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Can I Protect My Music by Just Registering Chords?

We get many questions about the best way to register the music part of a song to preserve your evidence of copyright.
A.  Do you submit it in audio form (either a digital file or CD)?

B.  Do you submit it as sheet music?

C.  Or should you submit something that shows the chord progression?
The simple answer is either (A) or (B) — but definitely NOT (C)!

Never register just the chords of a song
Chord Progression sheets are worthless

Why you ask?  Because SO MANY musical pieces have been written using IDENTICAL chords!  In other words, even though the melody of a particular piece may be different from another song, you CAN'T tell that by just looking at the chords!

And it's your MELODY that you want to protect!  So, remember, ALWAYS REGISTER YOUR actual MELODY, NOT JUST THE CHORDS — which (A) or (B) above does, but not (C).

And in case you don't believe us, here's an entertaining video which illustrates a few dozen famous tunes that use identical chords.

— if the above video doesn't work, click here to see it in a new page —

(And if your song has LYRICS, you can include those either in an audio version if you can hear the words sung, or in written form on sheet music.)

Happy songwriting!
For more tips on songwriting, go to our Blog or Facebook page (linked at the bottom of our pages).

- nothing herein is to be construed as legal advice; always check with an attorney before relying on legal information -

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