Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board: What constitutes a critique? - Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board

Jump to content

Forum Rules

>Please use the ďForum GuidelinesĒ link at the top of the screen to read General Policies.
>Remember that these songs are only going to be kept up here a maximum of 30 days. Keep a backup of your work.

Rules for Posting a Song:
1) Please critique 2 or more songs for every song you post.
2) Please post only one song per day.
3) Please keep it tasteful i.e. no overt sexuality or obscene, offensive language, etc.
4) Please indicate the intended genre below the title of your song, and also what kind of a critique you're after. Is this a song that you'll be promoting commercially? Is it a song you wrote simply because you wanted to and you'd like to make it better? The more info people have, the better they'll be able to give you the kind of feedback you're after. And please PLEASE note - if you're not really after critique at all, don't post here. The Artist's Cafe is happy to hear your completed songs. This is the place to post if you want honest feedback and are prepared to take what is given (what you do with it, is of course, up to you).
5) Please post the lyrics along with the clickable link to your song's music.
6) Only post songs you have written or have permission to post. Please don't post cover songs.
7) It is polite to acknowledge critiques, but please donít overdo it by ďbumpingĒ your thread to the top too frequently.
8) If you revise the song, please give a date and post on the same thread, or folks will unknowingly still comment on the old one.
9) Please be sure to visit other areas of the board to both learn and spread your knowledge.

Rules for Critiquing a Song:
1) The purpose of this forum is to promote better song writing by providing encouragement and constructive feedback focused on improvement. Strive to be courteous and respectful in your critiques, keeping in mind that we all come to this forum with different perspectives, genre preferences and levels of experience.
2) Offer constructive criticism and suggestions you think may help the writer make the most of his or her vision of where they want to go with their song.
3) If you think something really works, say so. Make an attempt to say why you think it does. If you see areas you think could be improved, explain why you believe they need improvement and offer suggestions, if you have any.

Anonymity often helps us forget that there is a person at the other end of our critique. Imagine, if you can, that you are speaking to the writer face to face.

Thanks!
  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

What constitutes a critique? Dicussion

Poll: What constitutes a critique? (51 member(s) have cast votes)

Should "atta boy" critiques count towards the 2-4 rule?

You cannot see the results of the poll until you have voted. Please login and cast your vote to see the results of this poll.

When songs are bumped after extended periods of time, should that require another 2-4 critiques?

You cannot see the results of the poll until you have voted. Please login and cast your vote to see the results of this poll.
Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

  • Ph.D Drumology
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 4,095
  • Joined: 24-November 03
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Canadia

Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:34 AM

Here on the Song Critiques board, as most of you know, there is a 2-4 critique per posting of your own song rule. And I wanted to discuss some points with ya'll.

First, when people post very short 1-2 sentence "Hey good job" replies to a song post, it is my opinion that that DOESN'T constitute a critique and for many people is merely a loophole so they aren't breaking the 2-4 critique rule. Should this be an enforced rule? I think it's lame and people should put some effort into critiquing the songs before they post their own. I realize there are sometimes when all you can really do is give kudos, but my point is...that shouldn't count as far as the 2-4 rule.

Secondly, when people bump their song posts after a long time, say 3+ weeks, should that require another 2-4 critiques? It seems like another loophole to me.
Mark
SoundCloud
Facebook
YouTube


Always up for a collaboration with lyricists!

#2 User is offline   Tom Honeyman Icon

  • Inspirational Muse
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 457
  • Joined: 07-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 07 June 2010 - 12:05 PM

This is more of an honor system rule imo. Critique the songs you can, give encouragement on the ones you want to, and be reasonable. I don't want to get a rushed, useless critique from someone rushing to fill their quota, I'd rather get them from the people who want to take the time to list honest improvements I could make.

Bumping songs is a different matter; I'm not sure how long the cutoff on old posts is in this forum, but I feel like 2 weeks with no new posts or updated song file is more than enough and that post can go. If someone is bumping unnecessarily, we can let them know and ask them to stop.
This is how the world ends;
Not with a bang, but a whimper.

#3 User is online   Neal K Icon

  • Smile. It'll do you good.
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,964
  • Joined: 20-November 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kelowna, BC, Canada

Posted 07 June 2010 - 12:13 PM

I think there is a place for 'Hey, good job" critiques as long as there is a description of what, specifically, makes it a good job. Is it the rhyme scheme, the melody, the chord progression, a combination of everything? To me that shows that the critiquer actually listened (or read) to the song with some kind of discerning ear (eye).

Actually moderating the "way to go posts" is another matter. It's pretty tough to do.

I'm with you about bumping songs after a few weeks, or begging for critiques if there have been few or no comments. If your lyric or song has no comments, there's probably a reason.

Neal
The forest would be silent if only the best birds sang.

#4 User is offline   Billy Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,963
  • Joined: 12-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ware, Ma

Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:10 PM

All very good points! Way to go, I loved what you had to say. By the way, does that count as 1 of my posts? :huh:


I guess it's all about the culture we create. I'd love to see more in depth, well thought out critiques that promote personal growth and development. I'd like to think I do that sometimes and sometimes I think what I write is garbage. Sometimes it's laziness on my part or simply the fact that I'm just not into it and other times I simply miss the mark. I've gone back and read some of the things I've written and said boy I really was on point there and I've also gone back and said what the heck was I smoking? It really just depends. Although, I do think a critique is the ability to provide someone with information that will hopefully make their work better. The term "critique" get tossed around pretty freely at times and everything that we write isn't always a critique. In fact, quite often it's not. Nice job Sammy, I Love you and your music. You rock! I'm not really sure what that is but it certainly isn't a critique. We tend to go through cycles around here. I must say though, it's hard at times to write an objective critique when you know it's going to be sandwiched between a bunch of fluffernutter! Personally, I've got my wife and a few friends that can provide me with all of the pats on the back I'll ever need. What I'm looking for here is the real hard truth which will hopefully help me get better. I know everyone's not as concerned about that and that's fine but maybe that should be stated up front. Nothing worse than pissing someone off who wanted a back slap intstead of a tongue lashing! :D


I struggle a bit with feedback on the music forum. Not being a musician, has led to a number of problems. First, I can't really give any technical advice or feedback regarding the music. Secondly, whether or not some would like to admit it or not, I think there's the experience factor. NBA players have been known to snub the advice of head coaches who didn't play in the league. In there opinion, without the credentials, what do they know about the game and the level in which it's being played. For the most part, I disagree with this assertion but it does exist. I don't think you have to be a player to be a good coach, though it does help. I think we see some of this here as well. If you're not a musician, I think it's easy at times for musicians to become a bit dismissive. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think that's the case all of the time but I have sensed it to be true on some occasions. What I can bring to the table is a love of music and in my opinion, an ear for what simply sounds good. Now that can be subjective but I do think I've got pretty good taste and a wide array of interests in many different genres.

Too often, I see someone telling someone how great there stuff is when it's really not that good at all. What purpose does this serve? In fact, to a certain degree from time to time, I've been guilty of it as well. It's not my intention to mislead people but I have overdone the praise thing on occasion when it might not have been warranted or more importantly, in anyone's best interest. That's something I like to keep an eye on personally, so I don't give people the wrong type of feedback. As you know, constructive criticism is quite challenging. If it isn't framed quite right, it can simply seem like an attack and very non-productive. However, when done right, it can be a tremedous help and a great tool for personal growth and development. It really comes with practice and it's being modeled all of the time. There are some great critiques posted every week. Mark is excellent at it. Jonie, Alistair, Neil, Don, Ron, and far too many more to even name, have been doing it for a while and their knowledge and experience always shines through in their comments. We all have different styles and approaches and some are more inclined to listen to some than others but it ultimately comes down to what we choose to do with the feedback, whether it be positive or negative. It's really in the end, our responsibility to make our work better. Critiques and the feedback of others is simply a tool in the process. It's really about talent, creativity, and a lot of time and hardwork. In my opinion, without most of these things in place, you don't have a prayer at getting any better. If you're only interested in hearing the good things, than this probably isn't for you. I guess it's about intent as well. I plan to get better at my craft and hope to be good enough someday to get a song or lyric cut. It may never happen but that's my goal. Given the limited time I devote to my improvement, I'm fighting an uphill battle but I'm not willing to give up quite yet. For others, that's not a goal at all. They simply want to write lyrics and make music for their own enjoyment and that's terrific. Once again however, that should probably be stated up front. You can't have it both ways. " I'm only doing this for my own enjoyment but I also want you to critique it, but I only want to hear good things because, remember, this is just for my own enjoyment? Yikes! That's way too much for me to remember! :D


As far as policing? Good luck. I think you've got to buy into the philosopy and if you don't I'm not sure what you can really do? Are you going to ban someone for not giving back their share. I guess you could but I'd much prefer to shame people into doing what's right! :P In all seriousness, I'd like to see responsible, reasonable people just give back to the process that gives them so much in return. That really doesn't seem like so much to ask. Reminders might be the way to go but punishments, admonishments and bannings might just further hinder the process. Just my long winded, rambling thoughts!

Cheers!

P.S. Does this post count as a response to a lyric post? :blink:

Billy

#5 User is online   Neal K Icon

  • Smile. It'll do you good.
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,964
  • Joined: 20-November 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kelowna, BC, Canada

Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:55 PM

View PostBilly, on 07 June 2010 - 11:10 AM, said:

I struggle a bit with feedback on the music forum.


You shouldn't worry about it. If a musician is too "elite" to listen to the advice of a non-musician, then it's their loss. I don't write or play songs for other musicians. If I did, my own lack of skill would scare me into silence. I write songs for people who like to listen to music. Their opinion is sometimes more valuable to me precisely because they can tell me how the song made them feel.

Neal
The forest would be silent if only the best birds sang.

#6 User is offline   SoddyBottoms Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,044
  • Joined: 30-September 09
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:26 PM

I thought it got changed to feedback ? ahahaha..... Me personally , I have a hard time criticizing anyone's work, It's art and who am I to say ? Just like various colors what 1 loves another hates.. For me if I listen and like it , Im gonna compliment the artist.. If I don't like it most of the time Im gonna say nothing.. Most of the time I feel Im not qualified to to tell someone how to do it better.. Positive reinforcement is a good thing, no one likes a know it all...

I wouldn't worry about so much about controlling things , if you don't play well with others they won't play with you.. Another point is just because someone post doesn't mean anyone has to read it.. It don't mean a thing til you click the mouse..

Don't Worry Be Happy , Win some, lose some, some get rained out... Lets make some music and have some fun with it..

