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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 19 2014, 03:29 PM
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As musicians, we are bound to be hit hard sometimes. It can be valid and it can be false (like pure hate comments on Youtube). Especially when learning, we need to be prepared to get ʺshot downʺ by more experienced players and also to receive feedback which might kill our own subjective view of the situation and therefor be perceived as ʺnegativeʺ. I have received negative feedback many times in the past. And even nowadays I have to deal with it, with my band Cirse. It seems that the most popular the band becomes, the most haters appear. Sometimes I feel very bad about it, because I don't like when comments are not constructive and are based just on taste or envy.

This is how I look at it: I don't pay too much attention to negative comments. I do my thing, the best I can, and it I'm proud of it and secure, I share it without problem. Youtube and Twitter are more anonymous so there is where the negative comments appear, I try to ignore them, but if I casually read them, I analyze if there is something that I can learn or if it's just a nonsense hater.

Sometimes I think, if the best music masterpieces and most talented musicians ever receive negative feedback, why would I feel bad about it?

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How do you cope with negative feedback?


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klasaine
post May 19 2014, 06:43 PM
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It's interesting to me how the word 'criticism' has come to mean (generally) negative criticism.
Up to the late 50s/early 60s criticism also included positive comments.

Anyway, as I always say, "a critic is to an artist as an ornithologist is to a bird".


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Nava
post May 19 2014, 07:07 PM
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Often, the hater him/herself sucks in their own life so bad that they just hate/comment because they not know better wink.gif


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Spock
post May 19 2014, 09:01 PM
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Half of my job is being shot down. Being a graphic artist, what I've had to learn to live with is the realization that what is considered "brilliant" to some is considered trash to another. Ultimately, I design for the person writing me the check - regardless of if I like the style or not. I learn what the person likes and design to the specifications and try not become too emotionally attached to what I am doing. There are times when I am trying to please 2 people with diametrically opposed ideas of how to market, and I just have to accept that one will be happy and the other will not. Making me the hero and the scapegoat all at the same time.

Just as long as those checks keep coming in, I guess I'm doing something right.

Being an artist of any kind (someone that creates something out of his/her head) you are always going to hit a soft nerve with someone on some things and a raw nerve with others - there is no way around it.

Another thing you can NOT do, is compare yourself with others. Sure, you can see/hear styles which are reminiscent of another. In this I am talking about what comes out creatively not skill necessarily. Learn to be happy that you have the ability to create, and also learn that working with others and creating as a team usually inspires better results than working on your own. A blending of styles (or brainstorming sessions to incorporate ideas) can really make the creative process more fulfilling - in my own experience. I may be the person that put the entire thing together, whether a marketing package or a song, but having collaborated before getting started usually cuts down on the writer's block.

Some "negative" comments may be nothing more than helpful critique and not really negative at all, while other comments are meant to tear down and destroy - know the difference and understand when someone is trying to help and some is trying to belittle.

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Mertay
post May 19 2014, 09:10 PM
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A like or dislike to me isn't a criticism, to on facebook or youtube its just a marketing tool. For example; a death metal dude's friend likes Cirse and clicks (doesn't have to be youtube, can be facebook or google...thanks to chrome hacking...) "like", then the death metal dude is suggested and gives a dislike...


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 19 2014, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE (Spock @ May 19 2014, 05:01 PM) *
Half of my job is being shot down. Being a graphic artist, what I've had to learn to live with is the realization that what is considered "brilliant" to some is considered trash to another. Ultimately, I design for the person writing me the check - regardless of if I like the style or not. I learn what the person likes and design to the specifications and try not become too emotionally attached to what I am doing. There are times when I am trying to please 2 people with diametrically opposed ideas of how to market, and I just have to accept that one will be happy and the other will not. Making me the hero and the scapegoat all at the same time.

Just as long as those checks keep coming in, I guess I'm doing something right.

Being an artist of any kind (someone that creates something out of his/her head) you are always going to hit a soft nerve with someone on some things and a raw nerve with others - there is no way around it.

