When you finish a song, it’s usually safe to say you’re happy with the result and are proud of what you have made – yours is always the most important opinion. But what do others think about it? Could someone else’s advice help you improve and grow? The best way to know that is simply to ask for feedback.
It can be daunting, but it’s a necessary step in music creation. From music experts to every day music fans, getting outside opinions is so important as it lends insight into how your music is received and can give valuable advice to incorporate into your next track.
At school you would do research for a project or assignment to get the best results, right? Think of asking for feedback like doing research for your music career. It can only help you get better. Asking for critique on your music is never easy, so we’ve outlined a few steps to help you through it.
How to ask
This might seem like common sense but remember; you’re asking someone to take time out of their day to listen to your music. The other person will be more inclined to make the effort if asked politely. Also, don’t expect the person to do the hard work and look for your music so always make sure to be clear to include a link to the track in your message. If they don’t know you already, it doesn’t hurt to include links to your website, social media or any press coverage.
Give them some time to listen a few times and don’t contact them incessantly asking for their answer.
Who to ask
It’s probably easier at first to ask your friends and family for some general feedback. But don’t stop there. Reaching out to music professionals and fellow musicians will give you deeper insight. Plus it’s great to have a variety of feedback to see if there are common grounds for all types of listeners.
You can ask someone directly, but it’s also possible to use your socials to get some constructive feedback on your music. If used efficiently, you could get loads of recommendations. For instance, livestreaming on socials can be a great way to engage with your fans and why not ask them what they think about a specific song, or posting a snippet on your Instagram story and using the question and poll features to get your followers’ and fans’ opinions.
What to ask for
Before anything, you need to know what kind of feedback you’re expecting. Is it general feedback on one track? Is it feedback on the mix and mastering of your album? Is it about the vocals during the chorus on your last single?
You’ll more likely ask about your weakest point(s), or at least you should. I mean, if you’re a good writer and you know it you might not want or need any feedback on your lyrics. Focus on what you’re less sure about so you can keep growing as an artist.
Once you know the kind of feedback you’re looking for, it’s easier to know who to ask based on the person’s interests and expertise, and make sure to ask for that specific feedback, as well as their general thoughts.
Give to receive
Soundcloud is a great place to give and receive comments. Giving feedback means you’re more likely to receive some in return. Paying attention to the comments can be great way to get specific feedback as they are left on one part of the song. But keep in mind SoundCloud feedback is probably going to consist more of concise positive feedback rather than areas to improve.
Gather and keep relevant feedback that you can improve on in a file and group similar comments together to test later.
Asking for and receiving feedback is not easy for most artists. Your music is deeply personal and it can be hard to hear negative feedback or criticism. Try and see this as constructive and helping you forward in your growth as an artist and career as a professional musician.
Every artist ever has been told something negative about their music, or been told ‘no’ – just like these three artists you may have heard of.
Don’t hesitate to experiment with all the feedback you’ve got until you craft the perfect song and get it out into the world with us!