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Week 1 of the Sonic Groove Live Contest is Live! // Record your performance and use the tags #sonicgroove and #SGL to enter!

A guide on how to enter Sonic Groove Live and why we have these rules

So as you may know Sonic Groove Live aka SGL is a new music contest on Steem and Sonic Groove, now it's time to explain how things will be running. We have decided to make some changes to the format most music contest run on the platform, so we wanted to make sure everyone understood why we were structuring things in this new way.

Spanish translation of post linked here

The Goal of SGL:

Our main goals are to support the musicians on the platform, to help promote and highlight the talent and skill represented in our community in an open and transparent fashion, above all else appreciate good music and have a good time!

What will the SGL account do with all the funds it earns?:

Given one of our main goals is to support the musicians on the platform, we intend to burn all the sonicgroove and creative coin the SGL account makes. Steem and other tokens will be converted into Steem to be powered up to the main SGL account, for increased upvote value to posts entering.

Basic Structure of SGL Contest:

The contest will run over a one week period.

  • This will be broken down into three different distinct sections.

    1. 48 hour submissions window.
    2. 48 hour judges selection.
    3. 72 hour winning post promotion.

We have decided to structure things this way for one major reason, we want to be able to help promote and support the very best musicians on the platform. To do this and actually let people still be able to vote and support the winning posts, we needed to reduce the entry and judging times so at the very least people would still have at least 3 days left before their winning post pays out.

One of the biggest issues here is people being able to submit in the allocated time, however whilst this is a live contest that doesn't mean you can't record your performance early and schedule a post to go active in the weekly window.

I do have to mention though you can plan ahead and record multiple entries and schedule them to submit in their appropriate weeks, but all entries will need to meet all other criteria to still be considered valid entries.

The massive positive for structuring things this way is that we can ensure at least 3 days to highlight the posts on the, ensuring more eyes are on the winning posts before they pay out and increasing the potential attention, interaction and support a winner can receive.

It will also be more demanding on the judging, each week the judges only have 48 hours to review all entries, make their selections and post a top 5 judges selection. As we are using a system to determine who wins each week, it is crucial the results are all in on time so we can announce the winners without confusion to our entrants.

Finally the 72 hour winning post promotion is the end stage, this not only means the winning posts will be resteemed by the SGL account, but it will also promote and highlight the posts on This allows for winning posts to get extra attention and hopefully interaction and support!


Rules for entering SGL:

Submit a post meeting all criteria within the allocated 48 hour window for your entry to be considered a valid entry, all entries submitted before or after this window will automatically be disqualified.

  • This is a small window to get your post out, however we have no issues with people preparing their posts in advance (just ensure they meet all other specifications included being a live recording made specifically for this contest)
  • We strongly encourage people to record their entries earlier in the week and schedule the post to ensure your entry is in on time.
  • We don't want to spam the blockchain weekly with posts that contain the same information, so having a set weekly 48 hour time period makes the most sense to make things easier on entrants and not spam the blockchain.
  • Given that the judges only have 48 hours to watch and write their top 5 posts, we have to ensure a strict cut off time so that they have enough time to do what's needed.
  • This window will be open for the same 48 hours each week, so over time it will be easier for people to know when to have their entries in by.
  • This window will begin every week at Thursday 1 am CST / Thursday 6 am UTC and will close at Saturday 1 am CST / Saturday 6 am UTC.

Your entry post must be titled "Sonic Groove Live", the week number, state whether it is a cover or original and the name/title of the piece.

  • This is so we can easily identify what's an entry and what's just talk about SGL, or even # misuse.
  • The week number helps us keep track that were looking at the right entries each week.
  • It's really helpful for the judges to know if the entry is a cover or original work.
  • Also ensuring we can clearly identify the correct title of the song when reviewing and mentioning the performance.

Your entry post needs to be tagged #sonicgroove and #SGL.

  • This one is pretty straight forward, we need the post tagged #sonicgroove so that it will show up on the site, without this tag we can't see your post let alone promote it.
  • As for the SGL tag that is specifically for the contest and all posts about the contest, so again it helps us know where to look for your entries.

Each valid entry must contain a live recording made specifically for this contest, it must include the live playing of an instrument or vocalist.

  • We do not accept prior recordings from other events reused for this contest, all entries must be live for this contest.
  • We do accept entries that are performed at live event venues, just ensure they are still intro'd properly to remain valid.
  • We are after musicians, making music so of course we require a video showing you play and instrument or sing to be considered a valid entry.
  • We want to encourage entrants to upload unedited entries, this is not a strict rule but there is something amazing about hearing a raw performance in all it's glory.

Every video entry requires an intro where you state your username, "Sonic Groove Live" week no # and the name of the piece you will be performing.