Another thing you can NOT do, is compare yourself with others. Sure, you can see/hear styles which are reminiscent of another. In this I am talking about what comes out creatively not skill necessarily. Learn to be happy that you have the ability to create, and also learn that working with others and creating as a team usually inspires better results than working on your own. A blending of styles (or brainstorming sessions to incorporate ideas) can really make the creative process more fulfilling - in my own experience. I may be the person that put the entire thing together, whether a marketing package or a song, but having collaborated before getting started usually cuts down on the writer's block.

Some "negative" comments may be nothing more than helpful critique and not really negative at all, while other comments are meant to tear down and destroy - know the difference and understand when someone is trying to help and some is trying to belittle.

Life takes a thick skin.


Great post. It's cool to see how this same thing is applied to other art like design. However the main difference there is that you are paid to do what other people wants, so you don't really care about what other people says. If the client is happy and pays, it's enough in that case.

There is another interesting thing in your post when you talk about working with other people as a team and compare it with working alone.

Do you think that both have pros and cons or that team work is much better?


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Spock
post May 20 2014, 12:09 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 19 2014, 06:47 PM) *
There is another interesting thing in your post when you talk about working with other people as a team and compare it with working alone.

Do you think that both have pros and cons or that team work is much better?



Pros and cons to both. I do things on my own many times out of necessity. I enjoy writing on my own, but I fall short; I hear too much of "me" in my own stuff - so when it comes to music, I prefer writing with a friend and having their style and influence infused, it also gives us both an emotional bond to the song - when everyone is involved in the creative process, everyone feels they have something to be proud of.

Writing on your own though, you can do at anytime you are inspired, you don't have to have a set schedule. So yea, they both have benefits.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 20 2014, 07:54 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 19 2014, 05:43 PM) *
It's interesting to me how the word 'criticism' has come to mean (generally) negative criticism.
Up to the late 50s/early 60s criticism also included positive comments.

...


To an extent I agree Ken that the word has taken on a different meaning but from a different angle.

I've found that in the last few years many people ask for but either don't listen to, or really want criticism of any sort - what they want are 'fanboi' comments. Critiquing a mix is a routine part of my job and what I try to provide is constructive criticism. So I say what I like, what I think needs improvement and usually suggest ways to achieve the latter. I also try and balance the feedback to the experience of the person so that I won't (completely) shred a beginner's mix just because they had the time ratios out on the bus compressor. Some people pay attention and you can really hear their mixes improve but what happens more and more is that people ask for mix feedback and then don't respond at all presumably because they don't want constructive criticism. They keep repeating the same mistakes from mix to mix.

Perhaps it is a symptom of the 'America's/Britain's Got Talent' generation that one is now only supposed to provide positive feedback regardless of how good, bad or indifferent something is. If that's so fine but lets stop referring to it as ciriticsm.


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 20 2014, 09:27 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 19 2014, 05:43 PM) *
It's interesting to me how the word 'criticism' has come to mean (generally) negative criticism.
Up to the late 50s/early 60s criticism also included positive comments.

Anyway, as I always say, "a critic is to an artist as an ornithologist is to a bird".


laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif best one today! Thank you sir!

I for one LOVE criticism, simply because it makes me evaluate things from more perspective. But only I have the power to decide what's right and wrong and what should be changed smile.gif Then again, if it wasn't for constructive criticism coming from people with more experience than me (the ones around me, who know me and have the time and patience to really see what I am doing) I would never have evolved smile.gif

So, yes, thank you constructive criticism smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 20 2014, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ May 20 2014, 03:54 AM) *
To an extent I agree Ken that the word has taken on a different meaning but from a different angle.

