Can we discuss the quality of feedback on recordings? IMHO it has become too positive

I have definitely noticed what @jkahn brings up… a performance that is not enjoyable to watch for various reasons receiving effusive praise & I agree that this isn’t necessarily “good” for the performer. Constructive Criticism is exactly that - criticism that is supposed to help the person being criticized. This supposes that the AVOYP originator wants help & will attempt to incorporate the suggestions into their future efforts… not always a good assumption!

I try to remember what most of us learned as kids…

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

…yet also agree with the “something positive, something critical, positive follow up” tactic.

Kind of a Slap with a Velvet Glove :gloves: approach.

Just my thoughts…



Kudos for bringing this up JK.
i am very much guilty of this, and i have a thought behind it as well. way i see it is that i hope encouragement and “positive vibes” make you pick up the guitar tomorrow and continue playing. its easy to push yourself down and loose all hope doing this thing. i also feel i am not on any level in my guitar playing that i can give other any advice/tips or constructive criticism. so this is not an easy thing…
but i see where you are coming from here JK :slight_smile:

Edit: That said. most AVOYPs i see do impress me one way or another. and many of them also inspires me to give it a try myself. if i cant find any positive to say i just dont comment at all.


I’ve never understood why so many people have a hard time give comments better players . This has been brought up before by PappaG and I’ve tried to address it again afterwards, if I misplace my wrist through a number (honestly I don’t pay attention to that at all with myself :roll_eyes:) I don’t mind if someone from grade1 points this out to me…or if my guitar sounds out of tune or too many bad or wrong notes are played or or …

It was on the news a month or so how bad Metallica was kirk didn’t play a song without a lot of off notes not one solo in tune all time and James sounded like he was being kicked between the legs every 2 sentences…if i was there i would have asked for my money back it was really awful…I don`t think that those people shouldn’t say anything because there’s probably no one playing better than Kirk in that audience???

Maybe a bad example, but not all that modest peeps, and if you don’t feel good about giving light criticism, you certainly shouldn’t do it of course :smiley:



I find myself quite often in the position of listening but not commenting or giving feedback and I don’t feel guilty for that. We don’t have to build an opinion on anything…we just don’t have to! Also we look at things with different eyes…if I struggle with something and I see someone doing well on that aspect I might be guilty to put too much enthusiasm in my words of praise, because my attention is caught by that aspect.
I see nothing wrong in positivity, lying and saying something you don’t think just because you want to be nice is different and that is to blame. In my experience sometimes silence gives better feedback than words.


I’ve been on the old and new forums for over 10 years and this subject come up about once a year so it is nothing new. What I’ve found over the years is the people who need the most help don’t want it and just keep doing what they are doing with or without constructive criticism. The ones who truly want to get better do and ask for help along the way.

I usually don’t comment on AVOYP. If I feel I can help someone I’ll send them a personal message if I think they actually want the help. People have also PM’d me asking for help or my opinion and I will give it if I can.

For those who want a roasting category sign up on ultimate guitar you’ll get everyone’s opinion on how bad you suck and all the bad advice on how to get better.

For those who want help Post your videos in your learning log and ask for help. That way you’ll get help not criticism. Most people know when their playing not right but sometime they can’t put their finger on it. So just ask and someone will help you out.
Just my 2c.


Good point and one I often use.


That’s what the little heart is for. If you like what you hear click the heart if not don’t.


If you’ve never gotten negative feedback on your playing it just means you are playing in an echo chamber. I urge folks to step out into the light. As we speak some people out there think that Bob Dylan is horrible and they hate whatever you love listening to.

I just want to add that I see comments from people that I have only heard play once or twice and others that I have never heard play a lick. Listen to the players that offer feedback.


I can see where @jkahn is coming from and will never forget the first comment he gave me… “did you want feedback at all, or just to share your progress? So people commenting know” and since that first AVoYP post I’ve stated that feedback is most appreciated as it helps me improve. And I’ve received some good feedback that’s helped me out. It’s those comments that make it worth while, knowing what you need to work on and tips to get there as well as what you’ve got under your belt well and can build upon.

Done. Though only hang out with the great players on this forum.

My inbox is always open to feedback, advice and tips.

