I have always wondered if song critiquing actually provides any value to the musician to improve their music. I have come to a conclusion that they work if they are done right. There are several scenarios where I feel it does not add any value at all. I used to critique songs in garageband.com back in the days and I never liked how reviews were done in that site.
I would like to go over some of the scenarios that I feel should be avoided while critiquing a song:
1. Reviewer is not a musician.
If the reviewer is not a musician and they have not created any music themselves, they are not in a position to review a song. They might be able to rate the song 4/5 but they might not know enough about songwriting and recording techniques to really give advice. Therefore, these people should not be forced to write “reviews” on the song. Writing reviews should be optional.
2. Reviews are written lazily.
If it’s mandatory to write at least a couple of sentences for each song, the reviewer is forced to write a review even though they don’t really like the song. And the reviewer will lazily write up a review. For this kind of scenario, writing a review should be optional. Usually, if a song grabs your attention, then you naturally want to write at least a couple of sentences on the song.
3. Taste in music is very subjective.
Everybody has a different taste in music. So, there is a chance that you will get a wide variety of reviews on your song. There will be both positive and negative criticism. In this kind of situation, which reviews should you use to improve your music? I think that even though the reviews will vary greatly, there will at least be a few positive criticisms that you can use to make your music better. And you should not take every negative criticism to heart.
4. Some take more than they give back.
Many users create songs and they are anxious to find out what others have to say. So they upload their song and wait for others to rate them. And they never take the time to review others’ music. This is not very good for the community. So, if you are expecting to see detailed reviews on your song, you should start writing detailed reviews yourself.
5. Reviews are not blind.
When I critique a song, I like to only judge the sound I hear and not what I see. I don’t want to know anything about the artist because it will bias my review. I want to be able to close my eyes and write review based on how the music makes me feel inside. So, my critique should solely focus on the music itself and not the music video or the artist bio.