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Posting A Lyric For Review?

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Posting Lyrics For Critique? Then Read This!

To save repeating this on a regular basis I've decided to pull it all into one topic. Please read all of this post before taking part in this board.

Our critique boards rely entirely upon members reviewing each other's work.

Unfortunately some writers submitting work for critique are unwilling, for a variety of reasons, to perform critiques of the work of their peers. This ultimately leads to lack of critiques and disappointment for members looking for some feedback. As a result we added a guideline for board usage - For every lyric or song you submit for review, you should try to review a minimum of 2 other lyrics/songs on that board, a ratio of 2:1. This ensures a reasonable level of reviews in response to works posted.


Excuses

The most common reason given for not reviewing is:

 

  • I don't have enough experience to offer comments and suggestions.

 

Lack of experience is the best argument for actually performing reviews, not avoiding them. Writers are all here to exchange ideas, and believe me, they all felt or still feel inexperienced. To help you along, and to try an explain some of the benefits to writers who perform critique, please check out this article -

 

Lyrics Critique For Songwriters

 

The whole premise of this article is how performing critique benefits the songwriter.

Critique is not a simple "here's my comment". It's a discussion between the reviewee and reviewer to better understand perspective, discuss opinions and suggestions. Critique is valid be it from a fan, be it from a maestro. Sure it might be pitched at different levels, but that is a benefit. Songs are heard by all sorts of people with different perspectives and that is valuable. Even the comment of "I like it/dislike it" is valuable, although you have to explain why you feel that way and where necessary suggest improvements.

The point is not simply to accept comments and change our work. We listen, try to understand and consider what we could do based upon observations and advice. In offering and discussing comments we all learn.

I can understand being nervous about commenting, but comments and suggestions are not forcing your comments on anyone. It is your opinion, nothing more, and that is how it should be taken.

The main thing I would suggest is - be constructive. Explain your thinking/feeling and aim your comments at what (if anything) would improve the lyric.

It's human nature. If you don't perform reviews, other members will be disinclined to review your work preferring instead to review writers who contribute to the whole.

So please, respect your fellow writers by doing your share of reviews. You might just be surprised at what you gain from it.

Like so much in life -- what you get out largely depends on what you put in...

We want to maintain a positive environment. It encourages an honest exchange of ideas and opinions.


Constructive Criticism

We are all very different individuals with broad ranging sensitivity. A poorly thought out comment, while it may not intentionally be cruel, it still might devastate someone who has tentatively posted their first song in front of people for the first time. They may also be deeply attached to their lyrics, they could be very personal to them.

Please be compassionate, and sympathetic. Stretch yourself, if you must. The point is to help someone with their lyrics, not score a point for being correct. If someone does not take kindly to advice, don't force it. Be truthful but be diplomatic.

On the other side of the divide, when you post your lyrics for review, don't dismiss opinions out of hand. People take time and effort to review your songs. If you do not like someone's comments, try to understand their viewpoint or simply say thanks for your opinion and don't follow up. Please don't react defensively or aggressively. Their opinion is as valid as yours whether you choose to accept it or not. You have final say over your lyrics, not them, be content with that.

So we have some simple rules and guidelines...

Simple Rules

  • Original lyrics only....-- yes people really do post lyrics that aren't their own
  • No promo -- this forum is for talking about works in progress.
  • Treat each other with respect -- Please treat fellow members with consideration, this is a zero tolerance zone for flaming, insults, trolling, or drive-by shooting. This board is not the place for discussing the political or religious subjects raised by lyrics. If you do not agree with an opinion expressed in posted lyrics, this board is not the place to convince someone that their opinion is wrong.
  • Please post adult or disturbing content in the "Parental Advisory" board -- People as young as 13 may be browsing our forums plus there are people with widely varying sensibilities who use this forum --Violations of this rule can result in deletion of a thread at the discretion of the moderator.

 

Subscribe To Your Topics

When you post a Lyric or Song for review, you are asking people to spend time on your behalf to help YOU.

