Hey, all:

Oh boy . . . sorry folks, I really didn’t mean to stir up a debate among and between fellow members. And I realized my initial post, which was up last night for all of an hour maybe before I deleted it, would have done just that . . . to no avail, because here we are. So, for what little merit it may be, below are some of the thoughts I included in my initial post, all my opinion and none of it necessarily right or wrong.

I also deleted the initial post because—while it was good for me to vent a bit, even if to myself—I’m not sure how productive it is debating a subjective art such as music, which was where it was sure to go (and has). The main premise rather was simply to present a viewpoint contrary to the view that the feedback on the site is pollyanna, insincere or mutual “backslapping”—and not of substance. I just don’t believe that.

What I do see is this:

1. A small (and sadly diminishing) community of songwriters (established and aspiring alike) who are driven to create and share their works, and in the process perhaps (though not necessarily a goal for everyone) improve.

2. A community that understands the reality of the music industry . . . so much so that in the end what we do here is more about us bringing each other joy and pleasure in what we have to offer (and the joy and pleasure—sometimes, I guess—in the feedback we receive) than it is about any realistic aspirations that any of us will move on to “greater" things.

3. A community that does give constructive feedback . . . in fact, skimming through the top 15 or so threads on the MP3 forum, almost all of them include feedback on how to improve the song.

4. A community that appreciates the effort and courage it takes to create and post an original work, and takes time to support and encourage our fellow posters, pointing out the positive aspects of the work as well as those areas that may need work.

Giving honest feedback, and being respectful of our peers—whether friend or newcomer—is not mutually exclusive. Taking the time to acknowledge the positive aspects of a song despite its shortcomings, without throwing the artist through the “grinder”—and despite whether the song suits our particular taste—does not amount to insincere or meritless praise.

More broadly, I for one don’t believe I’m the ultimate authority on what is “great” songwriting. And with all due respect to everyone on the board, I don't think anyone else is either. Half of what we think we know about what makes a song great goes unnoticed by far more than half of those who hear it, and the remainder just don’t care . . . as long as they love what they hear. A song is more than the sum of its parts--there's simply no science to it.

So, yes, honest and constructive feedback by all means . . . let’s help each other get better with what little we know and can offer . . . but a kind word and encouragement goes a long way. This is, after all, a community . . . of “just plain folks.” And I don’t think we should mistake politeness, mutual respect, thoughtfulness and civility for insincerity, or think that only a harsh word gives a critique credulity.

Anyway, that was pretty much the gist of my original post, for better or worse. And there are some other great thoughts above that I fully concur with. Well, have at me if you will . . . but be both honest and kind, LOL. smirk

My best and utmost regards to you all.

Deej

Last edited by Deej56; 03/30/19 11:57 PM.