I've found that in the last few years many people ask for but either don't listen to, or really want criticism of any sort - what they want are 'fanboi' comments. Critiquing a mix is a routine part of my job and what I try to provide is constructive criticism. So I say what I like, what I think needs improvement and usually suggest ways to achieve the latter. I also try and balance the feedback to the experience of the person so that I won't (completely) shred a beginner's mix just because they had the time ratios out on the bus compressor. Some people pay attention and you can really hear their mixes improve but what happens more and more is that people ask for mix feedback and then don't respond at all presumably because they don't want constructive criticism. They keep repeating the same mistakes from mix to mix.

Perhaps it is a symptom of the 'America's/Britain's Got Talent' generation that one is now only supposed to provide positive feedback regardless of how good, bad or indifferent something is. If that's so fine but lets stop referring to it as ciriticsm.



Here at GMC we call it feedback. For any reason the word "criticism" is more related nowadays with a negative comments, while feedback seems to be more relate to constructive suggestions. This happens at least in Spanish language...

Does this happen with English too?


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klasaine
post May 20 2014, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ May 19 2014, 11:54 PM) *
To an extent I agree Ken that the word has taken on a different meaning but from a different angle.

I've found that in the last few years many people ask for but either don't listen to, or really want criticism of any sort - what they want are 'fanboi' comments.

Perhaps it is a symptom of the 'America's/Britain's Got Talent' generation that one is now only supposed to provide positive feedback regardless of how good, bad or indifferent something is. If that's so fine but lets stop referring to it as ciriticsm.


Yeah, the whole practice of critique has lost both it's meaning and it's interpretation. It's either purely negative criticism with nothing constructive/instructive to say or 'everything is beautiful'. Neither is at all helpful.


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 21 2014, 07:32 AM
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People are handling feedback VERY BAD smile.gif Because they think you want to bash them. For me, it's a very important aspect of communication, simply because if you don't prepare an individual for receiving feedback, or if you do not make sure he is prepared, he could say 'Hey! Who are you to tell me this?!!'

People talk faster than they think usually wink.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 21 2014, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 20 2014, 03:32 PM) *
Yeah, the whole practice of critique has lost both it's meaning and it's interpretation. It's either purely negative criticism with nothing constructive/instructive to say or 'everything is beautiful'. Neither is at all helpful.


Anecdotally - a University that I've assessed post grad students and PhDs at for well over a decade issued some instructions asking staff not to use the words 'critical, analytical, analysis, empirical, evaluate, assess' and quite a few others in feedback to students as they may not understand them. Another University, which I taught at for about 20 years, advised staff to refrain from criticising student work (in a negative sense) and to only provide positive comments. That University also decided to lower its udergrad pass mark from 51% to 41% and asked staff not to award marks in the 0-20% range as they 'undervalued student performance and may demotivate'. It also widened the range for an 'A' or '!st Class' award from 80-100 to 70-100 thus suggesting a marking range where a 21-40= E-F/Fail; 41-69= D-B/3rd, 2ii, 2i; 70-100= A/1st . (I haven'tused a '%' sign as a marking range of 21-100 isn't a percentile range to me. Interesting also that in this scale the 41-69 range covers the 4 most common grades AND provides the least range for each.)

This post has been edited by tonymiro: May 21 2014, 07:44 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 21 2014, 08:29 AM
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You are always going to attract negative comments as long as you continue to do things.. the only way to avoid negative comments is to avoid doing anything at all and to be nothing. I think there's a famous quote that says it better than me (although it's not famous enough for me to remember the damn thing !) tongue.gif

The first time you get hit by it you do react to it with emotion, rather than cool rationale. We take it personally of course. But it's necessary to be exposed to it so you eventually just ignore it with ease. I'm grateful for the opportunities to weather hateful comments so that they now mean nothing at all. In fact, the insults make me laugh more than anything. Some of them are really funny biggrin.gif

The people who leave those comments are having a worse day than you are, even if they don't realise it. I'd hate to be that bitter inside.

