The majority of musicians are aware of the fact that no matter how good someone is and how much knowledge and experience he has, four ears are always better than two. Music feedback is one of the elements that are necessary and often crucial for one’s success in music domain. We will discuss this topic in the text that follows and elaborate several reasons why the opinion of others are important. So, why is the music review so valuable? How can you ensure high-quality and constructive feedback? Let’s see!

The importance of music review

Probably every musician has experienced the following situation: You are working for days on the track, trying to provide the perfect mix, you’re crushing that melody, thick bass, sick chord progression, etc… At the end of the day, you are thrilled with the end result. After sending the track to your friend to hear your „smash hit” you don’t receive a very enthusiastic music review. On the contrary, you get comments like „some of your notes are out of scale”, „there are too many lows”, „it is a little bit muddy”, etc… Of course, this can be a real slap in the face and can easily put you down. You may ask yourself: „How is this possible? I have listened to the track a trillion times and everything seemed perfect…” Listening to your own track over and over again for a long time can make you deaf for the imperfections no matter how hard you try to be objective. This can put you in a trance-like state of enthusiasm and make you your own biggest fan. This is a phenomenon that is known as “ear blindness“. In order to overcome these issues and eliminate this bias, you should include other people in the process of reviewing your music and hear their opinion.

Multiple perspectives

Others will present music feedback from the more objective point of view. The best way to ensure different opinions is to gather friends or network of people who are into music to give you their honest review of your work.

Feedback, feedback, feedback

Regular music feedback from multiple sources can point out some problems and weaknesses in the mix that you may have overlooked. Also, different people will play your track on different kinds of setup, or even on the regular earplugs, which will show you how your mix sound in general and whether it is ready for a wider use.

Besides this, you should play your project to your friends and people that are not professionally involved in music. Even though they cannot notice fine details and articulate some specific problem, you never know what interesting comment you can get.

New perspective - new idea

Sometimes even one word can evocate totally new idea and approach to your song. The problem is that people are often focused on a particular domain of the song and don’t pay much attention to the other parts. When someone hears your song for the first time he can point to very obvious things that you didn’t notice because you have already adapted your ears to the song. It is very hard to change the point of view after hearing the song for a hundred times.

Evaluate, change, adapt, evaluate

The name of the game is the constant change; a cycle of evaluation, changing, working on your mix, and evaluating again. As often as you get regular music feedback and keep the process of changing and adapting going on, you are on the right way to become more successful.

It is necessary to be in touch with the latest changes and trends on the music scene. By listening to the music that is not necessary your favourite genre, you will know what`s hot, what are new tricks and what is the direction of today’s music in general.

How to provide the music feedback?

Of course, one of the main problems is how or where to find competent people that are willing to give you constructive music feedback. Although this may sound like a huge problem, there are a few tips that can be very useful.

Expand your connections

First of all, you should find other musicians on your social networks (such as Facebook, Myspace, SoundCloud, etc…) and get in touch with them. However, you should remember that this cannot be done simply by sending the friend request; you have to stay in touch with them by liking, sharing or commenting their posts (especially if it is their original work) from time to time. Beside this, you can also send them affirmative messages telling them what you like about their work, and thus give them your feedback. Of course, in this phase, you should focus exclusively on the positive aspects of their songs. After a while, you can send your work and ask for a feedback.

How to ask for music review

The best way to ask for music review k is to find the “golden middle”; you shouldn’t be too formal as if you are speaking to the president, but neither to act like the two of you are the best friends. It is pretty simple - you should be polite, concise, and specific. It is also a good idea to start with a compliment; for example, you can tell your musician colleague that you respect his work and that you appreciate his opinion. After this, you can ask him for a specific evaluation of your song. He will probably give it a listen as a sign of gratitude for your previous attention and support.

Be thankful for music feedback

The main thing to remember is to always be grateful for a feedback, whether it is a negative or a positive one. You will often receive feedback that you disagree with. However, you should be very open to criticism because there is really no perspective for defensive and close minded musicians. I am aware that receiving negative feedback is not easy, but you should keep in mind that the best type of criticism is a negative one.

You can discard positive comments that patronise you and blow your ego. Negative and constructive criticism will help you grow as a musician, as this kind of feedback is very motivational. Also, it will galvanise you to improve your knowledge and skills. You should remember that if you respond poorly to the feedback you will probably limit yourself from a vital source of information because people will tend to avoid giving you sincere feedback in the future knowing what your reaction will be like.

YouTube producers

YouTube is a domain that is often neglected but that can be very helpful. There are producers that are posting YouTube videos in which they are reviewing and giving feedback on the tracks that their fans have sent them. These feedback sessions have become quite a trend among the producers on YouTube, and now there are loads of them that are engaged in this activity. They are giving valuable feedback to musicians by analysing their work, correcting the mix, talking about what parts and segments of a given track should be modified, etc…

It seems that these videos are one of the things you should become part of in order to develop your skills and ears. It is a good idea to be familiar with these YouTube channels as a lot of people are watching them.

SoundCloud for sound feedback

SoundCloud and other similar websites are a good way to stay connected with other musicians. Being a part of a huge community such as this one can often ensure excellent feedback from good musicians. You can receive sound feedback from comments and likes, as well as from direct contact via private messages. Of course, many of them will refuse your request as not everyone will be willing to listen to your track, but there is always a possibility that you will find an experienced musician that is ready to listen to your track and to give you an honest evaluation of your work. Of course, you should always offer your own sound feedback in order to return the favour.

Organise sound feedback groups

The best way to utilise feedback is to have multiple points of view. One of the best ways to do this is to include your fellow musicians in a closed group on Facebook. The important thing to remember is that you should send invitation only to musicians that are close to your level of experience and knowledge. You can ask David Guetta or James Hetfield to join your facebook group, but I think you already know that they won’t be too excited about this idea. So, the most pragmatic way is to invite a relatively small number of musicians that you already know. This way everyone will benefit from the group, as everyone will have an opportunity to receive sound feedback.

Conclusion

Music is very subjective by nature, and this is why different people like different kinds of music. However, no matter what genre you are into, there is always a distinction between good and bad production or professional and amateur approach. Feedback is an essential element that is necessary for your progress, so it should be considered very seriously.