Another thing which is only my opinion and we all know bout opinions ... Most Folks don't really want to be criticized in advance,, first they are looking for validation and then maybe some suggestions..


my.02 plus a buck might get you a small cup of coffee...
I have been fortunate enough to get a great bite of the Apple of Life. One thing I know for sure. Watch out for the Worms!

Soddy Bottoms 2013

#7 User is offline   jonie Icon

  • ooo xxx
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 7,190
  • Joined: 29-January 08
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Reading, UK

Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:49 PM

Wow! Great topic.

:D
We have now sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.
Arthur C. Clarke

Don Martin Lyric of the Year 2008 & 2009
1 + 1 Song of the Year 2009 Ain't That True

My Soundclick Page
My lyrics and songs hosted by Lyricadia

#8 User is online   Alistair S Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 12,393
  • Joined: 18-May 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Reading, Berkshire, UK

Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:53 PM

In the medium to long term, I think you get back what you put in (sometimes more). That is especially true of this community (and I don't just mean critiques - I have made some good real-life friends here).

I think it polices itself, mostly. Except for the occasional troll, but they are weeded out fairly quickly.
My Soundclick Music Page
My Facebook Music Page

"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#9 User is offline   jonie Icon

  • ooo xxx
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 7,190
  • Joined: 29-January 08
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Reading, UK

Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:25 PM

Seriously, this is a good topic. I will vote but I'm not sure a yes or no vote addresses the complexities.

I stopped giving in depth critiques for a while because, in too many cases, I felt I was expending a lot of energy for nothing. I'd be at it for at least an hour giving what I thought might be helpful advice and suggestions only to have the writer denounce it all as inapplicable, in their case. Or I've been accused of being too critical. Okay, maybe so but it does make one regretful for the loss. Of course, I was looking at it the wrong way.

When I critique someone else's lyric, even if they find no benefit in it, it benefits me. I've started dipping my toes in the water again and don't really expect a stream of acceptance but I'll continue.

As far as atta-boys or "I agree with......you need to fix XYZ", they do no one any service and I though I think it's a shame the person making the non-critique would consider it one of their 2-4's, I don't think they should be penalized for it. Certainly they must realize that they will only get as much as they give and, if they are not getting any substantial critiques in return, one must assume they either prefer that or will change their practice in time.

I don't see any reason to require bumpers of already posted songs/lyrics to re-critique. It's kind of a pathetic practice unless the songwriter has done a rewrite or re-recording. To bump one's post for no good reason aside from it not garnering enough attention the first go-round is humiliating enough.
We have now sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.
Arthur C. Clarke

Don Martin Lyric of the Year 2008 & 2009
1 + 1 Song of the Year 2009 Ain't That True

My Soundclick Page
My lyrics and songs hosted by Lyricadia

#10 User is offline   Dottie Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,453
  • Joined: 24-March 10
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Atlanta, Ga.
  • Interests:Writing, music, anything creative. I actually enjoy restoring old cars, but I haven't done that for a while.

Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:29 PM

To be honest I don't give in depth critique, I'm not qualified to do that. Reading lyrics is just like hearing half a story and not having a clue about the other half. I can't say it's not good or good enough or colorful enough. I hear music in my head when I write lyrics and it sounds good with the music I hear, but you can't hear it so they're not going to read to you like it does to me. I know others do the same. I have heard many great songs that had I just read the words I probably wouldn't have liked it.
So if I read one that doesn't make sense to me I try to avoid it because I know I'm just hearing part of the story.

If it's a complete song with the music I can tell you if I like it. I don't sing or play an instrument so I can't tell you what's wrong with it, just if it sounds good to me.

And seriously some of you that do play and have been writing for years, do you really want me to tell you what your doing wrong?
I don't think so.

What you're consider being lazy and not wanting to take the time to critique may very well be people that are just getting started like me. I know I don't know enough about it to give an in depth critique. If I see a word or a line here or there that doesn't sound right I'll point that out. That's really the best I can do. What's wrong with telling someone you like their lyrics or song if you really like it? I don't count how many times I say it, but I do say it when I mean it.

#11 User is offline   daddio Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Joined: 01-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:you can't get there from here
  • Interests:I'm not all that interested.

Posted 07 June 2010 - 07:24 PM

I voted, but like Jonie, I don't think the questions are that simple.
In the end, people get out what they put in. And I agree that some people are simply looking for validation.
For me, more rules is almost never the answer.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


My Soundclick
My Reverbnation page
My Facebook

Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

When You're Cain 1+1 Song of the Year 2013

#12 User is offline   R-N-R Jim Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 609
  • Joined: 10-May 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fox Valley,Wisconsin
  • Interests:Songwriting, arranging and recording and on occasion performing.

Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:12 AM

Hi all

The feedback issue has been around for quite awhile. I guess maybe if you cant put into words exactly what it is you liked or thought needed work on, a shorter form option might be the way to go. It may seem somewhat impersonal since we are talking about something of a creative nature here. But if people used a format like below, maybe the feedback might increase.

I found the lyric subject matter as presented:
A) creative
B) average
C) lacks appeal

Your phrasing and structure was:
A) well done
B) within the genre you are writing for
C) needs work

Optional comment section.

Comments section:
Things in particular I liked about your lyric:

Things in my opinion that didn"t work for me or I didn"t understand what it was you were trying to accomplish:



I think having this type of form option would make it less painful to critique. I mean, if you didn't find anything of merrit or interest of the lyric, you would just select "C" and move on. Apparently the "not leaving a critique" hasn't always deterred some from continually multi-posting as time has showed. We did at one point discuss regulating how many lyrics one could post in a day or week, but that measure was shot down and as per usual that friendly reminder of posting 2-4 comments per your own post falls on deaf ears to this day.

If it isn't being done already, I would suggest to the moderators to PM those people a friendly reminder who are multi-posting and not critiquing to follow the guidelines of the forum. We did have an alternative feedback site called the "monthly forum" which you posted one lyric or song/lyric per month for critique or exhibition that IMO was doing quite well as far as feedback was concerned. It didn't replace the lyric forum, but was an option to those who wanted a better critique experience, much like a songwriters monthly once a month meeting I attend in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately there were opinions on what the guidelines were as far as what was acceptable for posting and what wasn't and coincidentally after I stopped participating in that forum in november, the forum lost steam and was discontinued.

As far as critiquing or the fear of critiquing, I try and give a person a viewpoint and whether they agree to what I have to say is at their own discretion. Some of us here who are novice artists may be alittle more apprehensive about having our songs/lyrics critiqued because sometimes we write songs in a certain way on purpose that maybe the person giving the critique didn't understand the genre or artistic expression that one was trying to achieve.

When I would respond to someone's critique on that issue I didn't agree with, I did so as to explaining what it was I was trying accomplish and if they didn't understand it, that was okay as long as they knew why I did things the way I did them. The person that I am answering to their critique should then look at my comment as an artistic viewpoint and not a denouncement. Unfortunately some had taken my responses the wrong way and felt that because I didn't agree with them, that I was this "know it all" type writer. On occasion I do learn something here from someones critique and it isn't necessarily from a song I posted either.

Again, people come here for different reasons. Some are beginners and are learning how to create while some are novices like myself who like to post for feedback or just sharing the art we have created. For me, I find it interesting the different ways people view lyrics or songs and by posting my songs on occasion I look at the feedback as whether or not I'm reaching them the way the song was intended. Since I don't write overly commercial songs or have gone about seriously trying to, I may appeal to only a handful of people here..and that's quite okay with me.

So in closing, you shouldn't feel overly obligated to give an indepth critique if you don't feel comfortable, but maybe using the critique form would be at least somewhat helpful to the person posting a lyric even if it isn't all that good.

just my two cents worth
R-N-R JIM
"Its all about taking the easy way out for you, I suppose" -elliot smith


To listen to songs I have written and recorded, go to these links:

https://soundcloud.com/tad-strange

https://soundclick.com/jimcanrock



link below is an honorable mention from a national songwriting contest that I entered the song "Baby" that I wrote with the help of singnpeach on vocals and a couple lines for the lyrics she added. Not bad for a muse collaboration.

http://www.songofthe...JamesUpham.html

#13 User is offline   Zeek Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,856
  • Joined: 24-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Beach! RI

Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:54 PM

Quote

I've also gone back and said what the heck was I smoking?


Uhhh...Billy...there a thing called sharing around here...

I think a lot of it's the time factor. Everyone (most) has a job, kids, business, life, soccer practice, etc so of course you're gonna critique the stand outs first or the ones that have given you good feedback in the past. It takes a long time to critique correctly and actually add something. Billy, you are fantastic at critiquing lyrics.

On the music end, who's to say things should be this way or that? Look at some of the God-awful songs that have become hits! But it's a combination of music/lyric that sparked something in these cases. We know when it's missing in someone else's work but can't for the life of us see it in our own.

It would be nice to have a bonified songwriter/composer on board for reference. Sometimes we all fall within the blind leading the blind, no disrespect to anyone because I'm right there as well.

Zeek


#14 User is offline   jonie Icon

  • ooo xxx
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 7,190
  • Joined: 29-January 08
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Reading, UK

Posted 11 June 2010 - 02:06 PM

View PostDottie, on 07 June 2010 - 07:29 PM, said:

What you're consider being lazy and not wanting to take the time to critique may very well be people that are just getting started like me. I know I don't know enough about it to give an in depth critique. If I see a word or a line here or there that doesn't sound right I'll point that out. That's really the best I can do. What's wrong with telling someone you like their lyrics or song if you really like it? I don't count how many times I say it, but I do say it when I mean it.


And that's the difference, Dottie. What you do by at least pointing out a line or phrase that doesn't sound quite right or offering a suggestion is, in my opinion, a critique. It's like anything else. The more you practice, the better you get at it. No one is saying critiques need to be "in depth". Nor is anyone saying that there is anything wrong with giving a fellow songwriter a pat on the back for a lyric or song you especially enjoyed.

What we're all discussing here is whether feedback that consists solely of comments like "Hey, great job, I really liked this" or "This is not my genre and I really didn't care for it" should be counted as a critique for Musers attempting to fulfill the obligation to post 2 - 4 critiques per each song/lyric they post of their own.

I don't think it should count and yes, I do consider it laziness. I don't think there is anyone here, no matter how new, who I would expect incapable of following such comments up with at an additional comment or two about why they like or dislike it - if they expect it to count as a critique.

Even if it's as simple as:

"Man, this song is awesome. Really love the guitar. You play beautifully. Your vocals are good too but I did notice you trying to cram some of the lines in. You might consider tidying up the lyric a little more."

