Let's have a laugh first! The link above contains one of the most hilarious shows,American Idol. In the video you see, 10 contestants compete to be the next American Idol. Unfortunately, they got the Top 10 worst auditions haha. This could've been avoided if they had the music rubric prior to their showcase.
The Music Rubric is NOT a general rubric that you can find online, but most people definitely use this to critique music. People that use it are radio hosts, A&R's, and judges for artist showcases. Now, these are the people who understand what good quality music is. Below are some the categories that they may use to critique music. You should also use this to critique your own music.
- Lyricism: What is your story/message? This is where the listeners find the artist's purpose. Things that fall in this category: Double meanings, Word Choice, and Rhyming scheme.
- Delivery: How do you present this story/message? This is where the people are able to feel the story/message. Things that fall in this category: Voice, Language, Pace
- Creativity/ Originality: Can you craft a song on your own? Music critics study music. If they can identify that a song is a replication of another song, you are definitely in boiling waters. Delivery and Lyricism play a major role in this one.
- Production: This is very similar to the Creativity/ Originality category. However, the question that you should ask, "Without the lyrics, does the instrumental bump?" Music critics are looking for beats that are pleasant to the ear. Things that fall in this category: Live Instruments, Autotune, and 808.
- Mixing and Matching: "What are you adding to the song to give it an extra boost?" This is where a great audio engineer is needed. Things that fall in this category: Sound effects, Faders, and EQ.
- Marketing: "How are you , the artist, delivering your music to your listeners?" This is where I believe a lot of artist struggle. This is where we see the business aspect of an artist . A couple of things that fall into this category:Lyricism(specifically hooks or catchy phrases) ,Fashion, Audience, Resources, Presence. If you can't effectively capitalize on marketing, then you are at deep loss.
- Potential: One simple question answers this, "Can you and your song produce a Hit?" If you can do everything right from categories 1 to 6, I don't see reason that you can't do it.
This is an intensive, long rubric. Understanding this rubric will be key for any independent artist that submits their track to any media or showcase their work in a competition. If you can do all these categories, what's stopping you from reaching the top? There's only one and we shall talk about it in the next blog post! Until next time.