In my career as a session singer, I often hear clients say they’re nervous about whether or not their song is even good. You can work with all the pros in the world, but if the song itself is bad, there’s not much we can do.
So, how do you know if your songs are good? This is largely subjective, so it’s hard to say. Think about every top song on the charts right now, and how many people hate those songs. There really is no real “answer.”
However, if you want to get feedback on your songs before hiring pros to work on them, here are some places you can try!
How to Get Your Songs Reviewed
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve already decided that you need to have your songs reviewed. However, you might wonder if you really even need to have your music reviewed.
The shortest, easiest answer is “no.” If you don’t have a label to answer to, if you’re the one paying for everything, then you have the final say. If you like the song, that’s all that matters.
Here is my video on this post if you prefer to watch instead of read:
1). Friends and Family
Obviously, you’ll want to be careful here. Most of these people won’t give you bad news. This is a good thing, they care about you! However, they might just flatter you without giving you realistic feedback.
On the flip side, they might be overly harsh or mean because for any number of reasons (jealousy, fear you’ll get famous and abandon them, etc).
Find the family members and friends you can trust to be honest and go to them!
2). Paid Services
There are several of these, Taxi, Music Xray, Music Gorilla, and I’m sure others have popped up recently. These are places where you can submit music for placement in various shows or movies, but they will also provide feedback opportunities.
Use caution with these. I don’t know of a single person who has had their big break from one of these sites. Now, does that mean it will never happen? Not necessarily, and you could very well be the first! But just beware and watch out for scams (see my video above for more info).
I’ve used several of these sites, and this is my personal experience: They’re not great. They make big promises (“get your song featured in NBC’s hit TV show!”), you submit your song and often you never even hear back. You’re either paying per submission, or on Taxi you’re paying a monthly fee. If you do hear back, it’s often “not what we’re looking for” and that’s it.
You can submit songs specifically for reviews and those are usually your best bet. You can also submit songs to blogs, but honestly you’re better off just reaching out to the blogs yourself.
I’m not saying DON’T use these services; I’m just saying be careful if you do.
Don’t get sucked in by the potentials they offer – be super critical of every opportunity to see whether or not it’s legit.
3). Social Media
This kind of ties into friends and family, but you can also get songs reviewed anonymously and crowd source opinions. Reddit has several boards that will provide feedback for songs. Reverbnation has a paid service where you can get anonymous feedback. Facebook groups are usually willing to provide helpful feedback. There are also songwriting message boards, although their popularity has decreased since social media has grown bigger.
4). Songwriting Organizations
I am a member of BMI and they provide songwriting feedback. They also have events you can attend and they will review songs live in the room. I’m sure ASCAP does this as well.
Other options are NSAI, Songtown, and other paid writing organizations where you can submit music for reviews.
Honestly, this option is probably your best bet. These people are actively involved in the music industry and they’ll (almost) always provide relevant, honest feedback.
5). Your Target Audience
If you’re making music for children, don’t ask your grandma for feedback. Similarly, if you make metal music but your mom loves Kenny Chesney, she probably isn’t a great resource.
Go where your potential fans are. They are the ones likely to buy your music, support your work and buy your merch. Their feedback should matter the most!
Of course, this is tough and you’ll likely run into the same issue of finding people who give honest feedback, but at least it will help you narrow down your search a little.
6). Your Session Musicians, Producer, and Mixer
Obviously, I put these last on the list. I did that for a reason: It’s tough for us to provide feedback when you’re also a client. It’s a conflict of interest, and often people are loathe to tell a client their song isn’t great.
Most of us (myself included) don’t provide feedback unless specifically asked. If you do want it, please ask and I’m happy to provide it!
Important Note: Please do not spam your music everywhere!
I wake up every morning to no less than 10 songs submitted to me without comment, or some generic sentence like “check this out fam!” I delete these immediately, and so does everyone else. PLEASE stop doing this. It’s a major waste of time, both yours and everyone else’s.
I hope this helps you find a place to get your songs reviewed!
If you have any other tips or places to get reviews, please share!