I consider you and quite a few other recent members of the Muse's Muse, to be active and fully participating members who give thoughtful feedback serving to be helpful. In fact, it's the rare few who don't fully appreciate the reason or benefit of having the 2 - 4 rule and so try to shortcut it.
We have now sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.
Arthur C. Clarke

Don Martin Lyric of the Year 2008 & 2009
1 + 1 Song of the Year 2009 Ain't That True

My Soundclick Page
My lyrics and songs hosted by Lyricadia

#15 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

  • Ph.D Drumology
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 4,095
  • Joined: 24-November 03
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Canadia

Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:34 PM

There is a difference for me (here comes the grey area) in posters who wander into Song Feedback every now and then but otherwise are active on other parts of the board and the posters who have 1 post on the board and it's their thread in Song Feedback. Now, I don't think active posters should get a "pass" from the critique rule but if they are just posting a few kudos, whether or not to get their 2-4 critiques, I usually won't mind and it appears that's the general consensus. Though I'd prefer they post critiques with some sort of effort in them.

But with the posters who are strictly posting in the Feedback sections, even if they've been here a while, I think they should be expected to provide good, thoughtful critiques. The participation on this forum seems to be on a steady decline and I think this is a good way to attract the casual viewers to sign up and join the discussions.
Mark
SoundCloud
Facebook
YouTube


Always up for a collaboration with lyricists!

#16 User is offline   Steve Cooke Icon

  • Active Muse
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 193
  • Joined: 22-March 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockton-on-Tees, UK
  • Interests:Songwriting, music technology, poetry, cinema, politics, history and association football (soccer)

Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:48 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 14 June 2010 - 04:34 AM, said:

But with the posters who are strictly posting in the Feedback sections, even if they've been here a while, I think they should be expected to provide good, thoughtful critiques. The participation on this forum seems to be on a steady decline and I think this is a good way to attract the casual viewers to sign up and join the discussions.



I suspect that the format used by this forum is on the way out now, as happened to the discussion lists format (such as Yahoo! Groups) before it.

SoundCloud is becoming increasingly popular as people can 'favorite' a track without feeling they need to write an essay but can also make general comments or leave very specific feedback about exact things in a recording.

And often the comments are very helpful, whether left by fellow musicians or by non-muso listeners. Even the 'favouriting' has a use as it helps you to assess which of your tracks are the strongest in terms of popular appeal. My impression is that this works far better on SoundCloud than on, say, AcidPlanet, where the marking system turned into a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' routine with people giving each other 10 out of 10 in order to up their own ratings. Or so I've read, as my own presence on AcidPlanet has been somewhat nominal.

It's also easier to follow what other people are saying about music they've heard on the site and then check it out for yourself.

I'm not saying that Muse's Muse is no longer useful as a resource for songwriters or indeed that the discussion not specifically concerned with feedback has no value - it is and it does - but the critique side of things may possibly be moving to other formats.

#17 User is offline   Jackie Chan's Wee Gran Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04-July 04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:56 PM

I find it hard to critique someones 'baby' when I don't know the person who is writing the song. I don't know anyone on this website and what they really want when they put a song up. Do they just want to know someone is listening to them?
Do they just want to be encouraged?
Do they just want to know they don't sound crap?

A song can be such a precious thing to someone so you want to treat their song (and person) with respect

A song might sound terrible to me or have cheesy lyrics in my opinion but I find myself having to read between the lines and work out if that person just wants encouragement or if they want an honest in depth line by line review of their work.

If I think the person wants a really in depth critique I tend to avoid it as I think its hard thing to do over the internet with strangers.



#18 User is offline   daddio Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Joined: 01-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:you can't get there from here
  • Interests:I'm not all that interested.

Posted 16 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

View PostJackie Chan said:

I find it hard to critique someones 'baby' when I don't know the person who is writing the song. I don't know anyone on this website and what they really want when they put a song up. Do they just want to know someone is listening to them?
Do they just want to be encouraged?
Do they just want to know they don't sound crap?

A song can be such a precious thing to someone so you want to treat their song (and person) with respect

A song might sound terrible to me or have cheesy lyrics in my opinion but I find myself having to read between the lines and work out if that person just wants encouragement or if they want an honest in depth line by line review of their work.

If I think the person wants a really in depth critique I tend to avoid it as I think its hard thing to do over the internet with strangers.



I could not disagree more with this post. While I understand that we are all emotionally tied to the songs we've written, posting a response that is not honest is not helpful.
If I want encouragement and strokes, I'll go to Mom. I come here to improve my craft, which is the supposedly the reason we're all here.
The fact that I don't know the person I'm critiquing is actually a benefit. It's much easier to be honest when you're not face to face.
I'm not advocating hurting anyone's feelings or criticizing anyone's abilities as a singer, musician, or songwriter but the very act of posting a song invites critique. If the only critiques they receive are dishonest, saying that they have done a great job when they haven't, how are they to improve? This happens a lot on the board and, IMHO, drives away those who are serious. I mean, how can a serious songwriter respect the board when they see a crappy song get crit after crit that says, "Atta boy, keep up the good work!" or, "This is the best work you've ever done. Great job" This is even more evident when someone who's been receiving nothing but "atta boys" enters a comp and comes in last place or close to the bottom. They have trouble understanding their scores because they never get an honest crit.
If a song becomes such a precious thing to the writer that they can't bear to change it for improvement, they will never grow as a songwriter and if no one ever tells them that, they are doomed to mediocrity.
I think it's possible to give an honest, serious crit that still treats the song and the songwriter with respect. To be successful, writers need to be able to separate themselves from the work and understand that a crit of the song is not a personal attack. Sometimes the only way to learn that is to live through it.
When this thread was first posted, I tended to be pretty loose about requiring folks to post real crits and not "atta boys" but I've changed my mind. Spend about 30 minutes reading crits on the song board (it's even worse on the lyric board) and you'll see that they're overwhelmingly B.S. That doesn't help anyone and doesn't help the board.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


My Soundclick
My Reverbnation page
My Facebook

Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

When You're Cain 1+1 Song of the Year 2013

#19 User is offline   Steve Cooke Icon

  • Active Muse
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 193
  • Joined: 22-March 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockton-on-Tees, UK
  • Interests:Songwriting, music technology, poetry, cinema, politics, history and association football (soccer)

Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:17 AM

View PostJackie Chan said:

I find it hard to critique someones 'baby' when I don't know the person who is writing the song. I don't know anyone on this website and what they really want when they put a song up. Do they just want to know someone is listening to them?
Do they just want to be encouraged?
Do they just want to know they don't sound crap?

A song can be such a precious thing to someone so you want to treat their song (and person) with respect

A song might sound terrible to me or have cheesy lyrics in my opinion but I find myself having to read between the lines and work out if that person just wants encouragement or if they want an honest in depth line by line review of their work.

If I think the person wants a really in depth critique I tend to avoid it as I think its hard thing to do over the internet with strangers.



If someone posts a song on this website, they cannot seriously expect you to critique it with full knowledge of their character. They're asking you to listen to the song and assess it on its merits as a standalone work, not based on your understanding of their life history and personality. That sort of 'blind test' critique can be more useful too, sometimes, because you can start to have a conflict of interest when critiquing tracks by people with whom you've established some sort of relationship, which makes objective comment more difficult to make.

And that's how we judge most of the songs we hear, isn't it? Actually, maybe that's optimistic on my part as much of the music we hear comes to us with the background gossip about the artists/stars/celebrities involved in making it. But that's not what we have in our mind when we listen to a new song by an artist we've not heard of previously.

I don't feel the need to condemn all 'atta boy'/'good job' comments, though. If it's being done merely to meet a feedback quota, then I agree with the original poster that it's a bad thing. But in many cases it may be a genuine reaction from someone who feels less confident about writing detailed critiques than they are about posting their songs online.

It's a limitation of this forum's format that simply writing 'nice', for example, may seem lazy. On the SoundCloud website, you might type the same thing at a specific point in a track (eg, 2:38) and it would widely be interpreted as a comment with some meaning because you were commenting on a particular event that took place in the track's progression, such as the introduction of a new instrument or a drum break. People would in most cases know exactly what your apparently bland remark was about.

Here, though, you have to go to some trouble explaining exactly what you mean if you wish to comment on a specific aspect of a song or recording. That's no problem for me - I like the sound of my own typing, meaning I'll write quite a lot of detail if I'm in the mood. Some people, however, are less confident about that sort of thing.

#20 User is offline   fabkebab Icon

  • Ahh a newbie no longer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Joined: 22-July 04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas
  • Interests:Fatherhood, Songwriting/performing, the mystery of "on stage charisma", The wide world, Gardening, People, Sports, trying to "get" America

Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:58 AM

[quote name='Steve Cooke' date='15 July 2010 - 05:48 PM' timestamp='1279230503' post='520724']

View PostFunkDaddy, on 14 June 2010 - 04:34 AM, said:

I suspect that the format used by this forum is on the way out now, as happened to the discussion lists format (such as Yahoo! Groups) before it.

SoundCloud is becoming increasingly popular as people can 'favorite' a track without feeling they need to write an essay but can also make general comments or leave very specific feedback about exact things in a recording.



I signed up to soundcloud and had a look around -
The thing that so many of these online sites seem to lack is "community" - Admittedly I am a new person and so perhaps havent explored what soundcloud has to offer, but it seemed like 100,000 artists all looking for a listener or two - whereas somewhere like this is more like 100 people who drift in an out of an ongoing conversation -

I have watched the muse apparently decline over the years, but wondered where else people go to share and mess about with thier music, so I was naturally interested in this site (along with thesixtyone.com, soundclick.com, slicethepie.com and all the others- so far I dont really know (although I can plug the home made hit show - homemadehitshow.com) as they live in a similar place to the muses muse as regards talent/approach
One man band (pop-folk-rock):
http://www.soundclic...dmanscorner.htm

Full 5 person band: (trad folk):
http://www.soundclic...oversreturn.htm

Actual amateurish home made website with tons of wondrous content
http://www.fabkebab.com

#21 User is offline   Steve Cooke Icon

  • Active Muse
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 193
  • Joined: 22-March 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockton-on-Tees, UK
  • Interests:Songwriting, music technology, poetry, cinema, politics, history and association football (soccer)

Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:43 AM

Quote

fabkebab:
I signed up to soundcloud and had a look around -
The thing that so many of these online sites seem to lack is "community" - Admittedly I am a new person and so perhaps havent explored what soundcloud has to offer, but it seemed like 100,000 artists all looking for a listener or two - whereas somewhere like this is more like 100 people who drift in an out of an ongoing conversation -

I have watched the muse apparently decline over the years, but wondered where else people go to share and mess about with thier music, so I was naturally interested in this site (along with thesixtyone.com, soundclick.com, slicethepie.com and all the others- so far I dont really know (although I can plug the home made hit show - homemadehitshow.com) as they live in a similar place to the muses muse as regards talent/approach



I've found it pretty good in terms of the community aspect. There is a forum on the site, which I haven't explored much, but relationships (online ones, I mean) develop between members and they get to understand each other's interests and tastes, and start tipping people off about new material they might be interested in. And I don't just mean plugging their own stuff, but also saying "Hey, I spotted this track that I think you might like" and so on. This may spill over into other social networks such as Facebook. And collaborations are happening via SoundCloud - the tracks are there to show the results.