That’s something I’ve been thinking about lately whether to post my blues studies under an AVoYP topic or just in my learning log as they are not just to show others following me what I’ve been learning but to pick up advice from the more experienced players what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong otherwise I risk making a wrong self assessment. I feel this is going to become more important now as I start to stretch myself further in learning.

Edit: I for one also find constructive feedback and tips on others AVoYPs enlightening as quite often I can relate and I take them into consideration too going forward.

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Then: How about instead of a “Roast Me” category a dedicated category “Help Me Improve”?

Perhaps videos posted in such a category could be easier to find than similar videos hidden in Learning Logs.

I think people are posting videos for different reasons. Similarly people are at different stages in their guitar journey. Thus all kind of videos with all kind of different motivations are posted in the AVOYP category, that’s just natural in my opinion.

A beginner myself, I have commented on other people’s videos. I did so, even when I am missing the knowledge or technical terms, and I did so despite not being able to offer help in any way. I would however very much stay away from posting comments on videos in such a “Help me improve” category. I don’t have the needed knowledge and skills. Period.

I have asked myself whether I commented too positively on AVOYP videos, and I think for the most part I have not. In many cases I have tried to give input by commenting on something special I noticed.

Then again I have posted comments sharing how much I liked certain songs, my comment to @sairfingers “Sweet Virginia” is such an example. In some cases - when I really like something - simply liking does not seem to be enough… Especially given that such heart can mean almost anything.

False praise however does not do good to anyone, I perfectly agree with this point.


This is how I look at AVOYP. It’s like an open mic performance. You’ve put in you time practicing and now you putting it out to the world. Doing the best you can at that particular time.
This is why I love Gordon’s One Take video.
He put on a performance gives it his all and is very enjoyable.

I look at the LL as where people can keep a record of their progress and ask for help or that little push when they need it.

James you are one of those who is progressing very fast and putting in the time to learn and it shows in you videos. The only advice I can give you is to keep doing what your doing because it’s working.

This is what the Learning Log is for. Post your progress and videos of you learning and ask for help on specific areas you need help improving. Don’t post a 5 minute video of you struggling though Wish You Were Here on AVOYP and say what do you think?
You won’t like My honest answer so I’ll just not comment.

If you truly want help post a 30 sec video of the part your are having trouble with in you LL and then we can give you sound advice on how to improve.



We all have ears, listen to music. I will happily take feedback from anyone on here. The whole ‘absent father’ nature of this forum in particular sets us all up to be scratching around in the dark, somewhat.

IMHO the Stack Overflow approach of answers / feedback only being given by a select few would be toxic.

I do appreciate that there are folk on here way above my pay grade and with much more experience and am grateful when they take the time…

Absolutely, this is a vital skill for us all to learn.

OK, maybe not a roast me but indication that honest feedback is wanted, in the learning log is a great suggestion.

I think there’s a difference between posting on here and asking for help on a ‘work in progress’ piece vs posting on social media as a finished article. I don’t know, maybe (we) I need to bite the bullet a bit more?


I do appreciate honesty very much, if it were me, I might not like it, but I would highly value your honesty :blush:

Okay, let’s say Learning Logs are the way to go. Sounds feasible enough for me, and confessedly I have gotten a lot of feedback and help from input people have given in my Learning Log.

Then - however - should the AVOYP section be marked more clearly than it is now as “Upload only polished songs that you - the uploader - are at least 95 % happy with”? Might sound silly, but given that new people are always joining and posting videos clear explanations or instructions could be helpful :blush:

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OK, you’re going to have to explain that comment to me. It’s gone straight over my head!

It is what Justin calls himself from time to time, as his busy schedule does not give a lot of time to visit this Community. The inference by Dave @liaty , is that we are kind of self managed (I think) :thinking:


Thank you for kicking off the sort of discussion that always generates, and already has generated, much comment and sharing of ideas for the common cause and good.

I have too many to get down in one sitting perhaps.

Plus I would like, at some stage, to go through the comments to date and respond to points raised where I see a need or value in a furtherance of the discussion along certain lines.

I will limit myself, for the moment, to talking about myself and my less-than-I-would-like participation level in the Community Recordings section.

