3 Ways Musicians Can Get Audience Feedback

You’ve written a rough draft of music and lyrics and want to present it to an audience for feedback. This step can sometimes be nerve-racking. After all, you expose your feelings, and vulnerability, through music. But you should remember that the people listening can probably relate in some way. So, be brave and take one of these stages!

Playing for Family and Friends

Your loved ones care about you, so they may feel compelled to tell you that your music is amazing, no matter what. They may also get personal and inquire about your source of inspiration. Overall, playing for this crowd will probably give you a lot of positive feedback, but not the constructive criticism you need. Cage the Elephant’s Matt Shultz talks about his early beginnings in music, including how his father always offered encouragement, even as he just toyed around with drums. “This is great! You’re really good at being really bad!” he laughs.

Playing in Public Areas

Playing for strangers may be scarier than playing for people you know, but with enough practice, you’ll get comfortable. And this way, you’ll be able to gauge true interest in your music. People will either stop to listen to you, or just simply walk past you. Andy Grammar used this technique. He edited his songs based on feedback received, while playing on Third Street Promenade.

Recording and Uploading Online

This method removes the social anxiety and stage-fright factors. You’ll be able to reach a lot more people this way, over a longer period of time. Lana Del Rey, for example, gained so much popularity after uploading the video for her song “Video Games” that she got invited to perform on Saturday Night Live. The only thing is you won’t be able to see people’s reactions to your music. You may also be subject to a lot harsher criticism in the comments section. But just take it with a grain of salt!

Above all, remember that your music is your own voice. You shouldn’t have to please everyone. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to convey how you feel.

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Michelle Nguyen is a writer whose passions include music, sports, health, and wellness. She loves playing drums and bass guitar, as well as swimming. If she indirectly helps you write the next “Stairway to Heaven,” she will be very happy.

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