What is it about music theory that has the power to inspire boredom, hatred or even fear in musicians? Humans usually don’t care for what they don’t understand, so it makes sense that even the most seasoned musicians sometimes yawn or shudder at the thought of music theory, a topic that’s benefits are frequently undersold and basic concepts poorly explained. But learning just a few music theory concepts is a powerful tool that every musician can use for writing, performing and understanding music. Rather than being a dusty set of rules that you’ll never apply to anything in your daily life, music theory is brimming with living ideas that can completely change the way you hear and create music.
This is part one of a special ReverbNation basic music theory guide. By the end of this guide, you’ll have everything you need to understand intervals, scales, chords, the circle of 5ths and other important music theory ideas. But before I walk you through the basic principles found in music theory, I need to tell you why it’s such an important thing for musicians to become familiar with.
Every artist longs for the experience of playing to a sold-out crowd. The imagined cheers from your most loyal fans can be real enough that you can practically hear them singing your songs back at you. But sold-out shows don’t happen by accident. (This is a theme in the music industry, if you haven’t noticed—nothing happens by accident.)
When you’ve been on a lengthy tour, or haven’t played out in a while, it can seem like a no brainer that your hometown show will be packed—but it isn’t so. Creating an environment in which people actually want to attend will take some work, but it can be done, and done well. Check out these five tips for selling out your hometown show.
Sneak Attack Media is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in NYC. Since its inception in 2006, Sneak Attack has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world including The Cult, Tom Petty, and many more. We chatted with Marni Wandner, the President of Sneak Attack Media, to learn how artists can market themselves like a pro.
Hey Marni, thanks for chatting with us and we’re excited to launch the Sneak Attack Artist Reboot opportunity! As President of Sneak Attack Media, can you give us an introduction to the company?
Hi! We’re excited for the launch as well – we’re looking forward to being able to help a lot of artists navigate the crazy world of promoting their own music. We’re extremely passionate about putting the keys back into artists’ hands and giving them the map they need to build their own fanbases.
Sneak Attack is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in New York City. This year marks 10 years of promoting entertainment and lifestyle brands through innovative digital strategy, and collaboration directly with our amazing clients.
We tend to do things a little differently than most marketing and PR companies so each campaign is quite different, and our clients are people who think outside the box right alongside us.
What does Sneak Attack Media offer artists? Sneak Attack offers creative online PR, grassroots digital marketing, social media strategy, content creation and consultation, creative promotions, and influencer partnerships. Some of our campaigns are a few months long, some go on for years.
With a Independent Music Awards nomination and a new album out, Alabama-based garage rock band The Dirty Clergy needs to be on your next playlist. We caught up with the guys to get the lowdown on their new album Rattlesnake, Alabama music scene, influences, and more.
Hey guys! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Who is The Dirty Clergy?
The Dirty Clergy is a garage rock band from Winfield, AL. We began as a folk rock duo and that got boring really quick, so we blossomed into what we are now. A pretty loud, 5 piece, rock band.
Congratulations on being nominated for Best Indie/Alternative Rock Album of the Year at Independent Music Awards! Have you ever received a nomination before and what was your experience like?
This was our first nomination for any type of award. It was a nice experience. The people behind the IMA’s are super nice and they put on a great program for independent artists. They are really dedicated to helping boost the artists to the next level. It’s well organized and is held at the Lincoln Center each year. I look forward to working with these guys more and snagging some of those awards soon. Aside from the 32 hour drive up there and back in such a short period of time, everything was great.
What is the concept behind your Rattlesnake album?
It’s basically just taking you through the steps of a relationship. It’s not really arranged chronologically, but if someone wanted to attempt to put those songs in order they could. It’d take some lengthy listening though.
By combining R&B and hip-hop, LA-based singer/songwriter and rapper Young Scrap will have you listening to his tracks on repeat with his unique style of “Trill And B.” We caught up with him to get the deets on his latest album, what it’s like to perform with Nipsey Hussle, 21 Savage and Trey Songz, what advice he’d give aspiring hip-hop artists, and more.
Hey Young Scrap! Before we get started tell can you tell us little about yourself?