If you don't think you will have time to check back, we have tools for you. Right next to the rating scale at the top of the post is a down arrow, click that and subscribe to your topic so you will get an email if someone replies! (Also check your notification settings in your Profile Setttings)

When you make a post or new topic you can also subscribe.

 

Also you can subscribe to a board in a very similar way.


My personal preference now is to subscribe to all my topics and those that I reply to. That way I am kept up to date on all my conversations. You can do this in your profile editor. Go to "My Settings" from the drop down top left next to your member avatar, under the "Forums Members Calendar" buttons.
 

  • In the options panel click on the "Forums" tab
  • Put a tick in "Watch every topic I reply to"
  • In select "Immediate email notification" from the drop down next to the text "If enabled, choose default notification type:"

Do that once and you don't need to keep subscribing to your topics :)

Alternatively on a per topic basis:
 

  • When you are already in the post editor, either from having hit new topic, reply, or using the post editor (full version), at the bottom of the post editor, there is a button titled "Click to configure post options" or similar. Expand that and you should see a check box " Enable email notification of replies?" make sure this box has a tick in it. When you hit submit this will be saved for this topic.
  • To subscribe to a topic outside the editor, in the topic view (where you see all the individual posts listed) click "Watch Topic" button next to the add reply button at the top of post listings.

Alternatively on a per forum basis:
 

  • To subscribe to a forum, on the board view (where you see all the topics for that board listed) click "Watch Forum" next to the new topic button.

You can then easily see watched forum activity in a number of places, and receive email notification.


In Summary
 

  • Play Nice
  • Expect to work
  • When it is said 2:1, Make the effort to do more!
  • Be nice to the moderators, they are only trying to help
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Having Trouble Getting Reviews?

It's a common issue. What can I say, a review board relies on the fact that members are willing to perform reviews and that they put effort into making those reviews worthwhile.

How to fix it...

It starts with you.

For a start make sure you do your 3 reviews, as a minimum. More is better.

Make sure those reviews are of a good standard. My experience is that members mainly devote real effort to those they see making a real effort. Remember you get as much, if not more, benefit from the reviews you perform as the people whose work you review. Better quality, more in-depth reviews will help encourage others to do the same, and they are more likely to devote the time to a more in-depth review to those they see trying.

Keep an eye out for those you see performing reviews. If you review their work they are more likely to review yours than reviewing the work of someone that a) doesn't review or B) writes one line reviews.

Subscribe to your topics. Remember a critique is a discussion, not just an opinion offered. The point is to understand the points and suggestions made by a reviewer, not to persuade them you are right. The idea is you take away understanding, not that you win an argument, after all YOU are the final arbiter of what goes and what stays. Isn't that winning enough? If you subscribe you can more quickly respond to a reviewer, and that keeps the conversation flowing and the boards ultimately more useful to you.

Make sure you respond to each an every review. When people take the time to review your work, if you don't respond and discuss the points they raise, they are LESS likely to review your work again. I mean, why bother?

Keep your temper. Be respectful. Opinions are offered to help, to make you look at your lyric through different eyes, not because they are right and you are wrong, or the other way about. If people cannot be open and honest with you, it is your work that suffers from the censoring of the feedback that they give.

Be honest but be diplomatic. Don't ram your opinions down others throats. People get attached to their work. Yes they need to hear the truth, but not everyone is a seasoned writer, used to getting or giving critique. People have different experience, and perspective and different sensitivities. Some songs are more personal than others.

As a guide, try the Common Critique Questions for Songwriters and have a read at the accompanying article to help get you on your way.

Add friends, visit their profiles, and of course make sure your profile is up to date and says something at least!

Be Warned: Members do check if you have done recent reviews, and they tend to ignore members who only ever want critique but rarely give it.

In Summary

  • Review the work of others, don't wait for them to review you first
  • Keep your topic alive. Subscribe to your topic to get prompt notification of replies and reply to each person that reviews your work within your thread.
  • Discuss opinions to understand them. It is not an argument. If you are defensive, people will stop critiquing your work.
  • Promote your topic in the PA System, post a link there

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Hey! 3000 Views And Only 2 Comments? Surely My Song Merits More Feedback Than That?

