You’ve done everything right. You’ve written a song with care, practiced, and made a second, third, and maybe even more drafts! Even after all this work, though, you may wonder if your song is really ready to pitch or release. Navigating this question can be difficult, but you don’t have to answer it on your own. Getting outside opinions can really help refine your diamonds in the rough!
Many songwriters may hesitate on asking for help because they don’t know who to ask, or they may think they have to risk their reputation by approaching a huge record label for advice, but plenty of resources for song feedback exist for you that do not involve going straight to a record company or paying tons of money for expert advice!
So, think through some specific questions to ask reviewers, and come to them open to receive critique! It may be hard to receive criticism at first, but your efforts to get help will be well worth the growth you’ll experience.
To get you started on finding solid feedback, here’s a list of some of the best ways to get a song review!
1. Local Songwriter Organizations
Search on Meetup.com or find your local NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) chapter. If you can’t find one nearby, then plan your own regular jam and critique sessions! Live feedback is especially valuable because you can watch your audience’s reaction to your songs as they listen and see if the tune really captures their interest.
2. Your Live Performances
Again, seeing people’s reactions as they listen is always helpful. So, what could be a better place to gauge how listeners will respond to your songs than at one of your own live performances? Songwriter’s open mic nights are great, informal places to start getting music critiques. Be sure to walk around after your performance and ask for people’s thoughts-but don’t just ask for favors! Come in with a mindset of giving rather than consuming: spend some time establishing connections with the audience and offering helpful and encouraging feedback to the other musicians before asking them for their time and help.
3. Payed Listeners
In addition to live feedback, you may want to hear from different voices. You can send your song to professionals who will do a song review for a fee. You may want to try multiple platforms to get the best feedback possible.
- SubmitHub allows you to submit songs for feedback from other musicians for free!
- If you are willing to spend, then you can also get feedback from Full Circle Music’s dedicated team by joining our community called Song Chasers! You can find out more here.
- Crafty Musician’s feedback system here allows you to get feedback from a hundred everyday listeners for only $20/song.
- Fiverr offers professional reviews at $10/song and has high ratings for their services.
- Another resource is TAXI, where for $300/year you can get feedback from industry professionals for $5/song.
4. Online Groups
Facebook, Reddit, and songwriter forums found on the internet provide a space for songwriters to share and learn with one another. If you’re mindful of trying to give more than you take, and you will earn the respect (and feedback!) of your fellow musicians. If you go on Facebook, look for groups that you have to ask in order to join to find a community with higher-quality feedback.
5. Sending Songs to Other Musicians
You can always upload your music to SoundCloud for others to review, but you will have to reach out to people to get them to listen to your music! Here is where networking efforts can yield great benefits. Always be ready to refer people to your social media accounts; you may consider carrying a business card so new acquaintances can easily find you later!
Overall, I encourage you to be thoughtful about what advice you seek and follow. Your best friend wants to support you, so although you can definitely play your music for them, they will probably not be the best person to provide honest, constructive criticism. Try to talk with as many reliable critics as possible: fans, professionals, your local music communities, and anyone else whose opinion you value and trust!