Flattery or being told its good

Whats your take on people who flatter you and your music. How do you know its genuine or not? The thing with Art is people say things to make you feel good. But this can be misleading. Praise can boost the ego but fool you into thinking your on the right track. The problem is there is no yardstick. So you want to believe the praise. Maybe its best to play everything down so that you dont get deluded. I see this a lot in painting classes. I must admit ive been guilty of giving praise to many peeps who are down on their uppers. Needing a boost. Any thoughts?

I only say it is good when I think it is good and everyone should do the same. Doing otherwise is only damaging.


I think if it is from someone who does not know you, and assuming they are not a soundcloud bot/scammer, then it is more likely to be genuine. If it is your Mum or your kids or someone who knows you either IRL or online, then it is harder to gauge.

Edit: I agree with @Phillip fake praise and pretence is not worth giving or getting. I only ever say something is good or I like if I do, if I don’t then I keep my opinion to myself.

Also, I don’t need or value “constructive criticism” or people to like my stuff, if they do fine, if not fine, can’t and should not want to please everyone, just yourself.


i find it really interesting when i play some weirdo abstract experimental recording i’ve made to someone who’s only really heard generic pop and/or musical theatre and has no frame of reference, so are usually completely bewildered, confused and alienated by it.

some people may say a track is really good but haven’t got the comparative experience to know someone probably did something similar years ago which sounds better, and your recording is only a derivative of that. does that matter?

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…i can separate pure sugar from complimenting opions…

but i have the gift, that i can hear my stuff brandnew and away from myself, whenever other’s ears hear it for their first time…i listen with their ears, so to say…very helpful…this way, i’m halfway able to give myself some fresh critiques via some kind of view from the outside…

and my own shit can’t drive me nuts, whenever i have to play it on some kind frequent repetition…

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You might specifically ask a friend for an honest advice that would make your track/song better in any way.

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I look for curiosity.
If someone has questions or wants to relate about parts of the music then it feels genuine to me.

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I have three people that I know I can rely on to give an honest opinion whose context I fully understand and that can be considered constructive. If I want an optinion on my music, I’ll ask one of them.

Everything and everyone else may as well baaaaaa at me like a goat, it’ll achieve just as much.


You need to meet our goats. They can be very convincing; especially with the horns to back it up.

There’s a few people whose honest opinions I believe and trust (and welcome); otherwise I’ve long ago resigned myself to letting the goats and an occasional dog or two be my main critics.

I’ve had that and the opposite happen too; for example, where an up-and-coming modern classical composer was quite blown away by some (possibly) arty spoken-word doom performance I was involved with, and I didn’t think he was flattering us with his enthusiasm as he had no reason to.

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Don’t ask for an option!
That way you can increase the probability of receiving an honest review.

strangers paying is the only true measure


(but also, not listening to too much praise or criticism is good anyway I think)


My quest for validation has reached a tolerable level i think.
In the end i chose to focus on what’s really important : The music.

But yeah, my ego can still blush from time to time.
Especially if it’s coming from a musician/creator whose work i respect/love.

It’s hard to provide constructive criticism if you’re not a musician. It’s a product of inspiration- it’s more a matter of taste so flattery to varying degrees of gravy is what most commenting on music is. With this gear intense method, with workflows and menu diving there can be technical advice to give, but most people don’t even read the manual so if we’re being critical where would we start?

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I just say “thank you! what’s your name?”

Often, people approach with an excitement or need for connecting or even their own recognition of being in the audience. I don’t really care what the reasoning is, but I also don’t want to have any discussion of merit right then and there.

Playing saxophone through a weird, synthy pedalboard garners a lot of excitement, and I’ve learned that people are enthused by what they just heard often because it’s very “new” to them. This may sound pompous, but at 40 years old, I’ve learned that just accepting the complement with a smile without dissecting it is a more positive experience for everyone involved, and helps me not to feel like an imposter. I do genuinely appreciate the compliment/recognition, but I know not to overthink if it’s real or fake.


It’s part of being an artist, pompous and all, to discuss, dissect and declare how “one sees the world” . If nothing else, an artist shares a vision. This requires a boldness that many don’t understand. That’s why productive and impactful artists are often disagreeable by social standards.

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I have a friend who is brutally honest, and that’s, if not nice, helpful

But another thing I noticed recently; I made a track which was just me playing piano and overlaying it with some other sounds and instrumentation. It differs a lot from the electronic, techno type of music I’ve been trying to make in recent years. The response I’ve gotten from people on this as opposed to other tracks is wildly different, more adjectives, incistence on how lovely it is. And this corresponds to my own feelings about it. I’m much better at playing instruments and creating songs with them then I am “programming” electronic music, and it became evident throughout the entire process.

Now, my point is that, I think I ignore my own feelings about how some stuff I produce stacks up against the abundance of great music that’s being made, has been made in the world, but that lingering feeling is still present in the back of my head. So when people give a positive, but not excited feedback, I feel I kind of know the truth, but choose to ignore it, because of all the effort I put into this stuff.

Not saying it’s awful, but if your own feeling is kind of, cool parts, but an average of meh, and you get that lukewarm response we’ve all gotten, there’s probably some kind of equal sign in there :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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But throwing in some positive points, and constructive criticism, always helps the social part of it. If possible :grin:

That depends on perspective taken. Did you make the music for your own pursuit and goal and does that include for the enjoyment of others? I’d deduct some pts if someone says it is perfect and ignore the toxicity that others try to spill into your effort and journey. Does effort count for anything these days or are we so outcome driven.

Add: they say imitation is the best form of flattery so see if that happens.

You’re thinking too much about it. Take the compliment and move on with your day!

Trying to psychoanalyze why anyone says anything to you at any given time is a recipe for dissaster.


If someone has taken the time to engage with your art then their encouragement is probably sincere, no need for false modesty, take the compliment. Similarly I wouldn’t tell someone I liked their work if I didn’t mean it.