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You didn't write anything

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by thorplaysbass, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Going to keep this short for my sake if that's cool...

    3-piece band (officially) broke up a couple of weeks ago. Made of a drummer, bass (me), and one guitar/vocal. None of this did backing vocals for any non-cover songs.

    Shortly after we officially dispersed as a group, the Guitar/Vocal member send a facebook message to Drummer and I. It mentioned that the 4 songs we previously recorded a few months back were going up for sale the next day on an EP under their name only.

    That we were going to get paid evenly in thirds, up to a 300 dollar mark.

    That we did not write any parts of the songs and that the songs were owned by them only.

    That 1 of the 4 songs we recorded was going to be given away for free.

    There is more to it, but this is a main point and something that seems like it would be of better a fit. Thanks for any input you guys might have. As always. So basically I guess the QUESTION would be...

    If you record originals with your band and the bandleader did not come up with your part, did the band leader write your part?
  2. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    The song writing generally consists of melody, chord sequence and lyrics. Any instrumental riff is considered arrangement.
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    A case can be made for writing credit if a bass line is considered a signature or essential part of a song. Brick House, 3 Days by Jane's Addiction, most RHCP songs, things like that. Otherwise chords and melody are considered "The Song".
  4. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    This is a sensible/cognitive interpretation of what you're talking about. imo.

  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's a false question. He may not have written your part, but writing your part doesn't mean you wrote any part of the song.
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I don't think you can copyright a chord progression, though.
  7. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    Definitely not. Otherwise a LOT of songwriters, particularly from the 50's would be in deep trouble:p
  8. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    I think in general, simply writing your own parts to a song doesn't necessarily mean writing credits, because the overarching framework of the song was written by someone else already.

    I do agree though that it depends on how important the part is in the song. If it's an integral part of the song, then you could probably claim co-writer status. For instance, the woman who sung in Pink Floyd's The Great Gig In The Sky managed to claim writing credits because her part basically made the song.
  9. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    The copyrightable and saleable parts of a song are

    A. The Melody
    B. The Lyrics

    Nothing else.
    Good Luck!
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    See previous comment about "riffs" such as Brick House, et al.
  11. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Pro guys correct me if I am wrong, but Once upon a time there was a thing called "performance" royalties where you actually got something for playing on the tracks. (Maybe this never really happened much I don't know) Does this still exist? at all?
  12. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    How would an instrumental song fit into your list?
    Take Peter Gun,for example : no lyrics,melody means nothing without the base behind it.
    What is the song then?
    Can the melody be independent of the base structure?
    Have a clue?
  13. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Also this is something that should be agreed to right upfront, I believe Guns N Roses, originally ALL members shared the songwriting credits, including the drummer and bassist, and I know Duff may ahve contributed some things, but not to Every song, other than his basslines.
    But who is to say writign a baseline isn't an integral part of a song.
    Guess it all depends on what you have in writing up FRONT. IE, if this band sells any recordings I PLAY on, than I am entitled to 1/3 of the proceeds. etc...
  14. That we were going to get paid evenly in thirds, up to a 300 dollar mark.

    Explain please ?
    What happens after said 300 mark ?
  15. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    It's hard to understand if you are talking about one person or several. You seem to be talking about one person, but keep referring to more than one.
  16. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Actually, the accompanying musicians who help create the original arrangement only get a piece of the songwriting credit if they negotiate for it. (Notice, for example that Pete Townshend holds the writer's credit for "My Generation." Entwistle's inarguably signature bass lines didn't get him any of the songwriting pie, b/c he hadn't negotiated for it.)

    Some bands contractually agree to share songwriter's credit equally for all work. Absent such a contract, the people who bring in the lyrics and melody get the songwriter's credits.
  17. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If your songs are like most songs, probably nothing—b/c they won't generate the sales to net $300 to each of you.

    If otherwise, it's a matter of contract.
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    My band got into this issue on our last album. We were told to put the singer/songwriter credit as Lyrics for all songs written by_____

    Music written and perfomed by _the band___

    This way the writer gets any writing (lyrics) credit and band gets the credit for only writting/ performing the music.
  19. yeah it is all about the deal that you agree upon. My original band I wrote 99% of the songs however I did give credit to members contributions if they were important in the songs major appeal such as a signature lead lick, or some hook that took it to the next level. I always believed give credit where credit is due. People always perform better when they feel their contribution is recognized.
  20. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    If that changes I got dibs on I-IV-V ..