And you get heard. Not everyone will like your stuff, but some might. I've achieved 8,000 plays in four or five months, compared with less than 200 on MySpace and barely 20 on Reverbnation. My SoundClick numbers are similar to the MySpace total. It soon became apparent which one I should focus on.

#22 User is offline   Jackie Chan's Wee Gran Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04-July 04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:48 AM

Quote

If the only critiques they receive are dishonest, saying that they have done a great job when they haven't, how are they to improve? This happens a lot on the board and, IMHO, drives away those who are serious. I mean, how can a serious songwriter respect the board when they see a crappy song get crit after crit that says, "Atta boy, keep up the good work!" or, "This is the best work you've ever done. Great job"

hi Daddio :)

I agree with much of what you are saying.I guess if we put a song up here we are asking to have our song judged by the users of the forum.

But I don't know how anyone could judge who is 'serious' and who is 'not serious' about their craft.
And besides, does that really matter here on the website?
Are people who are not more 'casual' about songwriting not really welcome?

I think of the strengths of the Muse is the mix of those who are trying to make it and those who are just going with the flow.

I also don't know how we can really say if a song is a 'good job' or a 'bad job' for a specific person.

I might not think someone has done a good job on a song, but what do I know or who am I to say?
Its just my opinion. I'm not a professional songwriter, just a bloke who takes the recording equipment out every few months and gets something down.
Some people just want a pat on the back, others want more in depth analysis. I think thats alright, just let people know what you are looking for when you put a song up.

It puts me off participating more if I feel that people are watching and judging if I've put a proper critique up or not.

I think a better word would be 'opinion' rather than 'critique'


#23 User is offline   Midway Icon

  • Inspirational Muse
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 383
  • Joined: 11-May 10
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:40 PM

When I joined the Muse, I thought, just like daddio stated above, that I would be sharing ideas with peers who would help me improve my craft. I researched the board before joining and found more than a substantial amount of people here who displayed a great many talents worthy of my attention. The first month here was spent feeling out the different tiers of posters; who writes like I write, who shares the same tastes in music and literature, who knows what they're doing and talking about, and who doesn't.

Anyone with any substantial performing/writing/composing experience can spot who the truly talented people are who post at the Muse. It doesn't matter which board you choose - Lyric Feedback, Song Feedback, Instrumental Feedback - the cream does rise to the top and they are obvious. Unfortunately, those less talented posters are, all the more so, obvious. Usually because they post so much and so often. They are not as discriminating of their own work as the more experienced of us are, and they tend to overpopulate the boards in an attempt at "buckshot" publishing - throw enough lead at the target and something's bound to find purchase at some point - but never by design, only by pure chance. They really don't know what they're doing and are flailing about at anything within their reach. If they happen upon something profound or artistic, it is by sheer accident and they wouldn't recognize it for what it is, even after being told. It soars right over their heads, and will forever and ever, amen.

I find it more than ironic that these posters are the biggest abusers of posting "atta boy" critiques, and are usually the biggest recipients of "atta boy" critiques. Small circle jerks of posters form around themselves and create their own little echo chambers of what they think is good as opposed to what the rest of us know is not good. Any attempts to disabuse them of their misconceptions are usually met with huffy defiance by the author, followed by a circling of the jerks around their prolific panderer to drive away any barbarian who has the effrontery to point out their work is sh**e and they should be embarrassed to have inflicted it upon the unsuspecting public. (I've even seen collaborations between these "atta boy" boys and just had to shake my head and restrain myself from posting "It took two of you to come up with this drivel?!")

After just a couple of months. I already ignore certain, less talented posters to whom I've offered my help in the past but was politlely, and not so politlely, told to f*ck off. One is left wondering why one should expend the energy and time formulating an in depth critique for someone who refuses to learn from their betters. Some of us are warned, privately of course, to be polite in our responses. But the snarky asides from less talented people deserve a very public and righteous smack down. I have come to the conclusion that I will only offer in-depth critiques to those posts worthy of them, and will only offer those critiques in private messages with the authors. This way, no one will be side-tracked by anyone else sticking their untalented nose in where it doesn't belong. And if the author would prefer not to hear my ideas, they have the option to ask me not to post any messages to them, or they can just plain block me. And while I will still post my work for others to view and critique, I already know who's opinion is worth my time to consider and who's opinion carries as much weight as a fart in a tornado. I'll just have to scroll past the drool to get to the gruel.

And if this post makes me sound arrogant, conceited, and just plain awfully pleased with myself and my talents; So what? Deal with it, or don't. I don't care. You don't know me, so why should I care what you think. My work stands on its own. And that is and should be the only acceptable measure of authority behind my opinions and knowledge. If you have talent, you'll be hearing from me. If you don't, then you don't have to worry about me schooling you in public anymore (and you probably wouldn't understand or appreciate anything I could teach you anyway). A pretty good deal for all concerned.

#24 User is offline   daddio Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Joined: 01-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:you can't get there from here
  • Interests:I'm not all that interested.

Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:17 PM

Quote

But I don't know how anyone could judge who is 'serious' and who is 'not serious' about their craft.
And besides, does that really matter here on the website?
Are people who are not more 'casual' about songwriting not really welcome?


To me, serious has nothing do with being a professional or a hobbyist. It has to do with learning the craft and doing the best you can. Aren't we all trying to improve? Isn't that the point? If someone doesn't want to get better, why do it at all?

Quote

I think of the strengths of the Muse is the mix of those who are trying to make it and those who are just going with the flow.

I'm not sure what that means. I'm not a professional musician nor am I trying to make it. I'm just trying to write the best songs I can. I assume everyone else is also. I don't care if they're trying to make it or not.

Quote

I think a better word would be 'opinion' rather than 'critique'

Of course every critique is an opinion, that's the point. I'm not going to rewrite my song based strictly on someone else's opinion posted here on the muse. But I do want to know their opinion, that's why I posted. Reviewers who write for magazines are only giving an opinion too. It's up to us to decide who's opinion is important to us. That's why some people add "keep or sweep" to the crit.
I'm not the crit police, that's the moderator's job. I would just like the board to do what it was intended to do, help songwriters grow and improve their craft. Since this is a community, your opinion is important. If you choose to never give it, you're not really participating.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


My Soundclick
My Reverbnation page
My Facebook

Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

When You're Cain 1+1 Song of the Year 2013

#25 User is offline   daddio Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Joined: 01-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:you can't get there from here
  • Interests:I'm not all that interested.

Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:19 PM

View PostMidway, on 16 July 2010 - 02:40 PM, said:

When I joined the Muse, I thought, just like daddio stated above, that I would be sharing ideas with peers who would help me improve my craft. I researched the board before joining and found more than a substantial amount of people here who displayed a great many talents worthy of my attention. The first month here was spent feeling out the different tiers of posters; who writes like I write, who shares the same tastes in music and literature, who knows what they're doing and talking about, and who doesn't.

Anyone with any substantial performing/writing/composing experience can spot who the truly talented people are who post at the Muse. It doesn't matter which board you choose - Lyric Feedback, Song Feedback, Instrumental Feedback - the cream does rise to the top and they are obvious. Unfortunately, those less talented posters are, all the more so, obvious. Usually because they post so much and so often. They are not as discriminating of their own work as the more experienced of us are, and they tend to overpopulate the boards in an attempt at "buckshot" publishing - throw enough lead at the target and something's bound to find purchase at some point - but never by design, only by pure chance. They really don't know what they're doing and are flailing about at anything within their reach. If they happen upon something profound or artistic, it is by sheer accident and they wouldn't recognize it for what it is, even after being told. It soars right over their heads, and will forever and ever, amen.

I find it more than ironic that these posters are the biggest abusers of posting "atta boy" critiques, and are usually the biggest recipients of "atta boy" critiques. Small circle jerks of posters form around themselves and create their own little echo chambers of what they think is good as opposed to what the rest of us know is not good. Any attempts to disabuse them of their misconceptions are usually met with huffy defiance by the author, followed by a circling of the jerks around their prolific panderer to drive away any barbarian who has the effrontery to point out their work is sh**e and they should be embarrassed to have inflicted it upon the unsuspecting public. (I've even seen collaborations between these "atta boy" boys and just had to shake my head and restrain myself from posting "It took two of you to come up with this drivel?!")

After just a couple of months. I already ignore certain, less talented posters to whom I've offered my help in the past but was politlely, and not so politlely, told to f*ck off. One is left wondering why one should expend the energy and time formulating an in depth critique for someone who refuses to learn from their betters. Some of us are warned, privately of course, to be polite in our responses. But the snarky asides from less talented people deserve a very public and righteous smack down. I have come to the conclusion that I will only offer in-depth critiques to those posts worthy of them, and will only offer those critiques in private messages with the authors. This way, no one will be side-tracked by anyone else sticking their untalented nose in where it doesn't belong. And if the author would prefer not to hear my ideas, they have the option to ask me not to post any messages to them, or they can just plain block me. And while I will still post my work for others to view and critique, I already know who's opinion is worth my time to consider and who's opinion carries as much weight as a fart in a tornado. I'll just have to scroll past the drool to get to the gruel.

And if this post makes me sound arrogant, conceited, and just plain awfully pleased with myself and my talents; So what? Deal with it, or don't. I don't care. You don't know me, so why should I care what you think. My work stands on its own. And that is and should be the only acceptable measure of authority behind my opinions and knowledge. If you have talent, you'll be hearing from me. If you don't, then you don't have to worry about me schooling you in public anymore (and you probably wouldn't understand or appreciate anything I could teach you anyway). A pretty good deal for all concerned.


Some good points, I don't agree with everything you said but it was very entertaining. :lol:
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


My Soundclick
My Reverbnation page
My Facebook

Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

When You're Cain 1+1 Song of the Year 2013

#26 User is offline   Jackie Chan's Wee Gran Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04-July 04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2010 - 03:47 PM

Quote

To me, serious has nothing do with being a professional or a hobbyist. It has to do with learning the craft and doing the best you can. Aren't we all trying to improve? Isn't that the point? If someone doesn't want to get better, why do it at all?


