We’re not going to lie to ourselves- most artists misunderstand how to get musical feedback for their careers.
- Either they take the “we’ll see” approach, hoping that if they play their music in enough places, someone will give feedback (preferably positive feedback).
- Or they spam their tracks to music influencers, media and labels, and then wonder why they don’t get any response.
In short, we can do better!
That’s why in this article, I’m going to give you 5 practical tips to get more or less constructive feedback about your music. But before that, why is getting feedback so important?
The critical role of musical feedback in boosting your career
I imagine that many of you already realize how critical feedback is to your career. But I’m sure some of you still feel that the opinions of others don’t matter and that you don’t need the validation of others.
The first reason why feedback is so important is that it’s immensely difficult to listen to your own music in an objective way. You spend countless hours producing a track, listening to the same sections over and over again, and inevitably over time… you lose all objectivity! You start to fall in love with your rhythm section or the melody. Or on the contrary, you start to hate this gimmick that everyone would find great in your song.
When you ask someone to give you their opinion on your song, you ask them to listen to something they’ve never heard before. You ask for their first impression. Obviously, it is not possible to get 100% objective feedback from anyone, because everyone has their own preferences and background. But we’re getting close!
Beyond that, feedback can also help you find new creative ideas. You can ask someone to give you feedback on your mix and they will tell you that a certain pattern or plugin could be added or adjusted. Constructive feedback can be useful not only to identify problems with your tracks, but also to improve the artistic execution of your songs.
Finally, when you get enough feedback, you start to notice recurring problems: your weak points. If several people point to your choruses, drops or arrangements, then it becomes obvious that you could spend a little more time training and practicing to minimize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
In short, feedback allows you to find your weak points BEFORE you publicly release your song, so that you can correct it and maximize its commercial potential.
So, how do you actually get concrete feedback?
All you have to do is ask! The truth is that there is no extravagant strategy to be put in place here, it’s just a matter of asking. However, as you may guess, there are some things you should keep in mind.
1. Be specific in your request
There is nothing inherently wrong in asking for overall feedback and impressions. But you will often find that if you ask for feedback on a particular aspect of your track (mix, arrangement, vocals, etc.), you will get more specific and therefore more practical advice in return.
2. Ask your question correctly
Unfortunately, asking for feedback cannot be done on a “hey check my youtube please” basis.
You should be professional and formulate your request with respect, but be concise. In a few lines, politely introduce yourself, give context for connecting with your contact, state your specific request and thank the person you are contacting for his or her time.
If it is someone to whom you can bring value beforehand (exchange of feedback, visibility, etc.) then you will boost your chances of getting an answer.
3. Accept criticism
The best way to never receive feedback from a person again is to reject all the feedback they give you. For example, if you ask someone for their opinion and then try to justify it to them, for fear of admitting that your sound isn’t ready yet, then they will understand that it’s a waste of time and forget you for good.
Of course, you will receive feedback with which you will disagree. Sometimes the feedback will be justified, sometimes not, and sometimes it will hurt your ego. But whatever the case, it is always best to be grateful for the feedback and take action on the points you agree with.