Okay! You’ve finished your song – time to share it with the world! First: Spamming is a prominent strategy for getting your name out there. It’ll “level up” your numbers, and get your name out there, but then again, so will belching into strangers’ faces in the middle of the street. Don’t be that guy.
To clarify, spamming to me is using other people’s uploads or forums threads to mention your music. It’s incredibly rude. Imagine positioning yourself next to a street musician and telling people to check out your music. Don’t be that guy.
If you spam a lot, you’ll receive spam a lot. I assume you’re going for constructive feedback and interesting interactions with like-minded people. You’ll have to take the first step, and give it to others first.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on the positive things, and being genuine in what you’re saying. You might not love the track, but from experience, I’m nearly always able to find something to compliment. If it’s total shit and I don’t have anything good to say, I don’t. A negative focus is meaningless: It’s a hobby, not international politics.
Unless someone asks for help finding points of improvement, hold back your helpfulness. We’re all basically manchildren saying “Here, Internet, I made you a song, and I’m very proud of it!” – Just like a child makes drawings to family and friends. Here’s Hans Teeuwen, as “Pseudo-helpful Negative Online Critic”:
When feedback is explicitly asked for, positivity should still dominate, as far as I’m concerned. Constructive critisism is very different from pure critisism. “I like the deep mood you’ve created, but the loud lead synth distracts from it. Maybe you could add some filtering, panning and lower the volume to integrate it better.” is very different from “WTF! The lead synth is way too loud, it ruins everything!”
Why Justin Bieber is awesome
No matter how much you’re “entitled to your opinion”, the moment you give someone feedback, you’re the spectator, and he’s on the field. If that doesn’t call for respect, I don’t know what does. Justin Bieber comes to mind – he’s doing what he loves, working his ass off, putting himself out there, facing hatred of epic proportions, the likes of which aren’t even seen during times of war. And he’s living his dream.
Everyone has an opinion about Justin Bieber, just like everyone shouts profanities to the football referee from the comfort of their seats, while drinking beer and eating fast food. Everyone knows everything about politics, but are too lazy to engage in their local community. Instead of letting JB succeed, the ol’ crab mentality sets in.
If you’re angry at his success, spend your time promoting the music you like, and ignore him. If you’re angry at the radio playing his music, change the channel, and ignore him. If his music is constantly playing at school or work, and you’re being so bothered by it (grr!), your first world problem doesn’t get any sympathy from me.
There are more constructive ways to spend one’s time, than to drown in negativity. Haters gonna hate, beliebers gonna beliebe.
Connecting is more fun than promoting
The internet is like band camp for music producers. You get to hang out with tons of like-minded people, from all over the world. Showing your music and hearing other people’s music is fun, but it’s especially fun when you get proper conversations going. That’s why I love SoundCloud so much – it’s a very social platform, and I’ve discovered great music as well as great people there.
The band camp analogy is a good one, since you would never say “cool song, please check out mine, rate, comment, subscribe, like and follow, featured on dj 123abc podcast #djmagtop100 #asot #yolo”. Similarly, you wouldn’t walk up to a person and tell him his music sucks. Or maybe you would, and you’re a sociopath.
My laid-back approach does have its drawbacks. Even though I have a small group of people who regularly take their time to give me feedback, which I greatly appreciate, I also think there are many others out there who would want to read my blog and hear my music. Maybe that’ll change when I finish my e-book, which should be more promotable than a bunch of random articles. Maybe I should make an album or an EP, too. There’s a lot of thinking to be done.
For now though, I’m very happy interacting with my small group of internet friends, and couldn’t care less about the numbers.
Give, and you might receive
Anyway, to conclude this incoherent mess of an article, here’s my take on how to get feedback on your music:
- Help others actively, be nice, be sincere, focus on them.
- Post your work online, ask for feedback if you want help.
- Thank people for taking their time to comment, just like you would in real life.
- Even negative comments are from someone who took their time to comment on your track, and most likely, they’re lonely tormented souls. Don’t let them drag you down to their miserable level.
- Put the stats aside, and focus on meaningful interaction. It’s more fun.