  • It is very important to stress your face must be visible and well lit in this intro, we want to get a face to go along with that name.
  • Also we don't want to see any big costume/scene changes, if your performing for us at the beach intro it there not at home.
  • It is also important that we can hear you clearly during this time, we need to know exactly what your saying so try not to rush through it to quickly on us :D

We simply must have a youtube link included in your entry post.

  • I'm sorry to say this but other video sources don't display properly on the platform, we can't properly promote a performance we can't easily display so it really is in your best interest to include it.
  • If we were to accept entries without youtube links, there would be blank spots where videos should be displaying your performance. It really all comes down to looking sloppy, directing people away from the platform and making it harder for us to promote you the artists the best we can.
  • Now in saying you must include a youtube link do not think we want to lock this down, no not at all. You are more than welcome to include a dtube, choon or any other source for your music, just pleas also include a youtube link.
  • This way judges can embed your video in their post's so people can listen to your performance while they listen along, plus it just makes our lives easier lol.

One entry per person per week.

  • So this is an easier one, basically we will not accept more than one entry. If you do submit more then one you will get a warning and if you continue your posts may be ignored altogether in the future.
  • We don't want people dressing up and posting under multiple account either, this is why we require the well lit video intro's (this has been an issue in other music contest's).
  • Also we do want to encourage people to do collaborations, however we will not be responsible for dolling out the winnings between all performers. If your entry is a collaboration and you do win it is up to you and the others you worked with to divvy up the proceeds.
  • We can suggest if you do want to do a collaboration with someone, try doing two or as many different recordings as needed so everyone can post their own unique entry that week. But again we will not be responsible for sending the money to multiple parties. The winnings will be sent to the author of the winning post, the rest is up to you all :D

Each performance that has vocals requires the lyrics to be included in the post.

  • This helps so much with judging especially for original songs or songs in a foreign language, this allows the judges to be able to easily and visually break down a song and it's construction and also helps determine the mood of a piece which can be really helpful to ensure the correct emotions are being conveyed in the performance.
  • This also helps stop for lack of a better phrase shit posts, basically we want to encourage people to put effort into their post as well as their performance. It's an easy thing to include that adds a lot of extra context and structure to your post.
  • We would also like to encourage instrumentalists to provide sheet music if at all possible, I know this is more difficult but again this helps both you and the judges in the long run (but this is not essential at all).

All types of music are valid

  • That's right we will accept all forms of music this includes but is not limited to instrumentalists, bands, acapella, soloists etc.
  • Really this is the one thing where anything goes, we want it all so impress us with some serious variety. All music is welcome :D

How will it be judged?

We will be implementing a point system to help ensure the best are selected as winners each week, besides choosing a team of talented musicians to help judge SGL we wanted to take out the personal bias. By having 5 judges we offer a wide range of style and personalities and viewpoints into consideration, we also take all the judges who submit their selections seriously so where your placed in a top 5 matters!

In simpler terms each judge gets to post a top 5, that means 5 possible entries from 5 different judges. Sure there is probably going to be some overlap but that's what will make the big difference in this contest, each place from 1st to 5th will be allocated a point value.

1st = 5pts
2nd = 4pts
3rd = 3pts
4th = 2pts
5th = 1pt

So if more than one judge selects your entry your chance of winning increases depending on where they placed you and who else also snapped up multiple judges votes, this increases the possibility of the winner just being known after all judges have finished their selection posts.

Which we feel makes the contest more transparent, both entrants and viewers will be able to understand who won each week and why. This also reduces the need for one person to have final say, we do however have a plan for if a stalemate ever occurs - we have a Shane aka @swelker101 aka our Lord of Kazoo to break the tie and hey then we can always blame Shane!

So what's this all for anyway?

Well we have managed to gather a great group of prizes that we intend to share as follows:

1st Prize:

  • 5000 Sonic Groove delegation for 4 weeks!
  • 100 Steem
  • 100 Creative Coin
  • 200 Sonic Groove
  • 30 HLPE token
  • Winning post will be featured in SGL's weekly winner's announcement post.
  • Winning post promoted on
  • Winning post resteemed by SGL account to sit as the top post for at least 3 days.
  • Winning post will be tweeted by the SGL twitter account and pinned for 3 days.
  • Winning post will receive a 100% upvote from the Helpie account.

2nd Prize:

  • 50 Creative Coin
  • 100 Sonic Groove
  • 20 HLPE token
  • Winning post will be featured in SGL's weekly winner's announcement post.
  • Winning post promoted on
  • Winning post resteemed by SGL to sit at second post place for at least 3 days.
  • Winning post will be tweeted by the SGL twitter account.

