Getting ringtones for your cell phone has become one of the hottest ways to set yourself apart on today’s scene. If you want to stand out in a crowd, the ringtone you choose can be a big step in the right direction.
So you want a great ringtone, but have no idea what makes one great? Follow the advice below and learn where the bar has been raised by the top 10 list below, dubbed the first class of the ringtone Hall of Fame.
Separating great ringtones from the rest of the bunch requires a series of judging criteria. First and foremost, a great ringtone must come from a great song. While it is possible for great songs to yield disappointing ringtones, the opposite is impossible. The ringtone must also be easily recognizable to many people. Everyone wants that ringtone that makes people smile and say, “I love that song" when your phone rings.
From a musical standpoint, the ringtone must be created from one of three song portions: the intro, the hook, or the solo. The success of these three parts to the musical equation are make or break for hit songs, making them essential to the success of a ringtone. Because of the technology format, songs that make great ringtones also need to have simple layers. Songs with dueling drums or guitars cause a ringtone to sound cluttered, making it difficult to identify by ear. The intros to songs like “Stairway to Heaven" and “A Thousand Miles" make great ringtones because they are catchy and easy on the ear.
In addition to coming from a particular section of a song, great ringtones must also feature a strong, repetitious percussion line. Whether that persistent pulse comes from the bass line of “Drop It Like It’s Hot" or from the synthesizers in “Take On Me, " the ability for many people to recognize a specific song comes from that repetition.
While the final keystones are being cemented into the ringtone shrine, here are the first ten inductees into the Ringtone Hall of Fame:
1. “In Da Club" – 50 Cent
Besides being Billboard’s inaugural “Ringtone of the Year" in 2004, 50’s first #1 hit has a bass line built for making heads bob. The strings section adds suspense to the song and puts high notes on top of the gutter base line. Having “In Da Club" as a ringtone means the party is never farther away than your phone.
2. “Stairway to Heaven" – Led Zeppelin
The calming woodwind that accompanies Page’s slow guitar picking makes for rock – and ringtone – heaven on earth. Several portions of this song have been made into ringtones, but the tone depicting the song’s introduction is truly a classic.
3. “Sweet Home Alabama" – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Music fans of all ages get a smile on their face at the first sound of this southern-rock classic. Change a party’s atmosphere from get together to jamboree by a simple “ring-ring. " The MP3 version is a required tone for country and classic rock fans.
4. “Super Mario Brothers" Game Theme
The essential ringtone for gamers. The polyphonic tone is an exact replication of the track from 16-bit Nintendo.
5. “Halloween" Movie Theme
Perfect custom tone for friends named Michael Myers. One of the most popular ringtones of all time that can outsell pop hits year round.
6. “The Next Episode" - Dr. Dre
While many hip-hop ringtones sound poor due to the overuse of dull bass lines, “The Next Episode" features thumping bass and a pulsating G-funk guitar lick, creating the bench mark for multi layered ringtones.
7. “Mission Impossible" Theme Song
Another incredibly popular ringtone despite its age that will only get more popular as the third installment of the movie franchise begins filming. Perfect as a custom tone for those over-demanding bosses in the workplace.
8. “Sandstorm" – DaRude
Like “Super Mario Brothers, " a distinct song replica is created by the polyphonic ringtone. A must for fans of techno music and another, sure fire, party-starter tone.
9. “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Theme Song
The only hip-hop song your father can rap over is one of the most recognizable ringtones available. The beat is so contagious that setting it as your default ringer in a public place will cause a room to begin rhyming along as if they were Will Smith.
10. “The Jetsons" Theme Song
While the Jetsons had a lot of great things in their future world, one thing they don’t have is their own song as a phone ringer. We don’t have flying automobiles yet, but show off the evolution of cell phone technology with the upbeat polyphonic ditty.
Jonathan Bentz is an Associate Editor of the Cool Ringtones Blog and has downloaded 39 ringtones in the last month on his new Samsung camera phone. Check out MonsterTones for all the hottest ringtones. Enter promo code MJKB0 for a buy one, get one free special.