Songwriting

4 Tips To Help Songwriters Get Better Song Critiques

by Marty Dodson
Jan 23, 2017

Sometimes, people get frustrated with the kind of feedback they get on their songs, but when we dig into the issue, we discover that they really didn’t give the feedback giver much to go on. Here are some tips to help you get better song critiques back on your songs:

Don’t submit finished demos if you can help it.

It’s HARD to give people feedback on a finished product. If you’ve already spent $800 on the demo, it breaks my heart to tell you that your second verse is ALL messed up. I’m probably going to go easier on you, because I don’t want to crush you and make you feel like you wasted your money. I’d MUCH rather give you feedback on a work tape or a work in progress. Then, I feel like we can fix everything that needs fixing BEFORE you spend your money.

Tell me EXACTLY what kind of feedback you want.

I love it when people say “I want to know if I should demo this song.” Or, “I’m trying to make this a pitch for Bruno Mars, can you tell me if I’m close?” The more accurately you can describe what kind of feedback you want, the better feedback you will get.

Let me know who your target audience is.

Let me know if you consider the song a commercial song or just a song that you want to be great. Sometimes, the pros giving feedback assume that everyone is trying to write a commercial song. If that’s NOT the case, they need to know. It’s best to tell that up front in either case.

Tell me what level of brutality you can handle. This is key to better song critiques.

Some people get offended if they get criticism of any type. It’s ok to say, “Go easy on me, I’m feeling fragile right now”. The best feedback is going to come when you say “I can take it. Let me know everything that’s wrong with it.”

There you have it. Those 4 tips can help you get much better song critiques on your songs. Write on and enjoy the holidays!

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

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