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The Importance Of Criticism In music

posted on #1
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Criticism In Music Is an important an essential tool in music.
It helps an artist grow and develop there skill and find there place in the sea of creativity.
If an artist can not take bad criticism of there work and learn and grow from it than they should give it up.
If nothing but good comments and praise are constantly given on submitted works that have faults and areas that could be improved ,than the artist that submitted that work suffers . They do not learn or develop into a better artist.
Be honest be polite be helpful be supporting. <3
posted on #2
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This is really a tricky one. There is a lot to agree with in your post. Yet we know that along with creativity there are also some gigantic egos. When those egos get damaged there can be a lot of shit thrown around. I've got a classic example from here. Early on I tried to encourage a very basic player and said that I thought he "was improving" (hardly a negative comment!). Well it turns out he thought he was GREAT and my comment was out of order and patronizing.

There are lots of member/players here who are in very early stages of their development and probably need encouragement more than a critique. It may be a good idea to send them a PM to check and see if they want a critical analysis or help. I'd avoid doing it in a public comment area(like the reply labelled "compliments"). My experience is that it's OK to give honest feedback to an experienced player who you have had contact with, but even then I'd avoid doing it publicly unless you are sure that it's OK with them or, if there is something that others can learn from that may be more technical than artistic (e.g. the sync is off, volume too low, etc.).

There is also another point of view: Not everybody here is trying to become a pro, or even better. It's recreation/fun for them. Wouldn't want to spoil anyone's fun would we?
posted on #3
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What're you talking about Wade, I AM THE GREATEST! ;)
Yea it ain't easy being Simon from Americas Got Talent.
posted on #4
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Wade please read the last line of my post.There are some great players on this sight with years of experience pass your knowledge on :Y
posted on #5
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Music is extremely subjective, so I guess each approach would have to be different. What I mean is I've had discussions with people where they said Flea, Les Claypool, and Jimi Hendrix are not technically sound. I agree, but that is part of their sound. The roughness to them...the rawness. Now if someone is missing something like off time, technique is making them miss something they are trying to do I think it is a favor to give advice. I for one love advice in those instances. I agree 100% constructive help can make us better. Critique is cool with solutions. Critique just for the sake of saying it is not great could be detrimental to the player. Hope that is clear.

Also, I would take critiques on mixing left and right lol like hundreds per track to catch me up lol haha
Live, laugh, bass
posted on #6
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Hello to fellow "loopers" from a raw novice. I have to admit that I have been suspicious that the "thumbs up" that I have received so far have been more sympathetic than true appreciation. Not that I do not appreciate the encouragement; I feel the mutual encouragement on Wikiloops is a big part of its appeal. I guess I am just an old skeptic
I would agree with the OP (banjup) that constructive criticism is invaluable I am secure enough to be able to take criticism and not take it personally I cannot imagine any abrasive or derogatory comments ever being made on Wikiloops; it is just not part of its culture Indeed, with a world with many problems, it is a welcome refuge
My concern is posting a piece that is so remedial that it is a waste of time to be listened to by accomplished players (who seem to predominate this site, in a good way)
So, moving forward, the plan is to post something that is in key and in rhythm, and slowly to do it better
Take care, nick357
posted on #7
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I think everyone is correct except badprimer :)

I see it like this... because of the trickyness involved with egos and the fact that text doesn't convey emotion or intent very well in the online world ...an open critique whether accurate or not may or may not be received well. I also notice that many of the compliments seem obligatory in nature as to promote encouragement. This is nice in theory but many times they come across just as that...obligatory... not necessarily genuine. This can be just as bad as an unwanted honest critique...maybe even worse because they aren't getting the honesty that is needed for an accurate eye opening critique. No one wants lip service or to feel patronized. So indeed this is a delicate line. Wade suggested perhaps PM the person to see if they want an honest assessment. Again... nice thought but I fear this act alone could come off as offensive to sensitive egos. What I do think may work is... maybe add an function that allows the person that uploaded... to request honest critiques that are by default private. A "CRITIQUE REQUESTED" button. Then perhaps allow that person to either make the critiques public or not. This way no one gives or gets unwanted critique and it's up to that person and their ego as to whether they want to make it public or simply keep it to themselves. ( I know Dick is probably thinking..."THANKS FOR THE EXTRA WORK MM3"). Of course leave the comment section just the way it is. My 2c.

