Tonal Trends Pop Music Theory for Songwriters

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   Hi Everybody!

   So yeah, “Spotter Shooters.” This is an arms-wide-open call for guest vlogs, because should be a place where anyone can yap about what they think is cool about music, or point out any cool tonal trends that they see, (or, “spot”, like I like to say, in case you haven’t noticed by now.)

   But yeah, I really believe that the more people that can be encouraged to talk about the tonal trends and music theory stuff they see…er spot… the more-- I can learn about music from them, and the more we can learn from each other. Okay, here’s what you have to do, if that sounds like fun to you.

   First, get your own Youtube channel, if you don’t already have one. Oh, and BTW, if you do already have your own website or Youtube channel dedicated to music talk, let us know about it, and we'll list you in the Spotter Soulmates page, which is a page about other cool music sites that deal with the nuts and bolts of music making!

   Ok, after you shoot your vlog, upload it to Youtube. By the way, if you want to use the Tonal Trends logo for bookends like I do, just right-click and choose “save photo as,” but you don’t have to, it’s just there to use if you want to; you can come up with your own bookends if you prefer.

   Alright, after your video is done and uploaded, send me a link to it, along with a transcript, via email or facebook message, and I’ll whip up a page for it, and put it in the appropriate table of contents—either Smarts, Syncs, Stats, or Spots.

   Which page it goes on depends on what it’s about.

   If your vlog is about a music theory topic, it’ll go on the Spotter Smarts Vlog Homepage.

   You could also shoot a video for the Spotter Syncs Vlog, if you want to do a real-time talk-along commentary to a song that you know real well, and really like a lot. Or, well, you don’t have to like it a lot I guess. You could do a Sync Vlog about a song you hate, or love to hate or something, that might be cool. Anything goes.

Guest Vlogging Intro

"How to make a Whiteboard Vlog"

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   Next, the Spotter Stats Vlog is for videos about song stats. They’re harder to do, because you have to collect a lot of data to do a good one. But they are worth it if you want to try; I mean, I have a lot of fun doing them, and you really do learn a lot. But yeah, they’re a lot of work, so put on a pot of coffee.

   Last, probably the best thing to get you started guest vlogging, is to do a Spotter Spots video. That’s if there’s just one or two cool things you’d like to blog about—like maybe you heard a rad chord somewhere and you want to point it out, and show us what it is and how it works, or a cool time change or modulation, or something like that. No spot is too small.

   Okay, next, if you’d like some ideas on how to shoot video blogs, you can watch the Spotter Shooters Series on the right side of this page—at least just to see how I do it, and then take or leave whatever you learn from that, and then do it in your way, whatever works for you.

   Incidentally, one thing I have learned thus far is that you probably don’t want to shoot videos that are too long to digest in one sitting. So, if you have a bigger idea for a vlog, break it up into parts—so like “The tonal differences between all the different versions of all the different live Phish songs, parts 1, 2, 3-4-5-6-100 or whatever. Or maybe you could start with part 4, and then later do like a prequel trilogy, like those movies…

   Alright let’s talk “rating systems.” If your video is super good and people like it, we’ll start putting little magnifying glasses next to its links!

   So like, here’s what I mean: If your video gets 10 youtube likes, it gets one little magnifying glass icon next to its link, if it gets 25 likes—two magnifying glasses, 50=3, 100=4 200+=five!

   I haven’t put this system into place yet, but hopefully, as the site grows, you’ll be seeing them pop up here and there, next to the most popular music vlogs.

   Oh, here’s another thing: don’t feel like you can’t do a vlog about something that’s already been done. More than one entry on whatever is fine, because there is more than one way to describe a term, or a song, or to skin a cat.

   I mean, In English, we have at least two or three words for everything. You can see it in music too: we got the Five chord/Dominant; the Chorus/The head; the bVII chord or just the VII chord if it’s applied you’re in minor, or you could call it the IV/IV; and on and on… so yeah, we want the potatoes and the potahtos, it’s all good.

    The last thing I’ll talk about is “monetization”, dun dun dun. So like, if you’re into rolling in the pennies, you can monetize your blogs and videos with Google Adsense.

   It’s pretty easy to set up an account, and if you do, I can plug your adsense code into your tonaltrends page, if you want. Also, your adsense account hooks up to your youtube channel as well. So, you can get your pennies from both ad clicks and video views.

   This is pretty cool, but you should probably only do this if you become a regular contributor, or if you already have an adsense account from somewhere else because you create cool stuff elsewhere on the net.

   But yeah, again, before you start getting the dollar signs in your eyeballs, just one or two guest vlogs probably won’t translate into a lot of pennies, just FYI. But, I mean, since I started with it, it’s paid for my domain and a lot of my website fees, so that’s cool. It is what it is. If you have more questions about it, send me an email or facebook message, and I’ll help you out.

   Oh, but there are a couple rules Google has, that you should know about:

   #1, never click on your own ads, and,

   #2, never ASK your viewers or visitors to click on your advertisements either. These are huge “no-no’s”, and Google will like come to your house and drop an angry pregnant walrus on your head if you do…so yeah, now you know.

   We may someday move to a model where some video lessons are available for sale, for like for a dollar or something, like it is on guitar lesson websites and stuff. But…I mean, that’s a long ways off yet… if it ever happens, we’ll see. I’m not too focused on it right now…

   Alright! Well, that’s the skinny on guest vlogging!

   I hope you’ll consider joining the team, and submit a video or two. Till then take care and keep spotting the tonal trends.

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