Not necessarily :)
I put a song up last week just because I wanted to people to listen to it and in return I wanted to listen to other peoples songs.

It didn't really bother me what people thought as the whole act of listening to other songs from random people across the planet and having your song listened to in return is the best part of the forum in my opinion, not the suggestions about lines that need changed or how to improve the recording etc.

Of course thats just me, but I'm not sure we can say that everyone is here to improve their song writing superpowers or to get better. Maybe they just want to be listened to?


#27 User is offline   Jackie Chan's Wee Gran Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 871
  • Joined: 04-July 04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2010 - 03:59 PM

Quote

And if this post makes me sound arrogant, conceited, and just plain awfully pleased with myself and my talents; So what? Deal with it, or don't. I don't care. You don't know me, so why should I care what you think. My work stands on its own. And that is and should be the only acceptable measure of authority behind my opinions and knowledge. If you have talent, you'll be hearing from me. If you don't, then you don't have to worry about me schooling you in public anymore (and you probably wouldn't understand or appreciate anything I could teach you anyway). A pretty good deal for all concerned.


now to be honest mate, I don't think your statement is completely true. :)
You probably do care what other people think or else you wouldn't have posted a big long post on a public forum. If you didn't care what other people thought you would just lock yourself in your bedroom and keep a diary.


#28 User is offline   Billy Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,963
  • Joined: 12-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ware, Ma

Posted 16 July 2010 - 04:00 PM

Great discussion and some terrific points made here all around! Daddio, I love your straightforward, no-nonsense approach! You're so right! And although brutally honest(love it), Midway makes some excellent points here! Steve as well! Willingness to learn, willingness to accept feedback, desire to improve, all good things!

In my opinion, you can only make so many excuses! "I'm new", "I'm just doing this for fun", "I'm not a musician", "I'm not qualified to speak" :P , and the list goes on! At various stages of my development, I've made almost every one of these excuses, with maybe the exception of I'm just doing this for fun! :D The bottom line is, when are you a legitimate contributor? Over posting-done it! Feelings of inferiority-Been there! Lack of confidence-yep! Concerns about what others might think of my posts and/or critiques-double yep! For many, especially beginners like me (1 year of lyric writing when I first joined. If you want to call it that!)it's not about belonging but earning acceptance and that's done by contributing in an impactful way. Write good stuff, analyze and probe songs and lyrics more thoroughly and thoughtfully before writing anything. Never view this as a chore or a required post! Learn song structure and format. Ask questions. Don't allign yourself with buddies but rather open yourself up to the community. Making friends here is terrifc (I've done it) but for some, and I've seen it, it can also create a false sense of belonging or worse yet, a misguided, ill-informed sense of worth. Your worth as a person is what you make of it but your worth as a songwriter is what you put into it. Heart, soul, emotion, creativity, passion, intellect, knowledge, talent, they're all important aspects of good songwriting. A buddy who tells you how great you are, not so much! Unless you are great and then it's priceless! :D

In my opinion, the more dialog and interchange we have like this the better it is for all! If you get offended and/or feel targeted by these comments, do something about it! Get better! Too many people sit around complaining and feeling sorry for themselves. Not just here, but in society in general. It's easy to be the victim! In fact for some, it's a self fullfilling prophecy! As an art teacher, I see it all the time. "I can't do it!" "I stink!" "I don't have any talent!" My response to all of this is "Believe"! If you beleive in yourself and put the time in, you'll be surprised what you can do. I see it all the time. From my experience, the one's who never get any better are the one's who constantly make the same mistakes over and over, don't try, don't ask questions, and don't believe in themselves! And unfortunately, their the first one's to blame someone else for their lack of success! Very sad little dynamic! Oh well, don't mean to be preachy! :)

Loved the discussion!

Billy

#29 User is offline   Ian Ferrin Icon

  • -
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,666
  • Joined: 06-June 05
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:16 PM

View PostJackie Chan said:

I put a song up last week just because I wanted to people to listen to it and in return I wanted to listen to other peoples songs.

It didn't really bother me what people thought as the whole act of listening to other songs from random people across the planet and having your song listened to in return is the best part of the forum in my opinion, not the suggestions about lines that need changed or how to improve the recording etc.

More and more I agree with this POV. I used to be more strident. But more and more, I think the LESS rules we have the friendlier it makes the place. I want people to visit the muse and post here. If people chose not to critique or to post lame critiques, they probably won't get much feedback.... we'll unless they're really good... then folks will listen even if they're ungenerous in returning comments. But I personally don't think we should try to force people into generosity.

Peace,

Ian
Ian's Soundclick Page

"Hammers don't build houses. People build houses.

A hammer is just a tool. But it's a powerful tool" - me

#30 User is offline   Len Icon

  • Lost hat, cash reward
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 4,159
  • Joined: 01-January 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Aldershot, UK
  • Interests:Bit of this, bit of that, not much of the other...

Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:54 AM

View PostIan Ferrin, on 17 July 2010 - 01:16 AM, said:

But more and more, I think the LESS rules we have the friendlier it makes the place. I want people to visit the muse and post here. If people chose not to critique or to post lame critiques, they probably won't get much feedback.... we'll unless they're really good... then folks will listen even if they're ungenerous in returning comments. But I personally don't think we should try to force people into generosity.

When I was a lyric mod I tried both approaches, enforcing minimum crits and also letting it sort itself out. I don't think you can enforce it - it takes too much effort and it annoys people. I don' think people want that sort of place.

There's a natural justice on boards like these. Those who put the effort into crits get good crits in return; those who don't, get ignored. Nothing new here, just human nature and trying to stop it is like sweeping water uphill.
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
Lyrics website Lyricadia

Lyric of the Year 2007 (Numbers Make the Man), 2011 (The Volunteer) and 2013 (All Pals Together)

#31 User is offline   Steve Cooke Icon

  • Active Muse
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 193
  • Joined: 22-March 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockton-on-Tees, UK
  • Interests:Songwriting, music technology, poetry, cinema, politics, history and association football (soccer)

Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:14 AM

View Postfabkebab, on 16 July 2010 - 02:58 PM, said:

I signed up to soundcloud and had a look around -
The thing that so many of these online sites seem to lack is "community" - Admittedly I am a new person and so perhaps havent explored what soundcloud has to offer, but it seemed like 100,000 artists all looking for a listener or two - whereas somewhere like this is more like 100 people who drift in an out of an ongoing conversation -

I have watched the muse apparently decline over the years, but wondered where else people go to share and mess about with thier music, so I was naturally interested in this site (along with thesixtyone.com, soundclick.com, slicethepie.com and all the others- so far I dont really know (although I can plug the home made hit show - homemadehitshow.com) as they live in a similar place to the muses muse as regards talent/approach


Glad to see that you've set up camp on SoundCloud and received some detailed feedback for your songs already, including, for one track, quite a lively exchange of views.

It works on the same principle as the Muse, in that commenting on other people's material will lead to them reviewing yours. But it also enables people who only want to listen to do just that without feeling that it's a club for just musos or just listeners rather than both types of audience.

There are also some pretty well-connected people and relatively famous artists listening in on occasion and, when they like what they hear, expressing their support and enthusiasm to the ordinary rank 'n' file members like myself. I've had a message or two of that ilk in the short time I've been involved in the site and it's a real morale booster when you get acknowledgement from people one might regard as musical heroes.

#32 User is offline   fabkebab Icon

  • Ahh a newbie no longer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Joined: 22-July 04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas
  • Interests:Fatherhood, Songwriting/performing, the mystery of "on stage charisma", The wide world, Gardening, People, Sports, trying to "get" America

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:18 PM

View PostSteve Cooke, on 20 July 2010 - 08:14 AM, said:

View Postfabkebab, on 16 July 2010 - 02:58 PM, said:

I signed up to soundcloud and had a look around -
The thing that so many of these online sites seem to lack is "community" - Admittedly I am a new person and so perhaps havent explored what soundcloud has to offer, but it seemed like 100,000 artists all looking for a listener or two - whereas somewhere like this is more like 100 people who drift in an out of an ongoing conversation -

I have watched the muse apparently decline over the years, but wondered where else people go to share and mess about with thier music, so I was naturally interested in this site (along with thesixtyone.com, soundclick.com, slicethepie.com and all the others- so far I dont really know (although I can plug the home made hit show - homemadehitshow.com) as they live in a similar place to the muses muse as regards talent/approach


Glad to see that you've set up camp on SoundCloud and received some detailed feedback for your songs already, including, for one track, quite a lively exchange of views.

It works on the same principle as the Muse, in that commenting on other people's material will lead to them reviewing yours. But it also enables people who only want to listen to do just that without feeling that it's a club for just musos or just listeners rather than both types of audience.

There are also some pretty well-connected people and relatively famous artists listening in on occasion and, when they like what they hear, expressing their support and enthusiasm to the ordinary rank 'n' file members like myself. I've had a message or two of that ilk in the short time I've been involved in the site and it's a real morale booster when you get acknowledgement from people one might regard as musical heroes.


Hi Steve - Thanks for your warm welcome at that site - Its certainly a place worth looking at - I do like the way reviewers can attach thier comments to specific moments in the song!
One man band (pop-folk-rock):
http://www.soundclic...dmanscorner.htm

Full 5 person band: (trad folk):
http://www.soundclic...oversreturn.htm

Actual amateurish home made website with tons of wondrous content
http://www.fabkebab.com

#33 User is offline   Len Icon

  • Lost hat, cash reward
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 4,159
  • Joined: 01-January 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Aldershot, UK
  • Interests:Bit of this, bit of that, not much of the other...