Many boards in Songstuff are viewed by a great deal more people than are actually members. They are read only guests of the board. Occasionally the lurkers come in from the cold and post.

On some boards the standard practice is to post a lyric/song, wait till someone comments and then look up one of their topics and review them. From experience reviews tend to be short and not very useful.

On Songstuff we (site crew, long term members etc) strongly encourage taking time to do detailed reviews, at the very least a review where your opinion is well thought out... and to do those reviews as much for your benefit as the benefit of the reviewee.

The notion is simple. Perform quality reviews and you will attract the same attention from others. Perform preemptive reviews and people see that you make an effort and will in turn return the favor. But truly the main benefit in critique is to develop your own analysis and solution skills.

Other ways to attract activity on your topic is to:

add a link to your board signature which will be attached to every post you make

In your board profile set up your about page with some info about you and your interests with links to your lyrics topics

Use the shoutbox to promote your topics and other interesting topics on these boards

Set up your Songstuff blog and promote your blog on this and other sites you are a member of. Then when you post a lyric, make an accompanying blog post.

There is a chicken and egg scenario...

site visitors view latest board and site activity... but something has to make them want to join up or take part and that is.... activity. Interesting posts, lyrics, songs whatever.

We have some very experienced professional writers on the boards, and I know several are snowed under right now.... To be honest they tend to provide quite detailed comments which takes time, and they don't tend to like leaving half done reviews, half hearted scribbles... so they leave nothing. The fact that many reviews are just that doesn't exactly encourage participation. In almost every case they will make the effort for people who themselves are making an effort.

It's human nature I am afraid. People tend to make an effort for those who try. For those that sit back and wait, they will get less interest... generally.

I'm not saying you don't make an effort as I haven't looked to see... and that is also the point... it takes some initial effort to get noticed, on any board, on any site. On Songstuff I like to think we are pretty fair and we strive for quality, an improvement in our craft be that songwriting, performance recording etc. and hopefully in an encouraging way. Back patting occurs but I think more serious writers prefer honesty to flattery any day.

So blogs and promo aside, the first step is to perform reviews, start interesting topics, reply to questions, ask questions.... and the number one for me... when you get a review, start discussion on the points raised and make sure you reply to every single person who took time to review your work. Nothing puts off reviewers more than feeling their efforts have been ignored, dismissed or wasted. When people see that you are genuinely interested in exploring their opinions they start talking. Critique is after all a conversation, not a simple statement.

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Here Here! I think it also depends a little on which forum you are posting. The songwriting forum, in my opinion, is where some of the more interesting, or should I say in depth critiques are posted.

The lyric forum does receive it's share of point by point reviews, but there are many who merely pass by and say they like it. Sometimes there will be a point made to what isn't liked or working for the reader, and sometimes people will take their time and actually try to teach you something. Those are the critiques that are most helpfull. To think that a person spent that much time reviewing your work and offering thier hard earned knowledge to help you grow is really a very high compliment. It may not sound like it, but it is.

Can you remember which post garnered 3,000 views. That's an outstanding number.

Hope to see a post soon,

MP

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For some of us to be able to give a review I think it would be very helpful to know two things -

1. Was the lyric written for commercial purposes? In other words, is this something you would imagine playing on the radio somewhere, or was it written for catharsis reasons, etc.. or do you even know at this point? Having a better sense of this would make a difference in how we see words and how we interpret their intending meanings, and whether or not this lyric is something we could see on mainstream media, etc..

2. The intended genre. I am a country writer, maybe something a little southern rockish at times, but pretty much stick to what I like and believe I know best. Rock and roll as I know it and grew up with is no more, so I don't really have a good sense of what is going on in today's pop and rock music. I believe I can see good writing, etc.. but that doesn't always mean it makes sense to me without knowing the intended audience.

This is just me. I would love to critique more, but without really knowing what the writer is going for, or who he / she is going after, it makes it hard for someone like me, who in most cases looks at something and either thinks it's good or thinks it sucks, and doesn't know how to state that in the right way when trying to critique someone else's work.

