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Is there any easy way to do this when you know you have to be brutally honest?
you be brutally honest, durp
i tell lots of people, to their face, what i think is wrong with their music, and almost always they appreciate the honesty. constructive criticism innit.
Just don't be nasty about it, everyone has to start somewhere etc.
I've just heard a piece of music that someone has written and has asked for my feedback on and in all honesty, I think it's rushed, it hasn't been developed properly, and well, needs more work. It's someone very close to me, tho, so I need to CAREFULLY consider my words. For a change. Hmm.......
"Needs more work" means you think its worth perservering (sp?) with, rather than it being irredeemably shit. Stress the fact you think it could be good, rather than the fact it, er, isn't.
If they have belief in their stuff they'll take it on board but not be too disheartened.
i would like to be told the truth with advance on how to improve it rather than Simon Cowel type honsetly the best way to do this is to say well you need to work on..eg lyrics, melody or vocals or all is a better way t say thing if they are serouis about there music they will take your advance if they are just after someone to someone to praise them they will earn nothing and show them self up then they perform a song
Advice to work on lyrics/vocals/meldoy etc. is all well and good if there's somethng to work with but some people actually just don't have the potential there in the first place.
And maybe, just maybe, it's better to tell 'em that so they can make more realistic decisions about their aspirations.
Plus in some cases the desire to then prove people wrong can inspire people to far greater heights than they might have done otherwise.
I'd much prefer someone being honest than saying they like it to me then criticising to everyone else afterwards.
A useful tip is to start off with positives (if there are any) first. By saying "well you've done this well but..." it sweetens the pill a little.
But Brainlove is right. If someone does believe in what they're doing they'll welcome constructive criticsm and not be too crushed by it. Most rational people know that
a) not everything they do is perfect
b) not everyone's gonna like it anyway
so most people will deal with anything well-meant. If you know the person well you probably know a good way to tell them what you think without upsetting them.
if they have the right attitude they shouldent give a fuck what you think, so you can say what you like
just say "yeah it sounds good" as it's the worst cop out ever
but if it's someone you're close to and you know they won't deal with brutal honesty that well then there's nothing wrong with sugaring the pill a little (provided you don't outright lie) to preserve the relationship you have with them.
That isn't my style and well, it would be compromising me in a way too.
I will come up with the clever words and approach, face to face, on what I think...
Thanks for the advice, y'all...
if you're going to have to be brutal then try and think of something technical that the person could do to improve, so they can focus on that, rather than just being told they're awful.