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:25 PM

Steve, I think you are right about the features that are now available in some websites like SoundCloud and MacJam. I remember seeing SoundCloud when I was listening to one of your songs and I was impressed. What can be done with the web is moving on (embedded song players, review templates, built in polls and charts) and text-based sites such as the Muse will find it harder to compete. But that's a few years away I feel and some features, such as favourites, are all about numbers. A single thoughtful comment can be worth more than a thousand votes.
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
Lyrics website Lyricadia

Lyric of the Year 2007 (Numbers Make the Man), 2011 (The Volunteer) and 2013 (All Pals Together)

#34 User is offline   fabkebab Icon

  • Ahh a newbie no longer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Joined: 22-July 04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas
  • Interests:Fatherhood, Songwriting/performing, the mystery of "on stage charisma", The wide world, Gardening, People, Sports, trying to "get" America

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:54 PM

Dandelion Girl

View PostLen, on 20 July 2010 - 02:25 PM, said:

Steve, I think you are right about the features that are now available in some websites like SoundCloud and MacJam. I remember seeing SoundCloud when I was listening to one of your songs and I was impressed. What can be done with the web is moving on (embedded song players, review templates, built in polls and charts) and text-based sites such as the Muse will find it harder to compete. But that's a few years away I feel and some features, such as favourites, are all about numbers. A single thoughtful comment can be worth more than a thousand votes.


btw Len, The song I posted to soundcloud was our very own collaboration "Dandelion Girl" - you might be interested in the comments made!
One man band (pop-folk-rock):
http://www.soundclic...dmanscorner.htm

Full 5 person band: (trad folk):
http://www.soundclic...oversreturn.htm

Actual amateurish home made website with tons of wondrous content
http://www.fabkebab.com

#35 User is online   Neal K Icon

  • Smile. It'll do you good.
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,964
  • Joined: 20-November 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kelowna, BC, Canada

Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:32 PM

View PostMidway, on 16 July 2010 - 11:40 AM, said:

I find it more than ironic that these posters are the biggest abusers of posting "atta boy" critiques, and are usually the biggest recipients of "atta boy" critiques. Small circle jerks of posters form around themselves and create their own little echo chambers of what they think is good as opposed to what the rest of us know is not good. Any attempts to disabuse them of their misconceptions are usually met with huffy defiance by the author, followed by a circling of the jerks around their prolific panderer to drive away any barbarian who has the effrontery to point out their work is sh**e and they should be embarrassed to have inflicted it upon the unsuspecting public. (I've even seen collaborations between these "atta boy" boys and just had to shake my head and restrain myself from posting "It took two of you to come up with this drivel?!")


Well, that says a lot. Len pointed out the crux of the matter: as mods, what exactly are we supposed to do about this, if anything? If I come down on the "atta boy" posts in the lyric critique section, we could lose the friendliness that Ian talks about. So I take the "If it doesn't hurt, let it be" approach. Midway, it didn't take you long to discern between the diamonds and the drivel. But I donít think that an excess of bad critiques creates a lack of good ones. At least I hope not.

Neal
The forest would be silent if only the best birds sang.

#36 User is offline   Midway Icon

  • Inspirational Muse
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 383
  • Joined: 11-May 10
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:17 PM

View PostNeal K, on 20 July 2010 - 02:32 PM, said:

View PostMidway, on 16 July 2010 - 11:40 AM, said:

I find it more than ironic that these posters are the biggest abusers of posting "atta boy" critiques, and are usually the biggest recipients of "atta boy" critiques. Small circle jerks of posters form around themselves and create their own little echo chambers of what they think is good as opposed to what the rest of us know is not good. Any attempts to disabuse them of their misconceptions are usually met with huffy defiance by the author, followed by a circling of the jerks around their prolific panderer to drive away any barbarian who has the effrontery to point out their work is sh**e and they should be embarrassed to have inflicted it upon the unsuspecting public. (I've even seen collaborations between these "atta boy" boys and just had to shake my head and restrain myself from posting "It took two of you to come up with this drivel?!")


Well, that says a lot. Len pointed out the crux of the matter: as mods, what exactly are we supposed to do about this, if anything? If I come down on the "atta boy" posts in the lyric critique section, we could lose the friendliness that Ian talks about. So I take the "If it doesn't hurt, let it be" approach. Midway, it didn't take you long to discern between the diamonds and the drivel. But I donít think that an excess of bad critiques creates a lack of good ones. At least I hope not.

Neal



Yeah, Neal. I understand the tightrope all you moderators need to tiptoe across. And I may have been a little more irritated than usual and suffering from nicotine withdrawal when I posted my original screed above. So, if anyone was personally offended, I apologize. But it is frustrating sometimes when you hope to gain some worthwhile input from fresh pairs of eyes and ears only to have the board clutter up with the likes of "Awww, that is soooo coool! You Rawk Dooood!" for work that is anything but "coool" or "Rawk-worthy". Or to have the same sub-par posts keep popping up at the top of the boards because someone changed one fracking word and wanted their echo chamber to start the orgy of self-congratulation all over again. Meanwhile, very good work of others, that has the potential to be excellent work with the right exchange of ideas, is pushed further down the board and withers. The only silver lining is the talented writers already know how good or bad their stuff is, so any unconstructive or unrelated comments are most likely ignored.

#37 User is offline   Lorna Icon

  • Muse In Training
  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 10-July 10

Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:42 AM

The Best Critique you can get, is from someone with a brain, who does not know you,

(Has not exchanged views in the past)

Replies like "Thank you for sharing' and "One of your best Yet" are drivel, written under "The Old Palls Act." you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

Why someone says critique this song and in another breath tells us some Nashville Pitcher is pitching it around town, is beyond me, because he's already made up his/her mind that it's ready for pitching,

Some judge a demo by the fact that the singer sounds a bit like some current star,

If that Country songs any good it dont need Steel guitars at this work demo stage ,

That can come later when the song is finished, Too many are too hasty, bowled over by

some inspiration that they believe is headed for the number one, when in the real world it's just an average song, that needs lots of work.

What they should be doing is getting Pro Critiques of their work . Listening to people

who have been there, and made all the mistakes they are making now.

Lorna

#38 User is offline   R-N-R Jim Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 609
  • Joined: 10-May 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fox Valley,Wisconsin
  • Interests:Songwriting, arranging and recording and on occasion performing.

Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:28 PM

Hi Midway

I have to agree with you on alot of points you made (and I had made many of those same points a year ago) but the fact remains that this is "NOT" a pro site (and if there is one, I am not aware of it as of yet). I've been told that this is a site for beginners, and by what you see here is pretty much "what it is" with just a sprinkling of talented people here who come by once in awhile. Again, I pretty much can judge a person's talent level by what they have posted as well as how they critique or notice certain nuances in a song or lyric. So if I get a critique that is "so out there", then I consider the source and make a comment on what they may have missed in my song or lyric. Again ,there are only novices and beginners here. No Pros...which is a shame really.



Now that I think of it, I think the silence is golden factor is good for the posts that are rather poor. I feel if something is that non-creative, does it really need commenting on? Because for me, creativity comes before structure. If you have nothing to say in a song lyric that is un-interesting, then saying it in a structured way doesn't make it any better. Again, unfortunately, a good post will get thrown to the bottom from the volume of posts being created by the echo chamber mafia...but hey, I tried to enhance the forum with a monthly lyric/song forum where you could only post one lyric or song /lyric per month last year only to be chided by its elitism overtones.

Oh well...you try to improve the experience for people and you get branded as an egomaniac. Oh well...

You know, I wonder if Jodi knows any Pro writers or publishers that would maybe anchor a forum for the more advanced writers here. That would certainly catch alot of peoples interests here at the muse. It would be interesting to have songs and lyrics (one per month, because they dont have time to read a gazillion poorly written songs or lyrics) judged by a "Pro". That way the atta boys would certainly find there songs or lyric ideas for what they really are.

just my two cents worth
R-N-R Jim
"Its all about taking the easy way out for you, I suppose" -elliot smith


To listen to songs I have written and recorded, go to these links:

https://soundcloud.com/tad-strange

https://soundclick.com/jimcanrock



link below is an honorable mention from a national songwriting contest that I entered the song "Baby" that I wrote with the help of singnpeach on vocals and a couple lines for the lyrics she added. Not bad for a muse collaboration.

http://www.songofthe...JamesUpham.html

#39 User is offline   Midway Icon

  • Inspirational Muse
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 383
  • Joined: 11-May 10
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:58 PM

Amen, Jimmy, Amen! I joined because someone in the industry whose opinions I value highly recommended I join a site like this and see if I could pick up a few more weapons to add to my arsenal and bring my game up to a higher level. And don't get me wrong, I have found a few and I will use them. I think you're right about golden silence being the most powerful answer to overexposure of the floundering. I'd love to find a site that has a real pro provide insights like you suggest, but if it was you, would you volunteer your services for no pay knowing how inundated you would be by requests from people who have no hope of reaching the height of professional songwriter? Just sayin'...

Peace,
J.

#40 User is offline   R-N-R Jim Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 609
  • Joined: 10-May 01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fox Valley,Wisconsin
  • Interests:Songwriting, arranging and recording and on occasion performing.

Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:37 PM

Hi Midway

That's the true pickle here...there isn't a pro writer/industry A@R that is going to muddle through the volume of muck for free here at the Muse. Although, If I were running this site, a selling point for this site would be by having some" pro-songwriter/ book publisher types" critique one song per novice per month. In return, huge advertising of their wares and music workshops posted on each forum. Its a win/win for the site and the Pro person hawking their books etc. At this moment, they would have to maybe critique maybe 50 or 60 people here who visit the Muse on a monthly basis. That would take maybe two afternoons for them.

But as the word would spread that an industry professional or two were giving critiques to novices like ourselves for free, hell the flood waters would break open at this site and "just maybe" the talent level would raise considerably. Maybe even some of us would get discovered as true writers and create a buzz for this site and it might be an avenue for other A@R people to consider visiting who are looking for other avenues other than their demo submissions from insiders. Kinda like an American Idol approach discovering new writing talent.

So, yeah, this site has fostered the exploration of songwriting etc. But it doesn't do anything to further the next step once you've graduated from beginner to novice/would be pro writer. Whether it was suppose to or not is really Jodi's call. But in the same token, I read " from time to time" in the feedback forum opinions sections of "what can we do to make this site more appealing for people to stay members?". Rather than see the member total roll pass 9000 and know in reality that its lucky if 100 people participate on a monthly basis(give or take 50) maybe, just maybe the site should try an appeal to the more advanced writers.

And by getting an industry pro or two involved...this would certainly attract a higher grade of talent and writers who are more serious and creative on what they are doing than the atta boy crowd mafia chamber. And with a higher grade of talent at the site, I think the beginners would see what they have to compare to as far as whether they think what they wrote is worth posting. It's a win/win all around. But the problem here is, that change is often "NOT" met with optimism here at the Muse. I've experienced this first hand...but that's another story...lol

So, yeah....this site has had its unexpected pleasant surprises as far as new creative raw talent wandering through the past couple years...but, they come and see there isn't enough going on to further what they are doing and move on. This site could and would grow to the next level if some sort of A@R or publisher were in the mix. I don't know how much pull Jodi has in the industry, but it would be something worth pursuing to give the site a new direction that furthers the journey of songwriting.

Even the monthly songwriting or lyric contests would have some cred if some pro publishers were judging the contests. You bet you would have more than 6 songs or lyrics entered for the monthly contests entered if being judged by a non biased industry professionals. But as they say, there are entry fees for those types of contests. Whether or not Jodi would embrace and set up such a contest might be brought up in the next "opinion poll" on how to improve the site. I figure, if my Wisconsin songwriters club can have such a contest that has far fewer members than the Muse, why not try it here at this site? Then we would see really who's song or lyric would stand up to that type of upgraded competition.

