Constructive criticism

ninjaIt’s amazing how we can point out the mistakes in others work so easily, but still remain blind to our own mistakes. And if someone dares to criticised us, we get offended so easily, we either crumble and fall, or we go on a defensive war path and strike back.

The irony is that in my experience when I get criticised about something, it falls into two categories. Either it is someones personal opinion based on what they like or does not like. For example if some tells me they don’t like my guitar playing and that I should try to play more like Joe Satriani, I would not read too much into it. My guitar style is individual and took me a long time to get to the point I am with it at the moment and I am fully aware not everyone will like it. But for me to try to please Joe Satriani fan who thinks Joe’s playing is the only way to do it, I’d be wasting my time.

The other is the type I like 🙂 If someone comes to me and say your strumming is solid but your fingerpicking could do with bit more definition, I would welcome it whole heartedly. This is something I can take with me, go back home and work on it. This kind of constructive criticism, if we take it correctly help us grow.

But there is another point I’d like to make here. I have noticed something in the past few months by “observing my surroundings” (now man can’t get more political than that 😀 ). I think it is important to point out if someone is doing something wrong in a way it has an effect on others. But if you feel the need to criticise someone for the sake of catching them out, just stop for a second and think why you are doing it?

What if we would try not to criticise something, unless we have a genuine suggestion how to fix or improve whatever it is we are criticising? And be genuine and realistic about this as well. I think music online is the best example of this. How often do we see the slaughter on the comments on YouTube videos? And most of these come from people who think they could do something much better, but never do…

Have you ever seen someone at the top of their game laughing and pointing at someone only trying to learn? Would look quite cowardly, don’t you think?


The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get three of his free songs go HERE and click Download