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Sample Song Critique

SAMPLE SONG CRITIQUE

Testimonial from the songwriter:

“Your suggestions were so perfect on the critique!…It’s so awesome to hear some feedback from a professional musician that has taken the time to thoughtfully consider some useful suggestions."

Song: “The Girl Who Lived In France”
Critique by Rae Hering on 4/7/19

Title

I think the title you chose is great for the song.

Arrangement Ideas

The piano part in the intro caught my attention immediately – I love that it’s playing the verse melody. It fits perfectly and sounds professional.

As you mentioned in your notes to me you play the melody in the piano throughout the song. I think we both agree that varying the piano part while you sing will add a more dynamic quality to the song.

You also mentioned the possibility of a short piano solo in the song. Personally, I feel that it’s a good length without adding anything to it.

Speaking of length, the intro is double the length I was expecting – that’s not a bad thing, but if you record this song I would suggest having another instrument (maybe a cello?) play a counter melody with the piano to make the longer intro make musical sense.

Melody

Beautiful melodies here. I found myself humming the verse melody around the house which is a sign that it’s catchy and memorable. Also, you were wondering if the key is good for your voice and it sounds to me like it is!

Structure

The structure is slightly unusual in the sense that there are 3 stanzas at the beginning, but I think it works just fine.

Song Concept

From what I understand this song is about a girl who moved to France because of a relationship that didn’t work out. She ended up moving back home heart-broken. I’m not entirely sure, however, what you mean by she “never learned to dance.” My mind wonders if this is a metaphor for having a successful relationship and I like the imagery and feeling of her wanting to learn to dance, but I found myself wishing there was more reinforcement for this concept in the verse lyric. This doesn’t mean that “learning to dance” needs to be fully explained but it seemed to come out of the blue at the end of the chorus.

Lyrics

I want to point out that your rhyme schemes are different with each verse stanza. For example: verse 1 stanza 2 has an AAB rhyme scheme while verse 1 stanza 2 has an ABB rhyme scheme. Verse 2 stanza 2 has no rhyme scheme. While this is not an all together bad thing I would suggest trying out a regular rhyme scheme to see if it makes the lyric “pop” more.

The time perspective you set up in the song is that the girl was in France in the past and now she is at home. This is good because the listener knows exactly where in the timeline we’re listening to her story; however, it gets a little fuzzy when you say in the chorus “but soon she went back home.” In my opinion saying “but now she’s back at home” would be more clear. Speaking of this line, though, I’d also suggest seeing if you can say that she’s home while infusing how she feels about being home in the line. Is she disappointed? Resigned? In disbelief? For example, you might say “all alone back at home.”

Speaking of the emotional side of this story, I can tell that she’s heartbroken, but I found myself wanting to know more about the whirlwind relationship she had. You mentioned the man once at the beginning; I wonder if I knew more about how she felt about him I might empathize with her heartbreak more and truly understand the chorus line “it started out so strong.” Maybe you could paint the picture of their relationship while expressing her feelings. For example:

She missed the way he said,
“I’ll love you to the end”
Like it was too good to be true

Maybe wrap in an imagery word or two that harkens to the magic of being in a foreign country where everything is romantic and exciting...cobble stone streets, open air markets and cafes... Also, how/why did the relationship end? It’s OK not to add each and every detail, but it may help to add hints – did she get scared of the commitment? Were they just plain incompatible? Was he abusive?

As I mentioned in the “Concept” section, I think adding a little more reference to “the dance” could be helpful so when the listener gets to the end of the chorus the “never learned to dance” line really hits home in a big, meaningful way.

Here are some more detailed thoughts on the lyric in bold:

She started out so young,
Her new life just begun,
But things never work out.

I’d suggest making the 3rd line of this stanza more positive and leaving the heartbreak as something the listener discovers later as the story progresses. What if this line talks about the dreams in her eyes or the possibilities ahead?

Come away with me he said,
To a distant land,
And I will hold your hand.

After listening to the song a few times what came to mind is the possibility of making the 3rd line of this stanza a reference to the man asking the girl to dance by holding out his hand. Maybe “Come dance with me he said, in a distance land and held out his hand” This way it connects the idea of dancing as a metaphor for their relationship (IF that’s what you are intending in this song!)

Now tears stream down her face,
As she remembers yesterday,
And the one that got away.