Thanks for listening...

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As someone who rarely writes words for songs. I find it hard to divorce lyrics from the whole of the song as I am more tune and melody driven than word driven. Usually what hits me first is a tune rather than a lyric and whether the tune fits the lyrics stylistically.

First time I heard Karma Chameleon I thought it was a great pop song - I don't whether it is a wonderful lyric or not. First time I heard Caledonia by Dougie Maclean I knew it was a great song and knew I had to play it. Lots of 20's, 30's standards too. There are many like that and it's an astounding gift.

Lyrics without words I don't feel qualified to comment on really so I don't.

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This is an excellent point, GeorgiaSongwriter. :)

Though not entirely new to the site (I joined in March), I'm new to posting here, and want to contribute as much as I can.

Because I tend to give fairly in-depth - and thus time-consuming - critiques, it would be useful for me as well to know what the writer's intention is. I've observed on other forums that some people post lyric after lyric, not bothering to revise previous ones, and sometimes not even acknowledging the feedback people have given. This can be disheartening. It also means a critiquer's time was wasted, and would have been better spent on a lyric for which the author truly wanted serious feedback.

Anyway, just my tuppence worth. ;)

DonnaM

For some of us to be able to give a review I think it would be very helpful to know two things -

1. Was the lyric written for commercial purposes? In other words, is this something you would imagine playing on the radio somewhere, or was it written for catharsis reasons, etc.. or do you even know at this point? Having a better sense of this would make a difference in how we see words and how we interpret their intending meanings, and whether or not this lyric is something we could see on mainstream media, etc..

2. The intended genre. I am a country writer, maybe something a little southern rockish at times, but pretty much stick to what I like and believe I know best. Rock and roll as I know it and grew up with is no more, so I don't really have a good sense of what is going on in today's pop and rock music. I believe I can see good writing, etc.. but that doesn't always mean it makes sense to me without knowing the intended audience.

This is just me. I would love to critique more, but without really knowing what the writer is going for, or who he / she is going after, it makes it hard for someone like me, who in most cases looks at something and either thinks it's good or thinks it sucks, and doesn't know how to state that in the right way when trying to critique someone else's work.

Thanks for listening...

Edited by DonnaMarilyn
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I'm new here and I like the 1:1 critique rule. In other forums everyone wants to post their music and very few want to critique others.

Generally, depending on how much time I have, I just go down the list and comment on the first 6-12 posts unless something else catches my eye. If I see that someone is creeping down the line with 0 replies, I always try to hit them with a comment.

@GeorgiaSongwriter: I understand what you're saying, but to me either something sounds good or it doesn't, even if you don't like the genre. I mean no offense, but I don't like Country, and I'm sure my music would make you want to lop off your ears. But I will still critique anything because I can tell if somethings to low, too loud, needs more delay, is off time, vocals are pitchy, etc... Those are things that can be picked out easily in a "general" critique. What I'm not going to do is spend 30 minutes dissecting someones song and write down things like "missed cymbal @2:07". Besides unless it's something god awful, or has obvious flaws, most of what people say is going to be preference anyway.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is just let people have it. As long as it's in a constructive manner. Critiquing things out of your comfort zone might actually benefit you also. And I actually find it more flattering when someone complements me, that doesn't plays the same genre as me.

Anyway, I AM new here and hope I'm not coming off like Mayor Songstuff. And you have every right to critique or not critique whatever you want. And I'm not saying anything you said is right or wrong. I just wanted to comment and hopefully add "a little" different perspective to the topic.

See Ya Around,

MetalTeK

Edited by MetalTeK
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Also keep in mind when you review other people's work, it benefits YOU as a writer. To be able to really examine what someone else has done, can help your own songs immensely :note:

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I think it's neat you have a place dedicated to lyrics alone -- if you have great stand-alone lyrics, it only makes sense that accompanying music will only enhance it. In fact, part of what can give me goosebumps, sometimes, is the combination of a musical hook with a particularly awesome piece of wisdom, or a clever turning of a phrase.

