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usually a vocal only or instrumental only version of the song is still considered infringement, but again, copyright laws have piles of loopholes. If you were writing a parody of a song (like what weird Al does) that is acceptable. If you only use a very small part of the song, or if the song just happens to drift into your background, that’s usually fine too. Some courts have ruled that significant changes constitute a new work, and are no longer bound to the original, so if you rewrite a few chords and change words, you should be okay.
But using the song, as it was written and/or performed is against the rules, and sadly, the record industry isn’t bright enough to see the rewards to be had in inexpensive licensing everyone could afford. I can think of about 25 people who I know who would pay, say, $25 to use a pop song legally in their material. I can’t name one person who can afford to fork over $2,500 for the same song