Edited by MM3 on October 05 2017 05:47
posted on #8
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Joined: 11.07.15
I have found certain people who I rely on for criticism. A prime example was my second track on the Loops. It was so overprocessed Olivebee made a comment "it was unlistenable". Never forgot that but Ive asked his input a few times as he does know what hes talking about.i do overprocess. Its a bad habit I have. In short I ask a select few whos opinions I rely on not open myself to anybody and everyone.
posted on #9
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I can distinguish two categories of comments:
1. Comments that could only be written if you listened to a song for sure
2. Social comments disguised as feedback to music. These comments could be written before you listen. They are "formula-driven".

I won't judge what is better, it seems to be personal taste of the members.
It could be very bad and unnessary criticism if someone uses the same formula for interesting and boring tracks at the same time. Maybe there is no way to do it right.

I try to listen and write some thoughts down...using formulas, too. Sometimes I think: "I don't need to tell you because you got ears and only you can use them".
Edited by Neronick on October 05 2017 10:30
posted on #10
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From someone that openly accepts criticism. I know I have a long way to go to reach my goals. It all boils down to one's "attitude". Am I really that good (No). Do I want to be? (Yes). Are there fellow players here that play the same instrument I do, and what do I think of their uploads? How does my playing compare?

It's pretty obvious who has talent here, and who doesn't. But we are all here to enjoy music, play our instruments and contribute.

Because I know I am a work in progress (I hope, anyway) I welcome criticism. As Wade pointed out tho..for me... a PM would be the preferred way to go.

Criticism will be met with different results depending on the ego of those receiving it.

While I accept it openly...I don't offer up much 'cause I'm not one to "talk"..lol<3
posted on #11
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Well Said My Friend :W
Edited by FRANK2654 on October 05 2017 18:35
posted on #12
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We Who Play Music I Believe Play for Many Reasons but I Think The Main Reason Is for the Pure Joy of Playing.
How Proficient we Become Depends on How Much Time And Effort we Put Into It.
Some Players are Naturals...Some have to Work Hard at it.
I Do Believe If You Wish to Perform In Front Of People that you Must Have Strong Sensibilities yet The Courage to Make Mistakes and the Wisdom to Learn From those Mistakes
From Courage and Wisdom We Obtain Confidence... and a Musician Needs All of his /her Confidence Available to Play a Song from Beginning to End in Front of A Live Audience.
Simply a Musician Needs a Open Heart and THICK Skin...If You Know What I mean.
No One On This Planet Was ... Is....Or Will Be.... Perfect.
"We Can Only Strive and Hope To Find Perfection...Within Imperfection"
'Nuf Said
Edited by FRANK2654 on October 07 2017 14:29
posted on #13
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Im using that on my boss from now on.
posted on #14
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yall can tell me I suck at music, I can take it, actually no on second thought you might crush my ego and my dreams! just messing around here, I would love to see more constructive criticism from peers, I also need to start giving it if that is what I wish to happen. I see some of my flaws, but still, I do not act. not easy being human lol
posted on #15
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All very true comments here but my gut feeling is:

....the problem with online communities are rules and know it all who correct others, the power of wikiloops is: we are friendly without someone telling us, you just get inspired to do so from the culture that is on the loops.
We should charris that...if it's gone it won't come back and it's unique....

So many people so many opinions :) :)
It's all good...


