When people don't like your music

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I have a lot of YouTube videos and they generate a lot of emails and other communication.  Most of it is positive but not always.  For example, I got this comment a month or so ago.

Please don’t ever play “I Run To Christ” ever again. You absolutely killed it in some video that I watched on Youtube. It is completely drab in your version.

You might wonder how I react to this kind of stuff (this is far from the only nasty one I have received lately).  The fact is I don’t mind at all.  In fact, I found this one hilarious.  I could not stop laughing.  Part of the reason I found it funny was because I am recording that song later this year.

Here is the thing about music.  No matter what you do, most people (not just some people) are not going to like it.  My producer wisely told me that years ago and I have never forgotten it. 

Think for a second about the most famous musicians in the world.  How many of them do you want to listen to? And of those, how many have CDs that you would listen to more than once.  My guess is your list is a small one.

Since the average person only likes a small subset of the music that is produced, it stands to reason that most people will not like what I do.  To be truthful, I would be happy if 1% of them did.  I am just happy that they give it a try.  But here is the sobering reality: the people who write and tell me they don’t like my
music are just a tiny percentage of all the people that don’t like
my music.  

So what about the fact that some of these people are rude? To be honest, that is what makes me laugh so much.  Here’s why: I expect a lot of people to not like what I do.  But it is not my problem if they are rude; it is their problem.  It doesn’t reflect on me or my music at all.  Let them be as rude as they want. 

Musicians are just going to pick everyone else’s music to pieces.  That is the way we are; we can’t really enjoy music most of the time.  But I will say this: the musicians I respect are not rude to other musicians about their music.  They keep their comments to themselves.  You really have to lack confidence to spout off your unsolicited critiques of other people’s music.  I don’t really respect that and if you ever catch me doing it, hit me over the head with a crowbar.

But on the other hand, we musicians need to invite critique and accept it even from those musicians whom we may not consider top shelf.  There is very often something to learn from anyone that listens to you, musician or not.

In the case of this particular critique, after I stopped laughing, I went and listened to the YouTube clip again. I sort of see what he is saying.  I can see why some people would not like what I did to that song.  There are some things I could have done better. And I will.

So, I sent him a nice email thanking him for his comment.  As it turns out, he gave a fake email so it bounced back.  Oh well…