If you don’t critique your music you’re on the wrong path to success, but I bet you do it, all the time, right?
Are you relying too much on your intuition, trying to trust your gut and what feels right? You and I know that this is important, but you should also be aware that our intuition can be misled by factors such as tiredness and conditioning (listening too much to the same song).
MORE HEAD SPACE PLEASE
The first tip is to be able to get out of your own head and approach your music with a fresh perspective.
Forget the effort the song took so far and try to listen as if it’s someone else’s music. This can be difficult – especially if you’ve spent a long time very close to your work. Give yourself some space from the music – whether it be an hour or a week – and come back to it fresh. You can also try to listen to the song on a sound system that you’re unfamiliar with, or including it in a shuffled playlist of other reference tracks.
FRESH NEW START
One of the hard parts we deal in our studio work is when we realize that we have a very good section or an instrument, but we also know that isn’t right for the song! I know, sometimes you spent a lot of time on it but that doesn’t make the result is worthwhile! Sometimes you need to press delete! Hard, right? If you’re working in a DAW (like Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live) you can easily save alternate versions so you don’t have to worry about going back to a previous iteration. Just do it and start over!
ADVICE VS PERSPECTIVE
Are you in the early production stages? Don’t seek advice from people who are unqualified to give you useful feedback.
One of the wonderful things about music is that everyone hears and feels it differently. Try to have some feedback from causal (non-musician) listeners. They’ll give you a whole different answers and feedback since they have difficulty articulating even basic musical concepts. Incorrect terminology can easily take you down the wrong path.
You may try musicians, but they might not share your context or creative direction.
The most important is: if you want some outside assistance, make sure you only approach people who understand your music and your creative direction.