Which song and why...

15 posts / 0 new
Last post

I think this belongs in "Songwriting" Forum since, will come back to "writing".

Today, I visited a new to me persons profile list in which they asked for, any input and help in picking which to consider for an open mic.

-- Lots is said, concerning, "surprised" at the ones that go over well, and "why", etc.

Yes, it has to be self-satisfying, our own music, indeed, but, we "do" want "engaged" listeners too.

So, what happened?

I just didn't have the time (for one person, let alone "membership"), to click 50ish songs, ='s an hour +.

So, I suggested,
a) you pick, [3] (is plenty)
b) say why, and then
c) re-ask.

-- I considered, how many (members) "now", reworking songs, feel the same, etc? Many, likely.

Use a "template" if you need to (why picked/and feedback), but, be brutally granular. However, just "like it, sounds good", can work to : )

So, this forum post would be for the, "not faint of heart", so to speak.

However, I expect, as I commented, I am likely commenting stuff I already relate too ("like"), and think something of, -- so, is positive. And, I reminded them, IMO, "Feedback" is 100% about the commenter, not the artist. (Think about that one... : )

Remember, "this" comes from someone stunned at folks, not walking by, and indeed authentically responding to "me", -- a nice connection to realize. So, no, this won't be "Mom" here, saying, -- "I just love all you work". If someone, 180 from you total stranger, says, "hey, like it sounds good" ... well, you've got a niche. 50% love vanilla and hate chocolate, -- doesn't mean chocolate ain't good too! Wrong mouth, is all.

--- So "again", WHAT TO DO?
"Open mics, can be 1 to 3 songs?, 10 - 15 mins, etc." So,
- pick 3 songs
- comment as YOU-author of it, as you LIKE, long/short/vague/granular, ~ why ~
- re-ask directly folks, or let the RANDOM hits begin here, for you.

--- One, suggestion, I see is not an issue "here", nonetheless, -- don't comment on comments, only the postings content, context.
For me, I find it hard to understand, a non-engaged post (in general), then, only to gets "hits" AFTER another posts first, (classic issue?). If you think anything of it, deconstructively-positive, or flat out flattery, "LOVE your VOICE!! OMG!", -- say so, and move on : ) you've done your good deed! : )

So, now we'll see what happens!

-- I won't post any song(s), until others do, since I am not "doing" this for "me" : ) But, I will, if see folks engaging this. Heck, I love re-stated comment, ala granular from total strangers, --now redundant, so end here : )

I think, when someone lists a song as a favorite on their profile, that is an invitation for direct feedback on that (or those) song(s). I think that is why we are asked to use that label judiciously and only for a very few select songs on our profile.

As for the open mic events that I go to, we are limited to two songs or 10 minutes. If the open mic is particularly crowded that night, artists are asked to only share one song.

As for feedback, I see the number of comments on a particular song as one indicator that that song (or at least the title) resonated with the audience. When I get a lot of positive comments on a particular song, that is often an indicator to me that this particular song might be a candidate for playing to a wider audience.

I agree, but I've also noticed lately that things have slowed down. Far less commenting going on lately. Also fewer songs being put up. I just went to an open mic last night and performed my most recent song. It was a mistake. I wasn't ready to perform it live, but I was so excited about it. The audience was very understanding of my stumbles. I tend to do silly, funny, or clever music which is both a blessing and a curse. Usually what I do will be different than other performers, but there are some open mic where people don't really seem to get my brand of humor. I give a song a few tries at an open mic before I give up on it. I'm getting better at telling which songs to play at which open mic too these days.

kc5's picture

I know when 50/90 first began and there were fewer postings, I would try to comment on every song that showed up in the watchlist songs, at least eventually and then it got overwhelming and I couldn't keep up. (Plus my life outside songwriting just seemed to go crazy). Narrowing to a few is way more doable for a commenter such as me. I will say that last FAWM I stuck around a bit to listen and comment once the crank time was over. It was more leisurely and enjoyable without the pressure. I got a better listen to the songs. I also listened and commented on songs from last years 50/90 prior to the start of this years, but I imagine many were not read before they reset the challenge for this year. Also (I may regret saying this), if someone specifically asks me to listen to a song and give my impression regarding something specifically they would like for feedback on their song, if it's within my knowledge/familiarity/vocab/expertise to do so, I would more likely over a group of ten songs to select from with no specific inquiry by the writer/musician.

It's so interesting, online, : ) I figured folks would post, or not, -- never considered it would be a discussion of if to do or not and why : ) It kind of justifies my ending, suggestion above LOL... commenting on comment, not the posted content, Hahhh... , very interesting.

-- kc5 gets it, but, she knows me well, too. And, she's got an academicians mind, teacher/learner/mentor : )


-- The Stars are not working. The "tips" threat, et al., covers the how/why on that : )

I too, would stop in here, and if posted as I suggest, then, would be a fresh engagement. Remembering, this is not an "encouragement" feedback, -- its critical positive if moved to do so, with granular stipulation of why asking for more, and why, to any feedback offered. Here, I don't think anyone will, self evident, engage what they don't "like", non-constructive feedback. However, ***remember, you/I don't have to like a song to critically positive, feedback.

As I've said, my greatest self growth came from analysis of others work, liked or not, fully supporting my commentary analysis. -- Try it, you'll like it : ) , grow from it. Pick a song you hate and analyze it, -- I start out hating many of my own, -- hint Smile Now, do it for someone else, since spec'd out to boot.

If someone, without self deprecation explains why they want to perform it, -- help please, is specified, hey, -- like it or not can easily confirm fundamentals as good, and other what-if scenarios.