I am aware that for a while now I have not been particularly busy as a responder in the Community Recordings section. In the old forum, for many years, I made a conscious and diligent effort to view and comment on virtually every AVOYP recording ever shared. I forget the stats when that place closed, but I think I had about 15,000 total posts and just under half were in AVOYP. In many, many instances I tried to offer useful learning comment and constructive critique. It was incredibly time consuming and no doubt came at the expense of my own hands-on learning curtailed the time I could spend improving as a player myself. I wholly subscribed to the pay-it-forward ethos, and tried to personify that philosophy.

If I can be indulged for being a little boastful here, I think all the time I spent carefully watching and listening to hundreds and thousands of home recordings improved my ability to remotely observe and analyse people’s playing with a critical teacher’s ear and eye. Luckily for me, now in my fortunate role as a JG Approved Teacher, I find I am able to bring those skills into my own online 1-to-1 lessons. That might be my slice of luck or good karma. But I did it with no reward in mind other than the pleasure of helping others.

With my overall JG role now being broader than forum moderator, I find that I simply have less time to spend in all the Community areas I would like, including Community Recordings for sure. This causes me to tussle with my conscience, and guilt tries to poke me sometimes - though I try to knock it back.

One thing I can say of myself is that I do make a point of always visiting the Beginner’s Safe Space topic and offering as much comment and feedback as I think the people posting there may need or want. In the wider AVOYP etc. I am less busy for sure. I would like to swing back to it more - especially in the topics where I see people asking for feedback. And @jkahn I know you have done this recently and, forgive me, but I have allowed your posts to go by without my comment. In yours, as in many others, where I have not been able to take the time, I mostly choose to make no comment rather than post a positive but bland response such as you describe in your original post here.

I think I shall shut up for the moment.


I’d prefer we err on the side of encouraging and positive rather than constructive. And by err I mean orders of magnitude more encouragement than critique. Why? I know well in advance of posting recordings what I could have done better. I suspect many others are the same. On a public forum its better to stay encouraging. A good friend of mine has stopped performing in public because of some of the critique they got and this friend is far more talented than I am.

In a personal one on one setting you can know a lot more about the person and the context of their performance and how to frame any critique than we can in the impersonal online world.

It’s a slippery slope best avoided.


Some good discussion here with a few different points of view.

I should say, at an individual post or poster level, there really is nothing wrong with saying “hey, that was great”, when you think it’s great. That’s nice. It’s more meta - if someone posts and they get 10x “that’s great”, and they’re trying to improve, is that as helpful as some improvement guidance.

I also don’t think it’s really needed to have another forum section. It’s more of a forum-culture thing.

So this is the approach I take with my comments as well. So your leading is working for some, if not widespread.

Too kind Ross. This thought was not driven by comments I receive on my own videos, but rather, often being the first person on a thread to point out improvements that seem obvious. “Nice share, have you thought about…”. If their timing is off, I’d rather they know so they can practice that and improve their playing, for example. I watch and comment on far more videos than I post.

And I remember you said you wanted feedback, to your credit. I was more hesitant then shortly after I’d joined, I’ve since just defaulted to feedback for the most part if I’m making a comment.

Interesting quote you brought up though James, which actually sums up my world-view when it comes to AVOYP. I assume people post either to get feedback or to share their progress.

An important post I think @jkahn, and a subject that has crossed my mind many times.
With the exception of a handful, none of us here are brilliant guitar players, so we all have plenty to work on. :nerd_face:
To be honest, when I post something, what I’m really looking for is " Yeah, that was not great/OK/ good/really good, but here’s some suggestions to make it better. Or, here’s something you may not have thought of".
I think the massive influx of new members after the relaunch also means there are many more very new players who would be reticent to offer advice. And fair enough, I certainly wasn’t telling anyone how to do it all after 6 months. The flipside to all this of course, is that newer players perspectives can sometimes be our best teachers. I’ve found this very much applies to life in general.
I suppose most us dont want to dampen others spirits either, by pointing out flaws. It will make us feel bad, because we think it may offend others. I’ve been guilty of this many times. Its a self- con of course, and is not really the best way to help everyone along.
I say, if you have a suggestion, make it, and make it in the spirit of good will and a helpful attitude.

Cheers, Shane


This doesn’t work for a lot of people. Just today someone made a legitimate constructive point on a AVOYP post and the OP blew them off with excuses and didn’t take the comment to heart.

So you can’t help people who don’t want help.