If you’re a guitarist you know exactly what a lick is: a short solo (usually 1 or 2 bars) that you learn and master and you start using it so many times that becomes part of your style. If you think about your favorite bands I’m pretty sure you noticed the same lick on different song (if we talk about Queen, Brian May uses the same lick for the solo of “Jesus, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “It’s A Hard Life”..now, those solos are pretty different one to the other but there is that lick that if you pay attention you will recognize).
This happens also in real life, how many times you said the same jokes or you gave flowers to a girl. And talking again about music the same happens in the songwriting process, how many songs have the same chord progression? In my first album the song “Goodbye” and “Dancing Angel” have a part where the chord progression is the same (only in a different key). The 2 songs are very different one to the other because of the melody on top but the base where the songs are built is very similar.
This is used also in movies and cartoons (especially old ones when everything was made by hand and not by the computer).
When I was a kid I used to watch Walt Disney cartoons so much (and I still do) until I knew every single frame from those movies. And it’s there that I started noticing how so many times the same scene was used in different cartoons. At first I thought it was only me noticing that and then it kinda became natural to me to “see” the same scene in different movies. But the other day I was on youtube and I saw a video that actually put together the same scenes from different movies (so I was right, what a smart boy I was!).
From “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Robin Hood” from “Cinderella” to “Beauty And The Beast” and the list could go on. It’s no surprise that they also used the same “actors” for different cartoons (Baloo-Little John, Sir Hiss-Kaa).
At the end this saved time to the people that were drawing the cartoon and it was giving us more cartoon to watch so…how can we be mad at Walt Disney for using this little trick.
At the end is a matter of licks; everybody uses them.