I’m a singer, rapper and songwriter from Inglewood, California that’s a huge video game nerd and grew up in love with music. Lol
We read you grew up in Inglewood, CA and later moved to Maryland. Both cities have had a major influence on hip-hop culture. How has living in both cities influenced your style?
Maryland taught me about a style of music they call “go-go” and “club” since I’m right in the middle of D.C. and Baltimore. It gave me a major chance to soak up both influences and utilize them sometimes in my music.
How do you describe your sound and what kind of message are you trying to send to your fans?
My sound I call it “Trill And B” it’s a mix of R&B and hip-hop that’s heavily influenced by the Houston sound of rap. As far as my message I wanna promote 90’s love…nobody’s in “love” anymore. Everybody just wants sex. Or at least according to music and artist today…I’d like to change it back to how it used to be. Peace, love and positivity.
Ghost Ramp Records, who has released music from a diverse range of artists including Wavves, Best Coast, Weezer, and more, is scouting unsigned artists via an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity. We chatted with Patrick McDermott, co-founder of Ghost Ramp, to learn about what sets them apart from other indie labels, what they look for in artists, and more.
Ghost Ramp Records is the the brainchild of Wavves front man Nathan Williams and Patrick McDermott. How did you two meet and what inspired you to start a label together? How has it evolved since its inception?
Nathan and I met via mutual friends. Our friendship really stemmed from our mutual interest in video games (and possibly getting relatively drunk while playing them). But seriously – I think when you meet a fellow gamer as an adult it’s something that does really build a bond. It’s collaborative and just really snowballs in terms of other nerdy hobbies and interests.
Ghost Ramp releases music across several genres. What are some factors you look for when recruiting new artists?
We aren’t calculated with trying to check boxes with genres or really worried about confusing people with lots of genres. I think the modern listener has a diverse palette as ever. People listen to everything just like we do. We truly just put out what we like.
Why do you think its important for a record label to release video game OSTs? Is the release process different from ‘regular’ music releases?
I don’t think it’s necessarily important for other labels to worry about video game OSTs (please leave them to us :)) haha but yes I just really believe some of the best electronic music is coming out of video game scores. I’ve always been super drawn to OST music and I believe it’s time to close the gap between the traditional music world and the video game world which is often considered niche (but in fact has arguably a larger listener base).
Get to know Brooklyn’s music/art collective, Dead Leaf Echo! We chatted with the group to get the deets on their new cassette, I WILL Do Anything Tour, influences, and more.
Hey Dead Leaf Echo, introduce yourselves. We are LG: Guitar,Vocals Ana B.: Guitar, Vocals Kevin K: Drum Steve S: Bass
You recently premiered “sparks.fly.from.a.kiss” on IMPOSE who called it, “Badass, sensual, and intense, this track is something we intend to play at our next big party.” What’s the story behind the track? That’s a last minute B-side that was added to the tape. It was created in the studio with a drum machine and one guitar. The lead off track “I will do (anything)” (premiered on Brooklyn Vegan) was recorded at Mexican Summer’s studio Gary’s Electrical with Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Violens) we tracked it there almost 2 years ago! It’s nice to finally release something after such a long time.
What’s the concept behind split cassette with Did You Die? We played this wild techno party in Vancouver with them before the van broke down in British Columbia. It was ultimately the last show of our west coast tour last year. We knew there was something special there and they had suggested we do something collectively together. We have these 2 tracks that aren’t going to be on our new album so it worked out perfectly for this tape release. Plus we’ve never released any music on that format so that’s cool.
When do you know you need a manager and how do you find one? Our Nashville-based CONNECT Manager, Daren, who works with a roster of CONNECT artists and who spent three years at Red Light Management handling day-to-day duties for 3 Doors Down, von Grey, and working collaboratively on a roster that included Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley, rounded up tips for how to find a great manager.
Do you want a manager? Most artists will say, “Yes, of course!”, but the question to ask is whether you really need a manager. Be honest…and usually the answer is: I don’t need a manager…yet. The groundwork needs to be laid by you. Have you figured out who you are as an artist, what your live show is all about, and created some sense of branding? These things take time to develop and usually your fanbase develops along with this. This in turn usually attracts the attention of the music industry. We are a pretty chatty bunch and typically talk about what new acts we are into. So, without further ado: