How do Musicians Handle Criticism?
You’re in a band. You recorded a couple songs that you think are absolutely incredible. You can’t wait to play it for your friends. So you and your drummer get them in a room, pop your CD into the player and watch their faces as the first note of your masterpiece fills the room. Your psyched. Your playing some air guitar. Your drummer is keeping time on his knees. Your friends are looking mostly at the wall right behind you.
Less than 1 minute into the song, they have already decided it they like it are not and are spending the rest of the time thinking how they’ll tell you what they think. Has anyone in that room ever told you anything except they thought it was great?
Of course not! Somewhere along the line they have learned that they can not honestly criticize a musician, only praise them or fabricate some neutral statement, like ‘it was hard for me to hear some of the vocals’ instead of saying ‘the vocalist sounded like a cat in heat’.
First off, the artist/ fan/ industry relationship is built on lies. It always has been and it always will be. Musicians have always lied to fans because they want you to think they’re always doing so well, and they really want to believe that themselves. The recording industry became an industry because early on they realized they can take advantage of the artists right brained only thinking.
And the fans? Well…we’ve never wanted to accept that fan loyalty is completely conditional on doing what they want us to do. It has nothing to do with us as people. We’re just providing a service for them.
Why do us artists take criticism as a personal attack? If you happen to find a mistake that your accountant made on your tax return, they would still be able to look you in the eye… But not a musician! Cold shoulder, pout the lower lip, very few words and slag you later over a couple drinks.
Artists are ridiculously sensitive. We thrive on flattery and love having our ego stroked like a dog loves to have his belly scratched, but are devastated by negative criticism of which we can never seem to let go of: we put our heads down, our tail between our legs, hold on to it forever and never seem to forget it.
You see, when you judge our art, we interpret it as you are judging us, not pointing out an accounting mistake. But if you did, we would still be insulted. And accountants we’re not! If we were, simple arithmetic would have told us how suicidal our contracts were…
So how can we find any rationale and peace of mind in this circus full of hypersensitive liars? How can we be honest if no one will be honest with us? Brace yourselves, all will be revealed …
THERE IS A SOLUTION.
Please help make it happen.
PROBLEMS CAN’T BE SOLVED WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.