to use a song I wrote or at least wrote the basis for.

    How do some of you folks introduce material into a new band situation? Would I need to cover the songs legally if I truly wanted to protect my interests? (not that I would, just wondering out loud)
  2. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    Copywrite them, and then they are yours.
  3. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Even if some of the stuff is only the basis of a song? (like drums bass and keys, i.e. no vocals and some cases main melody)? Im guessing as long as it was the chord progressions and basis for the song that I would still be the owner. Again, not that I am even going to go that far, just thought I would ask.
  4. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Good post.

    I don't introduce new material into a new band situation as it doesn't fit the band, and past history has shown that while they respect what I do, my songs aren't going to be the band's songs for stylistic reasons. So, it's great that you have people receptive and interested in what you do, first off.

    Secondly, if you have a lot of the songs formed, only needing a vocalist, you might just see if you can find a vocalist to what you already have to add that last missing piece. If you are interested, become your own artistic entity- it doesn't mean you can't give songs to the band or interact with them that way, it just means that you can keep some songs for yourself as well and not be so tied to the band to develop as a songwriter and musician. You can have the best of both worlds.

    There are folks far more experienced in the minutiae of copyright law and protecting music from a musician/artist angle, and I'll have to sit back and see how the second part of your question is addressed.

    My only thought about the legal stuff is that there can be a very gray area between "inspired by..." and "a copy of..." and to determine which one of those it is, and whether by accident or intent, I suspect, is a messy thing. Again, I defer to the legal eagles here...

    Best to you.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Are you saying that you don't have vocal melodies worked out or you just can't sing them?

    I you need a vocalist to come up with a melody, seems to me you have a co-writer.
  6. I found these links on the subject of protecting original music:

    Interesting case study:

    A basic "how to":

    From the Wiki:
    "Under international law, copyright is the automatic right of the creator of the work, this means that copyright exist as soon as you have a tangible version of the music, such as sheet music and/or CDs.
    Registering the copyright of your work makes it easier to be compensated in court if your copyright is infringed."
  7. what i'd do is that i dont start right away with the original material i write, and play covers of similar sounding bands. after some time if everyone is liking what is happening and you feel the band is fine then you bring up your orignal material
  8. ric1312

    ric1312 Inactive

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    You can copyright them. All that is really going to do is give you legal standing if said band makes it big and puts your song on an album. You can't keep them from playing the song after you leave.

    My first band, guitarist wrote a great song/riff. He copyrighted it because he thought it was that good. We fired him later and still played the song for a year and a half more at shows against his wishes. Guess what too bad, we practiced that song many times.

    In reality the song will probably change to unrecognizeable state after you leave anyways.

    In the grand scheme of things unless your originals are of, "holy shiznit," quality then worrying about copyrights is a bit silly. Bands make it on more than songs, they make it on quality of peformance and charater of the band and how sellable they are.

    In other words, it's more likely than not, that you are wasting your time worrying about it at this point. Sure do a copyright just in case, but don't worry to much about it. If you don't play your originals with bands because of this you'll never get to play them with a band and really develop them. Song writing abilty really shines and builds when you do it with other people.
  9. Hey J....glad to hear you found another band to work with. I would hold off on sharing too much until you get a stronger comfort level. But all work that you've created should be protected. I'm not that far along, so I'm not sure what is the best way to go about it. Good luck.
  10. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    +1 Good to hear from you too phreak.

    Thanks for all the input guys...I really dont think I would copyright the stuff, just wondering out loud and looking for input. I probably wouldnt introduce my originals into a band until I was pretty comfortable with the situation, but as a songwriter, I wouldnt want a band to play something I essentially wrote as their own (not that I could really do anything about it anyway, just would make me :mad:)

    And, Im 37...the brass ring left the building 15 years ago for me. Just seemed that ever since I decided to play in bands again late last year, none of them have stayed together very long, so I was just a little paranoid.
  11. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Oh and just a note...I have uploaded a few songs over the last year to an online collaboration website, and recently a guy added some vocals to a couple of tunes. I thought they fit the songs great and even though they are essentially home recordings, they sound pretty good. Ill have to upload them to give you guys an idea.
  12. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Realistically what are these songs worth? Without a band to complete the vocals/arrangements they're just ideas.

    Just go in, and do the songs with the band. While you're with them, agree writing credits for each song. If you leave, you leave - whats the problem?

    Once you've left:
    a)You can still perform/record the songs, crediting the old bands input.
    b)They can still perform/record the songs, crediting your input.
    c)You can go on and write better songs.

    a and b are part of copyright law - there's not really much you can do to stop it. The could perform your songs even if you'd never been in the band, provided the venue is paying licensing. Better to just throw yourself into the new band, and make it the best you can.

    c is the most important - everyone has been in a band with some guy who's had the same three songs for the last 20 years: he drags them to ever band he joins. They were average when he wrote them, but he just won't move on, even though everyone is sick of them. Let them go, accept that those songs are part of your past, and start thinking about the future. If the old band records them and you get some cash thats a bonus.

  13. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Or end up like Foggerty/CCR and not be able to play your music for 20 years cause your so pissy at each other.
  14. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007

    I write new stuff all the time and its not like I am protective about I said a few of these older songs are on a collaboration website for anyone to contribute to. And dammit, if anyone writes anything good to my songs I am going to rip them for all its worth :D:eyebrow::D