Acoustic Guitar Community

Welcome to the Acoustic Guitar Community.



If you made it up, you're a songwriter and this is your group!

Members: 501
Latest Activity: Feb 17

Discussion Forum

Normandy (It Could Have Been Me) 10 Replies

Started by Paul J Openshaw. Last reply by paul stokes Feb 6.

Post Breakup Lament 2 Replies

Started by Tom Humphreys. Last reply by Tom Humphreys Jan 4.

Old Songwriter's Lament (or maybe even... sour grapes 7 Replies

Started by Lon Milo DuQuette. Last reply by Tom Humphreys Jan 3.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Songwriters to add comments!

Comment by David Mott on January 14, 2011 at 8:09am
Ed, Good layout of your experience. Especially the part , that if you don't feel comfortable , don't sign anything. That's part of what is so great about this group, people helping others over the hurdles. Good input.
Comment by Vern Pringle on January 13, 2011 at 8:47pm
Jay, I listened to your "City Lights" track...that was sweet. Had a real nice vibe to it and it didn't "sit still". Congrats!
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 13, 2011 at 8:53am
Hey Jay, don't feel and learn...and sometimes you have to take a risk!!!  That's what it's all about!  Edward
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 13, 2011 at 8:51am

Welcome Bjorn!  We look forward to sharing with you here!  Edward

Comment by Jay on January 13, 2011 at 7:25am

Thanks for the input.  I did not intend to divert this discussion, but I do appreciate the feedback.  Apparently the practice that songs and performances submitted as competitive entries become "works made for hire" for the sponsor is not unusual.  There is a guitar competition called "Guitar Idol" which has a similar provision.  BTW, I am not entering that, but on YT I happened to come across a guitarist from Belarus who is extremely talented.  Guitar Idol seems to invite "shredders" and guys in the Joe Satriani style camp, but this guy is not only a solid player but melodic and a good composer.  Check him out if you are curious on YT.  His handle is "Vladguitar".  Pretty excellent player. 


As for this Roland competition, the results should be made public sometime between Jan 15 and the 31st.  Some good entries, and I didn't really mix my song properly as it was a rush job literally the last day to get the entry in and video up.  But I could use the equipment, if not paying the taxes on it.  I do agree that giving up copyrights is asking too much, especially if it applies to all entries whether you win or not.  I stupidly posted a comment questioning that policy on someone else's site who had posted a well composed song.  He said, yeah, he was aware of the provision.  I guess we are all in the same boat.

Thanks for the compliments on the song itself.  I recorded the piano track first as a blues improv, then laid down the improv bass, sax, clarinet tracks in sequence - all the final day in a white heat.  Lastly, my son videoed me playing the final track - the vibes - "live" for the recording.  The mix could have benefitted from more judicious mixing of levels and pruning of parts.  Oh well, not my song anymore... 



Comment by Edward Sparks on January 13, 2011 at 5:23am

Here is my experience...I have done music, by that I mean that I both composed and recorded, for local commercials and some film shorts. The ad agency I worked with offered to pay me more if I made it a true "Work for hire." That would mean that I no longer had any rights and that they owned the piece outright.  That would only make sense to me if the music was so specific to their product, like a jingle.  But, I wasn't comfortable with that so we worked out another type of deal, a "limited license."  The small ad agency was thrilled to get to use original music instead of using some music library, which weren't as good as they are now. 

This meant that they licensed the right to use the music I wrote and recorded for one spot, one run of that ad campain, after that the music ownership reverted back to me.  So, I wrote a short piece (about 3 minutes) and recorded two versions, one with several instruments and a simpler one with only a guitar and bass part. Once they mated it with the video, they decided that the simpler one worked better with the voiceover.  I was paid $300.00.  After the 8 week commercial run, I retained the rights.  During each ad run period, I was not to license that piece to anyone else or use it in any other "public performance."  At the end of 8 weeks, they were not to use it again without renegotiating a new license with me. As, it happened they had another client about 6 months later and they pitched the same piece to him and he liked it.  So, without me having to do anything else, they paid me another $300.00 and used it again.  This was repeated once more for the same fee, as $300.00 was my flat rate with them for commercial work.  It was a real boon for me as I only recorded the piece once and made $900.00 on it!  And this was 1986, when $900.00 meant something!  Although this kind of work wan't my favorite, it was nice to get paid several times for one recording, looked good on my resume, and a real shot to the ego to hear my music in a commercial on TV, even if some goober was talking over it!  One of the three uses was for a film short shown in local movie theaters before the feature for a yacht company.  So, the moral is, get the work but don't give away anything! Never sign anything you aren't comfortable with! And most vendors know this and will respect you for looking out for yourself and your intellectual property!  Edward 

Comment by SteveO Mallis on January 13, 2011 at 12:15am
I don't see how a company can claim it's a work for hire, when they aren't paying you anything to begin with. Go figure?! I guess it's a trade-off. In some situations, it probably does make sense to surrender your rights. Weigh the actual/potential gains against the fact that you no longer have any rights to the song. BTW, City Lights is a really good composition. It seems like they would only be allowed the rights if the song actually wins, where you are actually compensated. Steve
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 12, 2011 at 12:58pm
Right you are Rick...Roland should know better than to try to pull this over! Edward
Comment by Rick Heenan on January 12, 2011 at 9:47am

I've got a Roland synth, a very unique piece of equipment.  I can only deduce that everything thats submitted comes off the market and becomes their property.  So, even if you lose, you lose again.  Thats a lot of songs becoming someone elses property for nothing.  Retain your rights.  Thats an old school model designed for them by lawyers who havent a clue about the indie movement.  Retain your rights.  If anything, grant them a mechanical license to use your stuff for a specific amount of time.  They probably won't even give you credit for writing it.  Roland should know better and should accomodate the creators.

Comment by Jay on January 12, 2011 at 3:15am

Hey, Vern!  Surely I agree with you that the terms of the competition requiring the composer to surrender all rights of copyright to the sponsor are onerous.  Seems to me this "work made for hire" applies more to the situation of an software company employee writing code for a program.  After all, Roland is not my employer, and my only gain in the contest is potential prize and perhaps some minor recognition.  The top three video submissions will win the equivalent value of one, two, and three thousand dollars worth of Roland equipment. 

Certainly they want to use your submission  for publicity purposes unhindered by a composer's claims about further remuneration or restrictions.  Still, seems like a pretty good deal for them.  There are a couple of nice compositions by other contestants. 

BTW, sorry for mistakenly putting my original comment in this discussion inappropriately - a bit new at this.  I only posted a second one here to respond to Vern.  Did you take a listen?  I was so rushed with the deadline I didn't mix the song too well - should have lowered the clarinet and streamlined the sax or traded fours.


Members (500)


Check Out the Latest in Acoustic Guitar

Free e-newsletter!

Sign up for Acoustic Guitar Weekly—the weekly e-mail newsletter that delivers coverage of players and gear, lessons and technique tips, and advice about performing and recording. Get it now!




Be alerted to the latest articles on, including lessons, CD, guitar, and gear reviews, how-to tips, and player profiles.

© 2015   Created by Acoustic Guitar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service