If you go with the idea above maybe use this stanza to show her emotions in that moment. Maybe she took his hand but hesitated and couldn’t move her feet? She was so excited but now she’s scared - why? Does she even know?

It started out so strong,
But soon she went back home,
She’s the girl who lived in France,
Who never learned to dance.

She tried to end it all that time,
At least within her mind,
But she gave it one more day.

This world beats her up sometimes,
She feels the coldness of it now,
But still she carries on.

I like the lines about trying to end it in her mind – it shows her inner struggle nicely. I notice that the first stanza feels like she’s back in France and in the second stanza she’s back home again. Maybe make both stanzas from the perspective of being at home? This way the listener can really get into “the zone” and settle into where she’s at in her head. What if you said something like, “She thinks about the times, she tried to end it in her mind, but kept giving it one more day.” That way we know she’s at home thinking back about France.

It started out so strong,
But soon she went back home,
She’s the girl who lived in France,
Who never learned to dance.

Now days fall in the cracks,
For there’s no looking back,
Will she ever get to dance?
The girl who lived in France.

I like how you flipped the last two lines here – it adds a little difference to the lyric that’s nice.

It started out so strong,
But soon she went back home,
She’s the girl who lived in France,
Who never learned to dance.

Closing

I think you’ve written a song with a nice and memorable melody with a strong imagery-based hook like about being in France and dancing – this is something that sticks in the mind which is great! I’d love to hear any changes you decide to make to it and I think it’ll work well in your performances at the nursing homes or wherever you decide to play it out!

Thanks! Rae

SAmple PATREON PAGE CRITIQUE

Patreon Page Critique

Looks like a great start on your Patreon page! First of all I like how you describe your company in the first 3 paragraphs! Gives me a clear, well-rounded idea of what you guys are about.

Your “About” Page:

I would suggest making an intro video. Patreon has some good resources available for what to include in your video. Find them here:

In your Collaborations Section I would suggest adding bold titles to each bullet point to make it easier to see items at a glance. Also, do you have examples of each project to which you can hyper link? This will give your potential patrons a better understanding of what each item is and an example of your skills!

Not sure if this makes total sense: “You will be added to the private Brainstorming group. Our elite group for text based and live streaming social media on platforms such as Discord and Periscope.” Are you saying you’ll add them to your VIP channels on Discord and to a private group on Periscope?

Not sure what you mean here: “How much? Supporters choice, we decided to have one choose your own price level.” I don’t see a “choose your own price level” but maybe let people know that they can always choose their own price no matter what tier they choose?

 

Your Tier Rewards:

I see on your $1 tier reward you say people can be a part of your think tank for your projects and then later in the description you say you can help with their creations. How about making other’s creative projects the focus? This aligns with your description of your company saying it “deals in moving projects forward.” For instance: $1 gets patrons access to Discord where they can tap into your community for brainstorming ideas for their projects. $10 a month gets patrons a discount on your services such as audition track production, event planning, website building, etc. $30 gets them a 30min think tank session with you guys etc…

Because what you guys do is, in a sense, “all over the map” (which is OK!) we need to make sure your tiers rewards are relevant to people. Think: what SERVICE can I provide others? I say this also because the nature of how you describe your company is a service-oriented organization that focuses less on your image/likeness and more on making events larger than yourselves happen where you guys are necessarily front and center. Does this make sense?

The way your $10 reads it sounds like people need to become $10 patrons to just talk about getting you guys involved in their project so they can then pay more for your services, is that your intention? It’s OK to charge for your services (charging is a good thing!) but I would steer away from it sounding like people need to first become a patron in order to simply talk about their project.

 

Getting People to Your Patreon Page:

Where will you be finding most of your patrons? Is it most likely Periscope? No matter where it is think: what do these people see you do on a regular basis? If they don’t experience anything having to do with these various entities you’re involved in on a regular basis chances are they won’t care. I hope this doesn’t come off as too harsh but in my experience it’s just how the human brain works. We need to give people a reason to care! :) So the question is…how can you expose people to all these projects you’re involved in on a regular basis so they DO care?

Posting on Your Patreon Page:

I know it’s hard at the beginning with a small amount of patrons but if you post regularly (at least once a month) it will look more enticing to potential new patrons. For instance, I intentionally have not become a patron of a few people I know because I see they’re not active on their Patreon page. People need to be reassured that you’re not just “on a whim” with Patreon.

Hope this helps! Keep me updated on your progress and any changes you make to your page!