A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

So I noticed this odd trend when folks comment in the listening booth. Many posts begin, "So this isn't my genre..." or "I don't really know much about this genre..." as if to absolve themselves from being incorrect about something.

It's funny because my writing students do the same thing "I'm not really a good writer so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about..." and I find myself constantly repeating that all they need to do is use their ears. In my classroom we all are native speakers of English (or at least very fluent speakers)...we know what doesn't sound right, when we need more information, are confused etc. If you can read you have the ability to critique a basic text.

This is even more true in music. As what sounds good to the human ear is pretty universal. As much as we all wish we could be that guy giving bad ass technical advice about how to fix things just telling someone something doesn't sound good is plenty.

I know folks mostly mean well, but it bugs the hell out of me. Mostly because I feel like if people trusted their critiques of other people's songs more they would trust that what they hear in their own music.

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Old 01-03-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

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Originally Posted by tim7 View Post
I think it's fair to say it's not your genre. I've commented on "IDM" and stuff in the LB before fine, but if threads under familiar genres have a lot of replies and some psytrance or something (which I don't like) has none I'll comment the psytrance. Then, to some extent, it's a fair admittance that it's not what you'd usually listen to, hence already having a biased slant or being unfamiliar with certain genre traits or what have you.

The thing is you say that what sounds good to the human ear is pretty universal but I know of people who like LMFAO and Skrillex, whereas for me I could happily wipe them off the face of the earth just for listening to that shit, you know?
I don't disagree that there is validity to saying "It's not my genre..." ...which I don't state above. I still feel like it's at least partially and/or at times a cop out for having a opinion. I'm not trying to put anyone down, in fact it's the opposite. Stand behind your opinion, don't invalidate yourself before you even get started. Maybe I just wish people would say what they have to say and leave the qualifies out of it. Getting down to brass tacks... as it were...

And...btw...putting LMFAO in the same sentence as Skrillex is a massive insult to LMFAO. At least they are being cheesey on purpose. ;p But nah, really, I get what you are saying. Same could be said about writing as well...about styles and what people consider good.

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I don't disagree that there is validity to saying "It's not my genre..." ...which I don't state above. I still feel like it's at least partially and/or at times a cop out for having a opinion. I'm not trying to put anyone down, in fact it's the opposite. Stand behind your opinion, don't invalidate yourself before you even get started. Maybe I just wish people would say what they have to say and leave the qualifies out of it. Getting down to brass tacks... as it were...

And...btw...putting LMFAO in the same sentence as Skrillex is a massive insult to LMFAO. At least they are being cheesey on purpose. ;p But nah, really, I get what you are saying. Same could be said about writing as well...about styles and what people consider good.
I don´t really know much about this kind of things, but I really couldn´t tell you which one of them is doing the worse music.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
So I noticed this odd trend when folks comment in the listening booth. Many posts begin, "So this isn't my genre..." or "I don't really know much about this genre..." as if to absolve themselves from being incorrect about something.
Normally if you read me saying something like that I'm probably really saying is

"Thanks to your music my ears now have cancer but I'm going to be nice and try and give constructive feedback"

or

"Really I don't normally listen to the genre in question and therefore if I'm moaning about a cliche that is winding me up feel free to take my statements as a sign of ignorance".

or

"I'm only talking about the production. Not the sound design. Not the structure. And definitely not whether it sounds as good as artists x, y or z. Who I've never heard of".

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

I'll stick a caveat, not a disclaimer in, especially if its a genre I don't particularly like.

I am not absolved of anything I write in the LB, I merely warn the recipient to take my misinformed opinions with a pinch of salt so they can weigh up the feedback versus their creative goal and make their own determination if it is relevant.

There's some big words in there. I'll stick a smiley on the end to make it friendly

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

I say it when it's true.



SHRUG.

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

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Originally Posted by tim7 View Post
Exactly this.

Say for example you wanted to know if your novel was any good, would you equally value the opinions of a successful novelist who has the same taste in literature as yourself and someone who's reading consists of nothing but Facebook and celebrity news?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

Well, I guess I'm just weird then ;p Go on about your days.

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

Damn it....OK...OK...but make it quick : )

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

I say this is as well sometimes, otherwise I might be commenting on a House track and say something like "maybe you should try having a beat that's not so 4/4 on the dot with a kick and claps".

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:31 AM   #11
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

the idea behind "this is not really my genre" is that since it's not your genre you don't know so much about it, thus you can't be the judge if it's good or not according to the rules imposed by this genre.

unless the artist is trying to break the imposed rules of a given genre, you are not the best judge for him/her.

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

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Originally Posted by gbsr View Post
unless the artist is trying to break the imposed rules of a given genre, you are not the best judge for him/her.
I think this is my biggest problem with people who get hung up on genres. If someone posts something along the lines of "My new dubstep track" and you've got a predilection against the genre as a whole, if you listen to it you're likely going into the track with a negative disposition already established, which doesn't help anyone.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

im normally just say it when listening to a track I dont like the genre of - like if I say I think it needs a main melody in my head - but it doesnt fit with the genre

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Old 05-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

Different people have different specialties. Someone who makes techno mostly will have a poor idea of what to do if they were to make an RnB song. There's subtle influences within genres that lead to their being what they are, influences that, without experience listening to and even making that type of music, will be lost to the otherwise inexperienced listener. It's like Autechre, for example. Most people will listen to it and be like, "what is this??!". The first album I purchased of Autechre's and listened to, I though it was neat music because it was strange but I honestly couldn't say I could get into it. I listened to it, but I didn't get it. Then one time it all clicked and I was like, "maaaaaaaannnnn this is awesome!!!!", just like Red Hot Chili Peppers. I couldn't get into Red Hot Chili Peppers at first. They were a strange band and I just thought it was weird. I didn't see anything appealing. Then I kept listening and was like, "actually, this is pretty freakin kick ass."

Same goes with reviewing someone else's music. Someone who listens to nothing but N'Sync will probably not get what the song writer was after when they listen to their techno track. They'll be like, "Where's all the other people that listen and like this music that I go see concerts with?! i don't like it!! It doesn't have the guys from N'Sync!"

Now another side I do have, however, is when people say that to me. I don't especially like getting into genres because as someone else said, genres create a bias in the listener before they hear the music. You could label something, "RnB", and have it actually be a dnb tune, or a cool acid house tune, but once they make a picture in their mind of "RnB", they shut everything else out. They expect some african american singer singing slow, kinda intimate tunes with sorta jazzy melodies, and they immediately tune out.

I can't stand when people say that in my reviews, because it says to me, "Since I can't think of a genre that this would be tied to, I won't consider it for its artistic merit". I think music is music. Of course, it helps for people to have a way to refer to something. Still though, to me all it says when someone says, "this isn't my genre...", it just says, "I'm too lazy to think of what I feel about this music, buuuuut because I don't identify this with the name of a genre, I'll just make some mundane suggestions and be on my way".

That's what I can't stand. People who won't just listen with an open mind for the length of your track.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #15
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Re: A funny thing people do when they criticize tunes in the LB

hmm I prefer people to be honest. This genre sucks and so does your song. But then they better tell me why it sucks or thats just lame.

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