3rd Prize:

  • 50 Creative Coin
  • 75 Sonic Groove
  • 10 HLPE token
  • Winning post will be featured in SGL's weekly winner's announcement post.
  • Winning post promoted on
  • Winning post resteemed by SGL to sit at third post place for at least 3 days.
  • Winning post will be tweeted by the SGL twitter account.

Judging Criteria:

So please know that this is not a strict guide for the judges, this is more a guide to help you the entrant know and be able to focus on what areas we are likely to be focusing on.

Instrument Technique

The main things we will be looking at here are the fundamentals of music, from the simple things like is the instrument in tune (trust me this not always the case and has happened before... many times.) through to assessing the complexity of the piece itself.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Is the instrument in tune?
  • Were there any missed notes?
  • Were tempo transitions executed with precision?
  • How complex is the piece of music?
  • Was the piece performed with skill or were they struggling to meet the needs of the music?
  • Can we hear the instrument clearly at all times, even when conveying softer more emotional moments?
  • Were there interesting techniques used throughout or as a focus?


If included in the performance, there are several different thing's judges will be looking at to determine where to place an entry.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Are the vocals in tune, are there any pitch issues throughout the performance?
  • How well is the vocal range displayed?
  • Is there control and agility displayed?
  • Is there power behind the vocals and if so how well controlled?
  • Did they use an interesting vocal tone or texture to enhance their performance?
  • Are the vocals clear enough to hear and understand the lyrics?
  • Is the emotion conveyed through the vocals clearly?
  • Is the music overpowering the vocals?
  • Was there a creative use of the melody?
  • Did they use any harmonies or vocal layering?
  • Were different vocal techniques used and what were their effect?

Entertainment Value

Sometimes people forget that just because this is a recorded performance that they don't have to put in any energy, well I have watched many performances where the people look disinterested even bored. If you don't want to be there, why would people want to watch it? Everyone should consider their entry as a performance, this doesn't mean you need a stage and lighting. It means you need to connect with the music and the audience through the video.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Did you look bored?
  • Were we compelled to move and get into the song as you performed it?
  • Did you perform the song, or simply repeat the notes?
  • Did you engage with the music?
  • Did your face convey the emotions relevant to the song?
  • Was it enjoyable to watch?
  • Did we want to watch it multiple times?
  • Did you connect with the music?
  • Did you assist the audience to connect with the music?

With originals we may also consider:

Musical Composition

This is all about the structure and framework of your music, this is that backbone of an original performance and that can cover a lot of different things.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Dose the song follow a typical song format/pattern?
  • Is the music creative and unpredictable?
  • Is the music following and intuitive structure?
  • Is the composition complex?
  • Are there interesting key changes used?
  • How well did the music fit the lyrics (if included)?
  • Are there time changes used within the performance?


Lyrics can make or break an entry or original song, there are so many elements that need to come together to create a cohesive sound and feel. The judges may focus on different aspects or the same, but some of these could be as follows.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Does the lyric fit the music?
  • Is there complex language and vocabulary used in the lyrics?
  • Is there emotive language used in the lyrics?
  • Is the style and structure of the lyrics unique or stylised?
  • Does the lyric match the mood set by the music?
  • Does the lyric fit in time with the music or are sections rushed?


The music and the lyrics are but two aspects that make up your typical song, the melody is the glue that binds them all together into one moving force. The judges will all have their own personal preferences of course, but the things we will likely be looking for will probably overlap in some of the following focuses.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • How well does the melody mesh with the music?
  • Does the melody match the mood of the lyrics?
  • Does the melody enhance the effectiveness of the lyrics?
  • Does the melody enhance the effectiveness of the music?
  • Is the structure of the melody instinctual and natural or complex and varied?
  • Is it fun to sing the melody along with the music provided?
  • Is there anything different about the melody that stands out?

As I mentioned before this is just so you the entrants, get an idea of what we the judges might be looking for in an entry. None of these lists are exhaustive and I have tried to offer a wide variety of aspects we could be looking at, I hope this helps you all in your first entries of SGL.

We wanted to start this contest sooner, but it took a little bit longer than anticipated to get all the details set out straight. We have made some pretty significant changes to how most if not all music contest are run on the platform, we hope these changes will enable the contest to run smoothly for as long as possible.

We have set out to make this contest as transparent and as clear as possible for all involved or simply interested, the SGL account will try to only post relevant content like the weekly winners post to ensure the winners get prime focus for as long as possible.

Well that's pretty much it, feel free to leave any questions you may have below and one of the SGL team will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope you will all join us this first week we're live, remember entries open this Thursday at 1 am CST / Thursday 6 am UTC and will close at Saturday 1 am CST / Saturday 6 am UTC.

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