2.27.2007

On Constructive Criticism...

While I long for the day when the headlines will read “AP: YouTube Forces Idiots to Do a Minimum of 30 Seconds Research before Posting Comments,” I don’t think it will ever come to pass. If YouTube is a reflection at all of society at large, we have lost the ability to offer constructive criticism much less make comments that are remotely correct. I have been checking out many examples of performed music that people post on YouTube. These posts range from the teenage guitar hacker trying to impress his first crush, the delusional twenty-something who thinks she is incredible, the 60 year old dude covering John Mayer, to persons who post videos of actual professional musicians. The consistent thread between these is that the millions of idiots who are alive on planet earth somehow find a common forum for releasing their "thoughts" in the comments sections. If nothing else, I would hope that the American Idol judges start looking to these forums for more zingers.

Here are some of my thoughts on a few general examples (let one general sic. function for all of these quotes):


“it may be fault of the microphone...i dont really know,really good voice,guitar play not so good...you have to play the accords a bit longer,that the sound of them really comes to its good...try it! itll help,gl hf playing guitar,and never give it up,i did and im sorry for it :( ”

- I can only assume that “accords” means “chords.” Because of the sheer absence of anything resembling normal grammatical or spelling conventions and the utter lack of musical insight in this comment, I cannot believe that this person has ever been in the position to even give up guitar playing.


“The guitar work is HORRIBLE! But you have a very pleasant voice, work it out with a slow tempo and keep practicing. And please, don't EVER sing that song ever again UNLESS you become as big as Johnny Cash. After The Man in Black has sung that song anyone who tries to perform it will just feel empty.”

- I guess “work it out with a slow tempo and keep practicing” doesn’t refer to this song since the commenter wishes that this performer not “EVER sing that song ever again.” Oh, that is, “UNLESS” they become as big as Johnny Cash.


“voice SUCKS...please stfu”

- While I can most certainly estimate what “stfu” stands for, one interpretation quite possibly could be that this means “Stop This Foolish Undereducated idiot that is me from ever wasting your time with this meaningless and scathing nothingness that is this comment.”


“Dude not to be mean or anything but,you just slaughtered my favorite song of all time and, I never want to see you in a video even try singing a good song ever again.”

-Thanks for not meaning to be mean…intentions are all that matters.


On Django Reinhardt: “is there something wrong with his left hand pinky and ring finger? if not then i even have better technique”

-Thirty seconds, that’s all I ask.


To a female musician: “no offence but that sucks.. u hav a gd voice but tht song needs to be sung in a much deeper tone to add more feeling to it.. there aint a sad tone in this cover”

- Very constructive. Become a male before singing a cover song.


On the Stone Temply Pilot’s song Plush (a canonical song for guitar novices: very, very easy):
“nice effort, you know you've gone and picked a really really hard piece to play. The vocals are a little off, the guitar chords are a little off too. Butconcidering the difficulty of the piece your going down the right road.thx for sharing with us !”

- This is like the anti-Simon: either this is typographic sarcasm that I cannot quite decipher or the performer’s mom.


“no offence but u jus hurt my ears. nothing was fluid about it, try keeping a bea on d guitar n hamonising ur voice to it cos ur way off!”

- I’ve tried keeping a "bea" on my guitar. Results are still pending. Furthermore, I’ve tried harmonizing with my own voice but just couldn't make it happen.


“not really. my god that sucked. being completely honest, it sounds like a 7 year old was playing. look around youtube for other people playing, and you will realize how terrible you really are.”

- Again, very constructive. Thank you.


Comments for the same song:
“flat”
“sharp”

- At least these astute observers have good ears.


On Matisyahu: “baddass hes my idol!!!!!”

- I wonder what Hashem would think about this?


Another on Matisyahu:“batida style”

- This one is quite baffling. The only time I have ever run across this word is when I was learning right hand guitar techniques for bossa nova music. A quick internet search (30 seconds baby) provided little to no results, suggesting the rarity of this word. So why would someone feel led to simply state “batida style.” This was not in response or related to any other comments. The internet search provided the following information: “batida is invariably taught as straight time: one-ee-and-uh played with thumb (one), fingertips (ee), palm heel (and), fingertips (uh), over and over. This batida is both taught and written as a succession of evenly spaced notes, but playing in Brasilian swing style (called swingee -- swing-ghee) is far removed from even spacing.”


On Lily Allen: “It pains me to say this because I really dislike Lilly allen, She is fantastically talented, I love her music”

- I guess this person is a friend of hers. Or should I say enemy? Because seriously, what else would they know about her beyond her “talent” and “music.”


Therefore, it is evident that a lot of people have lost any concept of what constructive criticism is or at least could be. So many of the comments are utterly pointless and have no degree of insight, distinction from a unique perspective, points of assistance, or even factual content. So, I beg of you; please leave me more of these pointless comments right here! Because, if for nothing else, they are good for one thing: my own amusement.


10-4 good buddies.

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