Just food for thought..

my two cents worth
R-N-R Jim

P.S. AND TO YOUR QUESTION, yes (if I made it to stardom) I would cater to the huddled masses(1 per month) to hear whatever it was they wanted to sing, say or do, as long as they can handle the truth....lol
"Its all about taking the easy way out for you, I suppose" -elliot smith


To listen to songs I have written and recorded, go to these links:

https://soundcloud.com/tad-strange

https://soundclick.com/jimcanrock



link below is an honorable mention from a national songwriting contest that I entered the song "Baby" that I wrote with the help of singnpeach on vocals and a couple lines for the lyrics she added. Not bad for a muse collaboration.

http://www.songofthe...JamesUpham.html

#41 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,361
  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:54 AM

Jim, what kind of industry professionals would you want to attract to the Muse? Songwriters, performers, recording engineers, A&R, etc.?

Industry professionals follow the market, do you agree? What type of songs do you believe there is a demand for these days?

I'm thinking there would be no industry professionals qualified to critique the stand alone lyrics at the Muse. If I'm a lyricist dreaming of making an income from having my words put to music, the critique most valuable to me will be from another lyricist who has achieved this goal. My understanding is, there is no market for stand alone lyrics, so it would follow there are no professional lyricists, or that they would be rare. (Or do you know of some?)

#42 User is online   Alistair S Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 12,393
  • Joined: 18-May 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Reading, Berkshire, UK

Posted 22 July 2010 - 12:44 PM

I would agree that there can be a problem for writers (particularly lyricists) who want to advance further and who have reached a level where they could.

This less an issue for people writing whole songs (note: I didn't say it was ot an issue - simply that it was less an issue). The reason for this (I think) is that much of the feedback received in the Songs Feedback section comes from people who can write songs. There is a benefit in peer-to-peer feedback, I think. The quality may vary, but there are people here who are both skilled at writing and who are skilled at providing feedback (the two don't always go together!). That side works well enough.

The difficulty arises for the "best" people. Who do they learn from? Well, feedback is still useful. People have ears and good experience of listening to music. They may not always know how to fix something, but they can spot what's working and what isn't. However, the most talented people are less likely to receive that nugget of learning that the less skilled, like myself, benefit from regularly.

If we could get even better people (or pros) then they would receive that - but then the pros would be the best people and the issue remains.

The site works best as a peer-to-peer advice and support group at the moment. Of course it would be exciting to get involvement from established professionals, but how do you do that? I'm not "dissing" the idea. I'd be genuinely interested to hear any ideas on that.

Lyrics Feedback is more tricky. The thing with aspiring lyricists is that there is no real barrier to entry. Anyone can try and write a lyric. No musical background is demanded and a lot of people (at least initially) have little idea of structure or theory. This is an issue in some ways, but a joy in others.

Why is it a good thing? Well, for someone who is interested in learning or trying their hand, the Muse offers them an opportunity to do so and it offeres them a supportive community. Many people get hours of enjoyment out of their hobby of writing lyrics and the Muse enables them to engage in that hobby. Some don't appear to care whether their lyric ever becomes a song, while others put in a lot of effort into seeing their creation become something more (often by collaboration).

Is that pleasure, enjoyed by so many, a bad thing? I think not.

So, why is it an issue? Well, because it can be frustrating for those that have become more experienced at writing for all of the reasons outlined above. After a while, many stop critiquing as often as they did (it is a lot of work to critique effectively) and the newer lyricists are left to critique one another. This is compounded when someone steps in with a more honest, harder-hitting critique and it is seen as "mean-spirited" rather than honest and helpful. The critiquer steps back, wounded, and critiques even less. The loss is to the newer lyricists, in my opinion. Having said that, I still see people develop their skills in Lyrics Feedback - it can be done!

As RnRJim says, he raised a similar issue a year or so back. He was perhaps less diplomatic and he did receive some backlash. However, a few of us saw some merit in starting a Monthly Lyric Forum and Len and I started one. It was controversial, but it started reasonably well. However, after a period of time, posts trailed off and some posts were simply being placed there to keep it afloat. I closed it. It was an experiment, but it wasn't one that really worked.

So, what is the answer? I don't know. Of course, if more people went to town on providing feedback to lyricists it would help. However, people can't be forced to do that.

One idea that was put forward was mentoring. I think that has possibilities, but mentoring relationships need to be voluntary (by both mentor and mentored).

Any other ideas?

Lastly, isn't it odd that this thread is in Song Feedback and not Lyric Feedback, and yet lyrics are being discussed mostly! :lol:
My Soundclick Music Page
My Facebook Music Page

"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#43 User is offline   Billy Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,963
  • Joined: 12-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ware, Ma

Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:14 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 22 July 2010 - 11:54 AM, said:

I'm thinking there would be no industry professionals qualified to critique the stand alone lyrics at the Muse. If I'm a lyricist dreaming of making an income from having my words put to music, the critique most valuable to me will be from another lyricist who has achieved this goal. My understanding is, there is no market for stand alone lyrics, so it would follow there are no professional lyricists, or that they would be rare. (Or do you know of some?)



Salley,

I think there are hundreds of them. And believe me Salley, I don't mean that in a inflamatory way. In fact, I've worked with one on several ocassions. Her name is Pamela Oland and she's not only a professional lyricist but a author as well. She wrote The Art of Lyric Writing, which I have. A few years ago I had her critique a few songs of mine and her critiques were fantastic (my lyrics, not so much! :)) I actually posted one of her critiques here about a year ago and the feedback that I received from that post spoke glowingly about her analysis of my song, referencing the thoroughness and in-depth knowledge she brought to the table. At the time, her critiques were $30.00, which I think is a steal. They've since gone up to $60.00, which is a bit pricey but well worth it if your serious about improving your craft. I've heard a lot of people gripe and complain about their own personal finances and resources, which is a legitimate concern but I suspect most people could find a way to come up with $60.00 if it meant they could improve upon their songwriting skills. It really comes down to passion, desire and expectations. If someone legitimately wants to get better, this might be the way to go for them. For others, they may feel as though this is uneccesary or in some cases, an unrealistic step. Pamela has written songs for Anne Murray, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, and a wide array of others artists as well. She also wrote the theme song for Disney's live motion picture version of 101 Dalmations, starring Glen Close. So she definately has a professional resume and brings an industry skill set to the table. The last time I spoke to her, she was working on a project with Richard Carpenter, who was both a friend and collaborator. Today's music industry may well be moving away from "lyricist only" artists, but I suspect if it's good enough, they'll always be a market for a great song!


Personally, I think Jim's idea is terrific. What a great concept. If songwriters were to buy into it, how cool would it be to have them critique a song a month and/or judge a song contest. There would be great value in the critique even if it weren't your own song. I think the idea of swapping advertising time for these types of services would be terrific. For someone like Pamela, she could promote her book, and lyric crtique services in exchange for these duties. It's really a win win! From her perspective, it would probably be a minimal amount of time that she'd have to invest and the payoff and exposure could be well worth the effort. Like Jim said, that's ultimately Jodi's call but I think it's a wonderful, forward-thinking idea and like I said, I think there are more lyricists and musicians out there than you may think. Songwriting teachers, professors, industry professionals, lyricists, etc...

Another name instantly comes to mind. Pat Pattison from Berklee school of music in Boston. He's not only a professor there but an author and professional lyricist as well. So, in exchange for these types of services, which like I said would require minimal time and investment on his part, he could promote his books, school, classes, and personal lyric writing. Once agian, this might be interesting to someone like him and extremely valuable to members of the muse. I'm not sure if it's doable or feasable from Jodi's perspective, but it's a great idea and the possibilites are exciting. Just imagine for a moment what this would require from a professional lyricist, or songwriters perspective. An hour or two to judge a song contest and perhaps a half hour to an hour to provide a critique. You could even up the requirements if you wanted to encompass 5 or 10 hours of time, requiring the professional artist to critique several songs and possibly more than one contest per month. Just a thought. So you're looking at between 2 and 3 hours a month, up to 10 hours a month, in exchange for some free advetising spots, which could prove to be quite lucrative. Currently, based on daily traffic and participation, it might be hard to convince a songwriter or lyricist to pay for these advertising spots but to barter for them is a different story and once word got out that professionals were actively participating in the muse, I don't suspect it would be long before participation grew and quite possibly, the talent level increased. ONce again, a win win for everyone. In reality, if you're looking to get better and to ultimately compete at a higher level, no one should be turned off by competition. The better those around you are, the more likely you'll rise to the ocassion and become better yourself. Overall, I just think it's a very interesting and compelling concept! Bravo Jim!

Billy

#44 User is offline   daddio Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Joined: 01-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:you can't get there from here
  • Interests:I'm not all that interested.

Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:30 PM

I sometimes think that God could come in and give critiques and you'd still have people getting offended and hurt that their "baby" didn't get the kudos they think it deserved. The same is true for posting lyrics for crit. If an unknown lyric from Lennon/McCartney was posted anonymously, it would still be totally re-written by the folks on the lyric board because it didn't "read" well enough on paper. :D

RnRJim's suggestion sounds good on paper but most of the people I know who are qualified to give "professional" crits are already doing it for money. I can't imagine any would do it for free. About 25 years ago I worked for a music publisher who was also a great song doctor. He analyzed and critiqued songs for a fee and when I asked him once how he determined his fee, he laughed and said that the fee was so that people would appreciate his critique and take it seriously. When you get something for nothing then you assume that's what it worth. If a professional started giving free crits on the board, it wouldn't be long before someone would question their abilities. But if the same poster paid for that review, they'd be more likely to believe it, IMHO.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


My Soundclick
My Reverbnation page
My Facebook

Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

When You're Cain 1+1 Song of the Year 2013

#45 User is offline   Dottie Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,453
  • Joined: 24-March 10
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Atlanta, Ga.
  • Interests:Writing, music, anything creative. I actually enjoy restoring old cars, but I haven't done that for a while.

Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:56 PM

Really I donít understand the problem. Why not let the less talented like myself play too? Have you all looked at the lyric section lately? Not a lot going on there actually.

I know now who wants what from a critique. Some do want a pat on the back, a little encouragement
doesnít hurt. I try to find something good to say and if canít I skip that one. I havenít been writing long
Six months I suppose, so Iím going to need more help than the more talented of you, obviously.

I didnít know when I joined that I would be looked down on for posting one lyric a day like the rules say.
How could I have known? And yes sometimes I write something and I throw if right up on the board for everyone to see. I was confused; I thought that was what this site was for?

