Why is it so hard to like your own music?

Two people stand with acoustic guitars in front of leafy green bushes.
Photo by Danny Feng on Unsplash

You’re your own worst critic. We’ve got the tips to help you change that.

Ya know, nothing’s ever perfect. We can’t all be Mozart.

There are many reasons to make music. It gives you the chance to express freely, your creativity unleashed, without any of the worries of life nagging at you. It’s a type of expression only available through music and art. Additionally, music making is easier than ever with remote music collaboration, but if it’s still not feeling right, we can help. Whether it’s feeling like your songs aren’t finished, not good enough, missing something, or unfit to share, these tips can help you out of that rut.

We’ve done the research, and the answer is not just “make better music.” These easy tips can change your outlook on your art for the better.

Release your music (or pretend to)

Have you ever imagined what the cover of your future hit album would be? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. For instance, imagine your whole discography, full size vinyl sleeves, covered in visuals that suit your music. What would you call your next 5 albums? Try coming up with potential titles for your EPs or albums. Stretching your creativity into the realm of visual art or word-smithing can shake out those “not-good-enough” feelings about your work. Why not dream up the music video for your song, even try to shoot it! Besides, full-length films are shot on iPhones nowadays, so there’s nothing stopping you. Take some pictures with friends that could become your album cover. Even imagine you’re being interviewed for your favorite publication about your latest release. Truthfully, all these finishing touches can make you really proud of your music.

Play the song live

Once the song has moved into the realm of the computer, it feels totally different. Try playing the song out loud again! Remember what it felt like to write it. Play it an open mic night, or just for some buddies. It’ll remind you what you were channeling when you wrote it, and why making music is important to you.

Get some feedback on the song

I know it’s scary, but we posted some tips on this issue, too. Getting some honest opinions about your work can take it to the next level, and quickly. In other words, that little thing your friend can hear could be the final touch that makes your song shine. Remote music collaboration is more and more common these days, it might be time to get on the train!

With our app, Tonic, collaboration and feedback are super easy, and all in one platform. Ever wonder how to collaborate long distance on a song, without long email chains and missing mixes? We’ve created a simple solution for you. Beta-testing is happening now, come help us out.

Imagine you’re your own biggest fan (no, I know, but really!)

It sounds silly, but it’s a real technique, a mini self-hypnosis. For example, imagine you just finished a set at your favorite local venue and a friend of a friend walks up and is bursting with excitement about your work! They’re inspired, they’re curious, they’re overwhelmed with feeling…what would they say to you? Stepping into someone else’s shoes can really bring new, even more objective perspective to your work. Additionally, most people are looking for things to like in other people’s work, not things they dislike.

Try something new

This last one seems obvious, but it’s worth a shot. Try out a new style or genreā€¦learn a new instrument. Maybe the music you’re making isn’t the way you want to be represented. Or remember your favorite childhood bands, and what artists inspire you the most. It’ll warm your heart and awaken the muses again.

What keeps your music alive? Got tips for feeling better about your music, finishing songs, or staying inspired? Comment below or tweet at us.

Tonic Audio is committed to helping bring more art and beauty into the world with our products. Check out our first project, Tonic, in beta-testing now.

By Ava Z

Ava is a UX Designer and writer for Tonic Audio.