Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why Being Polite Is Overrated

The Music Think Tank has an article on why being polite is overrated.  I found the article via a ReverbNation tweet.  When I seen the tweet, it made me check out the article.  I agree with the article 100 percent.  My friend and I talked about this very topic.

It's true that being only complimentary is a big problem.  I know a person who releases music to a very small fan base.  His fan base is nothing but his friends and a few people he knows.  The problem is that they won't say anything critical or be honest about his work.  They will brown nose him showering him with praise and compliments.  It's good to get compliments and praise for your work.  But if you work is terrible, how will you grow as an artist if people are not honest?

Maybe I feel this way because I am hard on myself with some of my music.  I find I write songs that are sometimes too long and I get frustrated that I can't pare a song down from to a three or four minute song.  But some people are too stubborn and thick skinned to realize stuff like this about their music and as I said, people won't tell them that.  Are people afraid to offend someone?  Are people afraid that the artist will get mad?  Proof is with Taylor Swift.  Somebody wrote something about her she felt hurtful.  So she turned it into a hit song... People need to stop being so sensitive.  If you can't handle constructive criticism, than you are in the wrong business.

People can't handle a big steaming pile of the truth.  People would rather have their feelings safeguarded  with some bogus bullshit and fake ass kissing because it's what they want to hear.  But the truth can be your best friend.  You can actually benefit from the truth.  If you want me to lay down a dose of truth on your music, I'll do it.  I'm not afraid that you'll get butt hurt because in time you'll get over.  The article says the truth which is negative can foster creativity and make your music better because it shows you what you can do differently or improve upon.  If you can't accept the truth, than how will you ever improve?  Not improving sounds counterproductive.  Not only that, but arguing or debating and sarcasm makes you more creative because it makes you view things in a different light.  But sometimes it comes back to being stubborn.  Some people don't want to see things differently.

People don't need to sugarcoat things.  If you feel one way, than say what you feel.  Don't say something you don't feel because it's what they want to hear.  Sure it's not pleasant to hear, but sometimes they have to bite the bullet and deal with it.  You as an artist will be better for it.


Mark said...

Chris, Dave Geffen said my music is awesome. That's the truth. Jk.

While I agree that being truthful is important I find myself thinking that being truthful doesn't necessarily mean have to be hurtful to people. Sometimes being honest is approached in an unnecessarily hurtful way by how one approaches being honest, whether that is through a blunt or backhand comment that is received as a personal attacks. When you make people feel like a victim its doubtful that they will listen to your point. You note constructive criticism and I think that is something that you should uphold: giving helpful feedback that can help said artist improve themselves as an artist. In school when I have to be critical of a text, especially one that people seem to really like, I will try to say what the author did right before I state what I find problematic. It doesn't negate the perceived errors of the author of the text, but it helps to offset a reaction from listeners who may take my critical remarks as being harsh. It also help to display modest when criticizing someone. Lines like, "I could be wrong, but I think that..." are helpful at creating a space where the person feels like they are welcome to contribute rather than being put down.

Good thoughts, C.C.!

Mr. C.C. said...

Taylor Swift wrote a hit song after being butt hurt because of what a critic said. That's a perfect example of "get over it." She must not have been butt hurt because she made loads of money off that song...