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Some of us are fair and like to follow and appreciate rules, and some of us don't. All of us who follow the rules, go ahead and work together, while the ones that don't will soon amend. Write a lyric and correspond to those who reply, those who don't keep way from them until they do. Simple as that! Good Day for all those who follow rules!!!

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Am new here, am frm Nigeria a musican parcially song writer pls i want to be more educated on lyrics and songwritting.

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i just would like to chime in and say that I hear what the original post is about, but I also agree with some of the things said by metaltek, donna marilyn, and Georgia songwriter.  I appreciate the artists that take time to post there thoughts on my work.  I appreciate them all.  Some are very thorough and try to give a balanced and diplomatic review that usually includes some compliments of the parts they liked best and some suggestions as to the parts they didn't  Others say they liked or didn't like the song and further comment if they have something to say.  Some nit pi k a part of the music or song that they are most comfortable critiqueing.  I think that it's all ok. 

 

I as a songwriter and recording artist am on this site to get as much feedback as possible regardless of the style of the listener regarding feedback.  I see a lot of posts where it seems that 95 percent of everyone responding loves the song for the most part, and that is encouraging and great, but I don't know if it is as useful as someone that comes at critiquing your song the way they would something they heard on the radio (subjectively):  if they don't like it in the first minute they pass on to something else.   That can be useful too.  I guess My suggestion would be to accept all critiques as they come and take them all with a grain of salt.  As long as the reviewer doesn't seem spiteful it could be a benefit to hear what they have to say.

 

Danny

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How did you contact customer support? When did you contact them?

To see your content visit your own member profile. How you get there exactly depends on how you view the site. Are you using a computer, or a mobile / cell phone?

When you say "upload" do you mean you uploaded a file as an attachment?

This is not a support topic for issues such as this, so once you have replied and know how to find your content I will move this topic to the appropriate support board.

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I hear what your saying, but it seems to me that people want to listen/ critique people that already listened and critiqued them which is fine with me. I know my stuff is decent, not perfect but nonetheless decent. Folks have downloaded my songs which to me makes me believe that they listened first. I am cool with that. I'm just happy that folks like my stuff enough to download but, a message regarding my music would be more effective to me personally. Just my personal opinion.

~Johnny STRAWS

http://reverbnation.com/johnnystraws

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Forgot to mention, when I am on this site I do listen and ALWAYS reply with my thoughts.

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I hear what your saying, but it seems to me that people want to listen/ critique people that already listened and critiqued them which is fine with me. I know my stuff is decent, not perfect but nonetheless decent. Folks have downloaded my songs which to me makes me believe that they listened first. I am cool with that. I'm just happy that folks like my stuff enough to download but, a message regarding my music would be more effective to me personally. Just my personal opinion.

~Johnny STRAWS

http://reverbnation.com/johnnystraws

Many people do do that, unfortunately if we all did that there would be no critique. People don't realise that the person giving the critique gets the most benefit, not the person whose work is being critiqued.

So I tell people so they at least know. They may not believe me, but often I find it is laziness and mire that they don't want to believe me or think that somehow the rules are different for them. If they choose to ignore that they lose out in several ways. For a start others notice and respond in kind. When staff have time they chase members to give critique and even remove their posts in the case of those who serially post stuff for critique and never offer critique. By sitting back and waiting they harm their skills, they stop other members having the benefit of their skills and they harm both the community and the site.

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i think that this is a great way to ensure that everyone has a good amount of feedback on their work.Ive so many times wished i had another opinion when i was writing.I dont play an instrument so when i am designing the melody , it somtimes sounds ty other songs, which i dont want.  thanks, gina

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hey peps,im not a musician ,i just found out what a brige or melody is ,but when telling a story ,i think i can help there ,another thing it has taken me an hour just to get here ,not computer savy,pretty slow ,im at flipp phone speed,thanks

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Great songwriters know how to take inspiration from almost anything they see and feel. Anyone can get inspired by other songwriters and other people from the creative field. So, if you have been feeling stuck with your work, listening to a new artist, or reading other’s lyrics might help. 

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