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Thread: MAB Q&A
Wes Tibbets
I do wish more would get on the lyric site and post and comment and not just one moment reflections but really try and make a difference to others writing, we all start from the bottom, so why not commit to say 2 critiques a week and post two yourselves. This site would be better off and more viable.

Hi Arty,

I agree with what you wrote to a degree. I've wondered to myself why the lyric forum doesn't receive the traffic that other songwriting sites do. I haven't been on here regularly enough to know why that is or even to begin to speculate the reason for that.

I've been a member in songwriting forums since 2004. I was also a moderator for the lyrics forum on another site for awhile. From my experience, a lot of people don't care to give critiques because they are rarely received well. Specially among new writers. Most people would prefer to have the gratification of others simple comments about how much their material is loved rather than being told the truth. And then their are those who give the critiques that have yet to distinguish the difference between constructive critiques and non-constructive critiques. Personally, I believe in building people up instead of tearing them down. So when I give a critique, I always try to point out the positives and the negatives instead of just harping solely on one or the other.

That noted, I still have experienced 100's of writers who become "booty hurt" over even the most constructive critique. They don't realize that even though someone compliments their writing and means well, they really aren't helping the writer to better their music or their skills. Which is why 9 out of 10 lyrics posted on a lot of these sites is of very poor quality. More poem than lyric. Lacks structure, rhyme scheme, story line, syllable counts, a decent hook, and many of the other things that are important to writing a good song. And that includes me too. Even after all of these years, I struggle daily with coming up with something that is new, refreshing and covers all the basics.

But then there is a second side to that. Even if someone comes in here or the lyric forums on other sites, works hard to develop their writing, and puts their best foot forward, it is only a matter of time before they learn the truth from people with experience in the business. And the truth is, there is no future for them in the business. Even if they are talented, sing well, play well, write well, the odds are still stacked against them. And the fact is, most of them are just lyricists and/or porch pickers like me. I've had too many people than I can count tell me that they quit coming in and writing just because they read through these forums and everything was absolutely designed to discourage by giving them honest, true advice. It's a double edge sword.

Personally, I would prefer that people are honest with me than to beat around the bush and pull a Nashville Song Service or Paramount just to rip me off and give me hope when there is none. Plus, I find it to be a good way to express myself. I have other reasons to do it as well but I'm not going to itemize every one of them. Because the truth is, that isn't the point of this post.

If you read the posts I do in the lyrics forum, you will always see that I begin the post with..."Constructive comments, suggestions, crits and collabs are welcome and appreciated." I think if someone wants a crit, they should ask for one. Otherwise it just opens the door to a lot of bickering and confrontation that is totally unnecessary. And by asking for one and noting that they would prefer it to be constructive, they are letting anybody who chooses to do one (if they choose to) know that just coming in and ragging on something for the sake of being a jerk is unwanted, unappreciated, and will have its repercussions. I learned that it is the best route to take and by doing so, it avoids a lot of unnecessary arguments.

Simply making crits a requirement isn't a novel idea. It has been tried before in other sites. Maybe even in this one. And it creates more headaches than is worth the trouble. I've been there, seen the results, and wouldn't recommend it.

Just my two cents worth.