To all
Edited by frenzie on October 07 2017 18:59
posted on #16
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I think there should be made some distinctions that should be considered both when giving and receiving critique.
First of all, why does somebody want to give critique at all? (i assume that the intention of the critique is constructive and leave out everything else) Especially when giving it to somebody outside the closest kin.
I can see a number of reasons for that. One is that the critique-giver once has been struggling with the same problem as the performer and does recognizes that in the performance and wants to help. Another (related) issue is that the critique giver think he has detected some flaw that he thinks the performer should be made aware of. Still another is that the critique giver has some own rendering that he perceives as "better". This line of reasons could be extended to the point where the critique giver and the performer have different value sets and thus simply do not understand each other. Another axis is that how well the performer adheres to a protocol and how the critique giver perceives this. In music this is extra difficult since a great part of music experience is the balance between familiarity and surprise. And there may be a lot of other reasons for giving critique, all having the one thing in common that the critique giver in some way wants to provide help. And this is a valuable resource that is quite difficult to tap into since the emotions of the performer very well may block the critique givers intentions. And that is something that should be considered carefully
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #17
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I think many have lost the meaning of this post.let's put it in another concept. Let's say a group of mousos are in a studio and writing a song.the rhythm guitar player comes up with a riff.then the bass and drums come up with a beat to follow than the singer comes up with lyrics etc etc one player has and idea to place a chord or change a chord etc etc .writing a song is like making a cake layer by layer.its not about insulting anyone its about suggesting things to improve the song .every body thinks they have something good but when more ears listen and add suggestions it can turn a good song into a great song.
posted on #18
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If a song is a cake then please no one should open the door of the oven after 2 minutes to improve the recipe.

It is long ago but I still remember some musicians with the bad habitude to interrupt the flow of the band.

Only if you have to record something and all lights are flashing dark red I would tolerate an early intervention.

Songwriting is a very intimate process and needs very close private partnerships. But even if a band works on cover song: tame your suggestions to the last bar plus 1 minute. Don't talk through a mic with your background singer while someone plays a solo...
posted on #19
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i don't get it banjup ?

you can't start a thread with the very bottom idea of discussing how useful is the criticism in music (which is a good topic indeed) ... let many members contribute to the discussion spending all together an enormous mass of thinking time and then come back three months later and just saying everybody missed the point and let's consider another concept which has nothing to do with the first one ? not even giving the answers you got the smallest thank you or consideration on earth ...

honestly ? i'd say this was disrepectfull and ignorant to the members who contributed ...
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #20
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I'm beginning to wonder about relevance of some of the thoughts in this thread. Maybe there is a presumption that this topic is about bands and music outside wikiloops? 99% of the tracks posted here are from individuals who DO NOT consult with each other about how they are gong to add to a track.

We are reacting to each member and what they add as an individual, not the additions before theirs, as that would need to be addressed to those individuals who added before. In many cases we could hear a track and not like a previous add, and maybe wonder why someone would have chosen to add to it...but that (IMHO) was their choice and NOT what we should be assessing or addressing. So what are the things one listens for? Personally I'm wanting to hear musicianship; how well does the add fit; sound engineering/mix; and if the add communicates something beyond just notes (feeling, style etc.). If any of the above are good, give them a thumb and compliment. If there are some aspects that you think could be improved upon and you could help ...maybe...just maybe...you could send them a PM. If it's a minor technical problem (a channel has dropped off, volume is too low, etc.) you could mention in the "compliments" section.

Most of what we hear are NOT BAND PROJECTS, they are individuals. It should be obvious that different individuals will interpret a track differently. There is no "right or wrong", there's your preference, which you can express by giving a thumb or compliment to those you like and ignoring the others.

A related and tricky topic might be how do you react to adds to a track of yours that you don't like? The obvious: they liked what you did enough to want to join in, (so you are being complimented). Do you tell them straight out that their add is crap? There are some phrases commonly used here that give the impression that you are happy they had "fun" (without discussing the merits (or lack of same). It's not real criticism, and it's not a compliment, just an acknowledgement of their compliment and effort.
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