As for constructive , or neutral criticism.. it can be very helpful. I mean, Tony's given me enough helpful criticism and feedback for me to pull my socks up and work harder at mixing and things. In fact, one of Tony's offhand comments in the forum about using our ears to mix, not our eyes totally gave me the Eureka moment a while ago. The thing is, I'd been hearing him say that since I've known him but it wasn't until that very point where I decided to really take it on board for what it meant. Sometimes the advice doesn't go in until you're in the right place, right time. smile.gif

On a related note, the only time criticism really gets on my nerves is when it's totally uninvited. I've had people send me private messages in Facebook and telling me what to do, totally without any other form of conversation leading to it.. that winds me up. dry.gif


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Spock
post May 21 2014, 08:42 AM
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Plus without vindictive criticism, there wouldn't be a reason for all the great comeback gifs available...


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 21 2014, 05:29 PM
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This is turning into a very interesting discussion.

I was wondering how negative comments affect to GMC students. Do you usually receive negative comments from close people, maybe from friends, or at school? Does this happen to you?


This is not exactly on topic, but I wanted to share it because it's cool how this little kids victim of bullying at school, used the music to express their feelings:





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Todd Simpson
post May 22 2014, 12:23 AM
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Some great replies smile.gif Developing a bit of a "Thick Skin" as an artist is unavoidable to a degree, since putting yourself out there constantly does tend to generate it's share of wack responses. No matter what the response, it's important to try to be objective about it. Sure, sometimes, folks are going to "Troll" or just be "bashing" just to bash. You gotta take all that with a grain of salt and keep moving forward.

That's different from learning to take "criticism". If someone is just bashing your track, that's one thing. If someone with a good ear is pointing out that some notes are not quite in key, that's not bashing. That's constructive feedback. In either case, it's important to try not to personalize these responses.

That being said, it's often through getting valid criticism that we make the most progress. Fanboi comments, (e.g. Oh my God that was the best most excellent solo ever!!!) do little to inform you on what to work on. So be thankful for honest appraisals.

As Mr. Miro mentioned, practically our entire education system is being "Grade Inflated" to death. So much so that students are not as accustomed to doing poorly and being called on it for fear it would "undermotivate" them. As a result, less and less honest assessment seems to be the norm. Thankfully, everyone at GMC has a good grasp on balanced feedback. Pointing out the positive and what could be improved without bashing smile.gif



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klasaine
post May 22 2014, 02:18 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 21 2014, 04:23 PM) *
As Mr. Miro mentioned, practically our entire education system is being "Grade Inflated" to death. So much so that *students are not as accustomed to doing poorly and being called on it for fear it would "undermotivate" them*. As a result, less and less honest assessment seems to be the norm.


Yeah. What it demotivates is their parents check book.


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PosterBoy
post May 23 2014, 06:04 PM
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I like the feedback given on this site, it's honest and helpful without beating the crap out of our dreams.

At church we have well meaning people who may not be that musically inclined tell us, you sound just like the Cd, and others wonder why I take the comments with a pinch of salt.

On another guitar site, someone posted a video, his capo was on badly and it affected the guitar's tuning, his chord changes and strumming were badly timed, but he got great comments, now I'm all for encouragement but a dose of reality and suggested improvements go a lot further in someone's guitar journey.


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Todd Simpson
post May 23 2014, 10:50 PM
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That's what I love about GMC smile.gif No grade inflation!! Folks manage to give honest feedback without blowing sunshine and without being hostile and jerky. I've seen such jerk wad reactions on sites live 7string.org that it amazes me people still go there.



QUOTE (PosterBoy @ May 23 2014, 01:04 PM) *
I like the feedback given on this site, it's honest and helpful without beating the crap out of our dreams.

At church we have well meaning people who may not be that musically inclined tell us, you sound just like the Cd, and others wonder why I take the comments with a pinch of salt.

On another guitar site, someone posted a video, his capo was on badly and it affected the guitar's tuning, his chord changes and strumming were badly timed, but he got great comments, now I'm all for encouragement but a dose of reality and suggested improvements go a lot further in someone's guitar journey.


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