Guitar Zen: Escaping the Thralls of the Internet Critic!

SVH – Escaping the Thralls of the Internet Critic!

EVERYONE’S A CRITIC!

We live in an age where it is easier than ever to communicate. Whether you want to talk person to person, text, Skype, Facetime, or simply rifle off an email, there are literally thousands of ways to communicate. This opens up a huge door for the coffee table critic to come alive and force his or her opinion upon the masses. These days anyone can log onto YouTube and trash talk your latest shred video, that took you several weeks to perfect and almost as long to edit. Should this open door dialog be allowed to dictate your sound? Your skill level? Your songwriting? Or any other aspect of your musicality? Maybe having a world of criticism at your fingertips is a good thing. Or maybe not. But all in all, the fact that someone else is looking for their 15 minutes of fame by bad-mouthing your abilities (most often never offering up anything that showcases their amazing skills or lack thereof) should have ZERO effect on you the TRUE artist! After all, art is about personal expression and music gives us the purest form of human expression, which also shows us that some people will relate to what you express in your art and some just flat out won’t get it.

“IS THAT YOUR REAL HAIR OR A PILE OF $#!”

About six years ago a friend of mine asked me to shoot a few video demos for the guitar I was playing at the time and I was happy to oblige. I prepared a few segments and worked up some riffs to really show the tone and shredability of these fine axes. Once I knocked out my prepared video segments they asked if I’d mind knocking out a few demos for a few other items while I was there and again I was happy to assist. These guitars however felt completely foreign to me, as some were odd shapes that I wasn’t use to playing or had a thicker neck. One was even a unique half 6 string half 12 string that was slightly outta tune when handed to me. But all in all, I jumped in and gave it my best despite being a bit uncomfortable at that point. Well I did the videos, posted them on You Tube and let the criticisms begin! I got some really positive feedback and a few really solid questions about the guitars, but more than that I got a barrage of smart ass remarks like “Dude, have ya ever heard of a tuner” or “How do you make that awesome amp sound so bad,” and even “Is that your real hair or a pile of $#! on your head”? Now many would fire back with a list of expletives and things those people can go do with themselves. But I took this as a chance to get to know my audience and I came back with comments that were equally witty yet non-confrontational and soon turned several haters into real fans! I also garnished over 100,000 video views on my YouTube page by addressing all the comments accordingly, which drove more eyes to my other material showing these smack talkers that I can lay the smack down with my guitar just as effectively as they can show their lack of IQ with their posts!

CONSIDER THE SOURCE

The point is that when you put yourself out there to the world, you can expect to be faced with this. The online “critics” might not show you the same experience you get when you play your demo for your co-workers or friends and family. You friends and family love you and know your passion for your music. They understand how hard you’ve worked for it, whereas the guy sitting at home in his underwear eating Cheetos and ripping you apart until TMZ refreshes in his other browser tab does not share the same affection for your hard work and efforts. And although a good critique is valuable, consider the source and take things with a grain of salt. YOU are the artist and you are creating YOUR art. The most important thing should be that you feel good expressing it. And yes that IS my real hair…thanks for asking!

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