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5 Things To Do When Asking For Feedback
In the last post we looked at 5 things you shouldn’t do when asking for feedback. Among them were avoiding dishonest people, being offended, spamming, and acting entitled.
This week, we’re going to flip it around and look at 5 things you should do when asking for feedback. But before that, quickly take note of why feedback is so vital. It helps us improve by illuminating our weaknesses and problem areas, and is ultimately imperative to us progressing as music producers.
Alright, let’s get to it. Here are 5 things you should do when asking for feedback.
1. Build a Relationship With the Person Giving Feedback
This isn’t absolutely essential, but it helps immensely. You don’t have to be best buddies with the person you’re asking for feedback from, but it does help to have somewhat of a relationship, even if it’s a mutual one.
I’ve given feedback before to people who’ve simply name-dropped someone I knew. Why? I don’t know—but it works.
One thing I recommend is helping said person out before asking for feedback. You could share one of their tracks, leave a thoughtful comment, or simply send them a message describing how great their music is. Be genuine, of course. Don’t manipulate.
Pro-tip: finding someone local is even better as it can lead to many opportunities.
2. Ask for Feedback on One Song at a Time
If you’re the kind of person who sends someone a full EP or album to review and offer feedback on, then you need to stop doing that. Not only is it incredibly overwhelming to the person giving feedback, it can also be overwhelming to you when you realise there’s A LOT to be done.
By asking for feedback on one song at a time, not only will you receive better feedback, you’ll also be able to act on it. Fixing a few things in one song is easy. Fixing a few things in each song in an album is not.
3. Be Specific
Asking for general feedback means you’ll receive general feedback. Is this inherently a bad thing? No. But it’s rarely ideal—"The composition isn’t too great.” Or, "The mix is muddy.”
This kind of feedback identifies the problem but never gives light to a solution. It’s still valuable, but as mentioned, it’s not ideal.
Instead, you should ask for feedback on specific elements—"What do you think of that synth sound at 2:15?” Or, "I’m not sure about the kick and bass in the mix, what do you think?”
This is makes giving feedback a lot easier, as the person knows what to listen out for. Also, you’re likely to receive more specific feedback and even suggestions, e.g., "I would adjust the attack on that synth if I were you.”
4. Be Patient
As I mentioned in the last post, a lot of the producers and engineers you’re asking for feedback from are busy people. As such, you shouldn’t expect feedback straight away, if any at all.
Expect to wait a few days. If you know the person well, and they continue to give you feedback, then feel free to send a follow-up message. Just do it respectfully.
5. Be Grateful
Finally, show gratitude.
By being grateful, the person who’s given you feedback will be proud of themselves and more interested in giving you feedback next time.
Also, some people are going to give you shit feedback. Recommendations that make no sense, or lazy comments that clearly show they haven’t listened to it. Be grateful anyway.
Now you know what you should and shouldn’t do when asking for feedback. It’s time to get producing!
What would you add to this list? Leave a comment below.
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