I have given in depth critique and had it throw back in my face. But, and to me this is a biggie I heard what I was saying. It didnít hurt me, if my time was that valuable Iíd be getting paid for writing this.

For those of you that are more talented share the wisdom. Some of us are listening. :)

#46 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,361
  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

View PostBilly, on 22 July 2010 - 12:14 PM, said:

View PostSalley Gardens, on 22 July 2010 - 11:54 AM, said:

I'm thinking there would be no industry professionals qualified to critique the stand alone lyrics at the Muse. If I'm a lyricist dreaming of making an income from having my words put to music, the critique most valuable to me will be from another lyricist who has achieved this goal. My understanding is, there is no market for stand alone lyrics, so it would follow there are no professional lyricists, or that they would be rare. (Or do you know of some?)



Salley,

I think there are hundreds of them. And believe me Salley, I don't mean that in a inflamatory way.

No worry... My questions for Jim on his idea are not rhetorical. I'm struggling for a clear view of this vision, particularly in the the context of this thread, "What Constitutes a Critique?". If critiques by industry professionals are more effective than what's currently available on the Muse, then clarifying the idea and how to achieve it is worthwhile.

There is already involvement from "industry professionals" on the Muse site, in various places (not just on the forums), and they don't all offer critiques. There are a few who are regulars on the Forums who *are* producing an income from their music who give critiques, especially when asked privately. The definition of "industry professional" would also need to be clarified. Would this be anyone who has received payment for their song writing, performance, and/or production skills? or those who make the bulk of their living expense this way? Would college professors count if they are teaching, but not getting published?

I remember, and enjoyed, the critique you shared with us from Pamela Oland. For $30 or $60 I'd want to make sure I got something as substantial! The process of giving a critique is at least as valuable as getting a good one. And whatever it is that defines a "good" critique has more to do with the person receiving the critique (in my opinion!) than the person giving it. The "atta boy" critiques might be helpful encouragement, or useless to those receiving them (and they're not too beneficial to those giving them).

The vision of having industry professionals become Muse critics is certainly a positive one. I don't see how this would take songwriters to the next level, though. There are already plenty of songwriters whose work is good enough to be popular already. Seems to me, the next level would be how to get the songs performed, produced, marketed, etc. While the "American Idol" idea of being "discovered" by A&R people visiting the Muse might be considered another level, I don't get the bridge from professional level critiques to discoveries made by A&R people here. I also don't get how professional level critiques are supposed to prevent the "muck" from accumulating.

#47 User is offline   Len Icon

  • Lost hat, cash reward
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 4,159
  • Joined: 01-January 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Aldershot, UK
  • Interests:Bit of this, bit of that, not much of the other...

Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:05 PM

Jim' suggestion has been alive and running for some time on Just Plain Folks (Mentor forum). From my limited view it appears to generate a lot of initial interest, with 20 odd folks hoping to be chosen for the critique, followed by 19 disgruntled folks being cajoled into taking an interest in the critique of the one. The JPF idea could be tried here.

A more practical solution could be for a group of Musers - 5 perhaps - to negotiate a group deal with a professional critiquer and then to share the results with the community.

However, my view is that though the Muse is great for amateurs and hobbiests, to take the next step up we have to start paying. Free = Amateur; Paid = Professional.

That could be paying for songwriting workshops, books, professional critiques, TAXI registrations, etc. That's where the rest of the Muse site comes into play. Jodi collates a lot of songwriting resources in the bigger Muse world outside this forum. There are plenty of ads for products and services to help us develop.

Dottie, this place is for anyone to use as they see fit, within the rules of course. if it works for you, but others don't like it, it's not your problem.
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
Lyrics website Lyricadia

Lyric of the Year 2007 (Numbers Make the Man), 2011 (The Volunteer) and 2013 (All Pals Together)

#48 User is offline   Billy Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,963
  • Joined: 12-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ware, Ma

Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:54 PM

Salley,

First of all, I'm glad you took no offense because none was intended. Secondly, you make some great points. I guess what I meant by the next level was the next level of personal development. Not necessarily the next level, meaning professional status! For most of us, that's not the next level anyway, but rather many levels removed.

Regarding the point you made about A & R people being attracted to this site. You're probably right. However, if the muse were to pursue something along these lines and it took hold, I could forsee creative, out of the box A & R people taking a quick peek to see if there were any diamonds in the rough floating around. In fact, I could potentially see a professional recognizing a talented artists and then advocating on their behalf, by ecouraging, advsing and/or recommending a talent they may have discovered. I'm sure most professionals in the industry wouldn't shy away from an opportunity of discovering a new talent. There's typically a lot of acclaim and recognition attributed to such discoveries. All this said, this is purely hypothetical and probably more fantasy-like than reality based. But given my perpensity to dream, this type of stuff is right up my alley. And I must say, I've always been a believer in the unbelievable. Stranger things have happened.

Regarding the issue of attracting professionals. I'd first like to classify what a professional would mean to me: Someone who, in some "relevent" capacity, has worked within the industry and/or taught people who've worked within the industry and may have had works published and or performed on a professional level. A high school band teacher, probably not, although, depending on his/her resume, maybe so. But a college professor or composer who may have worked within the industry or taught industry people, probably so! Obviously this is just my take on the matter.

With regards to inticing professionals to participate in such a way, I think it's relately straightforward and plausible. With the high costs of advertising and self-promotion, I would think a percentage of professionals that are pithing themselves, or selling books, publications, or services such as professional critiques may be interesting in swapping their services in exchange for free advertising. For instance, Pamela Oland may offer a critique or two for free and possibly judge a song contest or two during the course of the month. In return, she would get an advertising spot on the site, promoting her services. Therefore, given her participation and visibility on the site, people may in turn become more interested and/or familiar with her and her services, willing to buy one of her books or pay her for one of her critiques. This would not only generate buisness for the professional but would also give more attention to the inner-workings of the site. Not too many people outside of the industry are probably that familiar with Pamela Oland, but a service such as this could help to put her on the map. To use Jim's American Idol reference, who knew of Simon Cowell before American Idol? Not me! Believe me, I'm not equating this proposed idea to that of American Idol but the exposure and recognition could be great for someone if this concept were to catch on. Just look at a lot of the major song contests. Many of them are increasingly adding industry professionals and artists to their judging panels to give more recognition and credibility to their competitions. I've got to admit, when I see Tom Waits or Ray Davies is judging the ISC, it's exciting to me. Granted, they probablly only judge one category and I'm certain it must be the final round of judging, but it's still impressive all the same.

So as Don had said, why would any professional agree to do this for free? Well, most probably wouldn't. But this type of an arrangement wouldn't be free. Getting a free critique from Pamela may be a lottery or perhaps a contest or even a winner of a song contest on the site. All of that would have to be determined. It would be like winning a golden ticket, minus the trip to the chocolate factory! Although for some, a professional critique may be the equivilent! However, being able to read the critique would be valuable to all concerned. Yeah, it would be great if it were our own, but theres still great value in the analysis either way. Personally, I could envision myself buying someones book and possibly paying them for a critique based on what I observed here on the site. If I read a few song critiques given by a particular professional and I thought they were insightful, helpful and knoweledgable, I'd be inclined to get one myself. And for me personally, I wouldn't sit around hoping to get a golden ticket, I'd just contact the person and pay them for their service. Like Don said, the value of this service speaks for itself and the price is reflective in most cases of the quality of information you'll recieve. Personally, I made a decision not to send anymore lyrics to Pamela Oland until I felt as though I showed the type of improvement that warranted another critique and for me, I don't think I'm there yet. I actually discussed the possibility of her critiquing an existing pop song or standard to illustrate for me what was working and why and she was open to the idea. I just haven't pursued it as of yet.

I learn a lot from the people on this site. The feedback I recieve often forces me to look at my work more closely and as a result, I've become more critical and analytical about my work. That said, I've got a long way to go and I still make many of the same mistakes I made when I started, which isn't such a good thing. So, I don't believe this type of an arrangement would be the answer to all of my problems but rather one more tool to add to my tool box. I suspect we would all use and view this type of an arrangement differently and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not implying that it would enhance the overall songwriting of all our participants but it might have a significant impact on some and to me, that's what learning is all about.

I coached little league basketball for years and I was always amused by the comments that some parents would make. So many thought there children would grow up to be great stars, with college scholarship offers and pro scouts knocking at their door. I remember thinking that little Johnny or Suzy probably wasn't going to grow up to be Michael Jordan or Sue Bird, based on talent, ability, and genetics, but as long as he/she was learning the game and having fun, it was worth my while! Unfortanely, none of the children I worked with grew up to be great basketball stars but many of them are great people and often times tell me what a great experience they had on my team and that's far more valuable to me! So if I get a song cut someday that would be terrific but I'm not counting on it and I'm trying to learn and enjoy every step of the process along the way. I remeber saying about a year ago that I couldn't learn an instrument and I decided to quit that pursuit. Now, a year later, I'm back at it, with a better attitude and work ethic and I'm actually learning how to read music as I learn the keyboard. I'm not sure if I'll ever play with any great skill or aptitude but I guarantee I'll be able to play someday!

#49 User is offline   Billy Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1,963
  • Joined: 12-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ware, Ma

Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:10 PM

Hey Len,

How have you been? I hope all is well with you.

Great link! I found the discussion on this song to be very informative and educational. I think this is a great idea and personally, I'm quite fond of the musesmuse, given the fact it's where I started, so I'd love to see something along thes lines implemented here. As flattering as it would be to have a song chosen for critique, I really could care less. I got a lot out of the posts on this thread and I didn't have anything to do with it. In fact, I learned a lot about the structuring of a country music song that I didn't know before. For me personally, that's what I'm looking for.

Thanks again,

Billy

#50 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

  • A Muse's Muse
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Moderators
  • Posts: 3,361
  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:16 PM

View PostBilly, on 22 July 2010 - 02:54 PM, said:

Salley,

First of all, I'm glad you took no offense because none was intended. Secondly, you make some great points. I guess what I meant by the next level was the next level of personal development. Not necessarily the next level, meaning professional status! For most of us, that's not the next level anyway, but rather many levels removed.

I was actually referring to what Jim's idea of the next level. Your idea maintains the goal of the Muse site as is. Jim's vision seems to expand upon it.

I tend to think there is quite a bit available to go to the "next level" as you describe, using the resources currently made accessible on the Muse. Adding more resources would be welcome, but the current ones shouldn't be dismissed. I think Jim is speaking of a different level entirely, which may reflect an entirely new goal for the Muse.

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users