-- Well, 4 posts in, and no content, only comment, -- that's ok : ) I took a shot ... Got caught try'in, yet again ; ) , second chance songs, ain't gonna happen. However, I'm not reposting as new, as if new... I got that feedback, -- thanks Mom ; ) LOL! And, if one uses the comment count number, how useful if half are your own in conversation?

I'm not sure what you mean by content vs comment. Are you saying that you would like people to post songs here for comment? Or are you saying that you would like more comments on your songs? Or are you talking about the quality of the comments that you are getting...mostly empty flattery?

I actually liked what @Powerstars did last year with thread where you'd link to a song you would like comments on and leave a comment for the previous link. I think we should have that again. Then you can specifically say "I'm not satisfied with this song and I want feedback on how to make it better." It might not be a bad idea to establish that again.

I've been doing a lot of comments, but I don't usually leave a lot of feedback. I try to make it constructive and positive because no one wants to be the 1 person criticizing. It's human nature.

Okay. I have to go into work right now, but when I get a break I'm going to set up a thread for commenting and maybe establish some tags for constructive feedback. Then you can just go to the tag cloud to find who wants the real deal and not just encouragement.

Hey @katpiercemusic, thanks!

Yes, exactly : )

-- onlineguage, it's a wonderful thing ... LOL!

It's done. It's in the general forum.

Not sure what OP is asking! Will offer some thoughts anyway. Smile

First, 50/90 is typically dead about now except for a few hard-cores who check in every day and a handful of folks who will do a last-minute burst of activity before it closes. 90 days is way too long IMHO but that is a whole 'nother conversation.

Second, the primary reason people do these challenges is to write songs. Obvious, right? They are not coming to find new music or to provide critiques. Fortunately, most folks who participate are kind and considerate and will invest a portion of their time here listening to and commenting on the songs of others (especially those others who have done the same for them!)

Third, given the above, I would never expect that participants would have the time or inclination to listen closely and provide detailed critiques & feedback! Plus this is such a diverse group (and we are all mostly amateurs) I don't see criticism as being all that useful anyway! Especially in the context of a timed challenge!!! I already know my skirmish song sucks; I wrote it in an hour! Smile

Regarding open mics...these are wonderful for getting your feet wet in a live performance. But don't try and take away much from them regarding reception of the audience to your songs. In my experience the open mic is usually on a sloooow night, the performers make up most of the audience, no one paid to listen, everyone is busy checking their phones, etc. So don't retire any of your songs just because the open mic crowd failed to respond!

Wow, @johnstaples, you wrote what I was going to write! I wasn't quite sure what the original post was about either, but I assumed it was something to do with which songs to play at open mics.
I certainly can't provide detailed critique, but (as I just wrote in another thread), I've learned a whole lot through trial/error - mostly things that apply to to my particular musical situation, but I'm happy to share.
I'm one of those hardcores who checks 50/90 every day, and I'm still posting songs, mainly because I spend a fair amount of my work day at home and at a computer in a roomful of musical instruments.
I haven't been to an open mic in years, but I used to attend several per month. After a while, I just looked at it as a night out. I've been invited to one recently, and my friend swears it's a fun, receptive audience. But I just don't do too many late nights (any time after 8 pm, really) anymore.

I don't like asking people to listen to my songs. I simply post and if it gets comments I am grateful. Overall, I don't get many comments compared with other people. I must not be very good? No, I am not very popular.

Regarding selecting songs for open mic: Don't try to do brand new songs. I tried that and embarrassed myself...lol. Only play songs you have rehearsed a lot, and likely won't forget the chords and or lyrics.

@jcollins I don't think it has anything to do with how good or even how popular a person is. I'm starting to learn the importance of self promotion this year. 37 years old and a music teacher, and now I'm learning that. It might have something to do with why I hardly ever get gigs. I've gotten more comments this year than in years past and I'm pretty sure I know why. I've given a butt tonne more. I've used the tag cloud to find musicians who write similar stuff to mine as I have an easier time commenting on their stuff and they are more likely to comment back. It's sort of a microcosm of the bigger world of performing... networking and such. I admit that I like getting comments. It's like a little endorphin shot of instant gratification.

I agree with @katpiercemusic! I find that when I drop off for awhile and stop commenting I stop receiving comments! And, when you think about it, that is exactly how this thing should work! When you are engaged here, others engage with you! And yes, I love getting comments! Like Katie said, "a little endorphin shot of instant gratification"!

Was Nutation suggesting we pick 3 of our songs we thought would be best at open mic, explain why, and ask for a more intense level of critique?

I'm not going to do that. This year has been good for writing lyrics quickly, but total junk for recording. I have over 40 with not even the faintest idea of melody, harmony, etc. I think some aren't even written down anywhere, other than on this site.

If I only have 20 minutes of free time, I'd prefer to spend it writing. If I'm tired, I'll hit the forums, or bust some fresh zongs. I don't have time to give a deep critique of someone else's song. But I've used up this block of free time. Ttyl

@katpiercemusic, I do understand what you are saying and agree too. It's just not my way to make contact with a lot of people. This is not limited to just music. I mean in general. People drive me nuts and I'm sure I drive them nuts too. I have some issues, and I know it. I seem to have developed some sort of bipolar problem and am not very sociable anymore. Also, in the past, I had put up some very good songs that didn't even get more than 4 or 5 comments. What was I suppose to think about that? Sadly, I was pretty disappointed that nobody noticed the high quality and effort that I delivered. All in a day or two's work. However, I think you nailed it exactly, and I'll try not to think that way anymore. Thank you.

Edit note: I am not referring to this year's effort as this was probably my weakest showing in this challenge, ever. Well, actually the last few years have been less than what I am capable of doing with the music.