Top 10 Common Mistakes Many People Make When Commenting on Music

Metal_Treasure

The Top Ten

1 Many people think that a vocal range is the highest note a singer can hit

No. A vocal range is NOT one note - it's an interval with many notes. A range is the distance between the highest AND the lowest note a singer can hit. This distance is measured in octaves (number of notes), where one octave has 8 notes.
Example - if a singer's range is 3 octaves, this means that the distance between his highest and his lowest note is 3 octaves (3 octaves contain 24 notes, 3x8). - Metal_Treasure

2 Many people think that a singer who hits higher notes has a bigger range than a singer who hits lower notes

This mistake is a result of #1 mistake - thinking that a vocal range is the highest note a singer can hit. But the range is NOT ONE NOTE and a singer may hit higher notes but another singer may have a bigger range. Example:

Whitney Houston range - 2 octaves, 4 notes

James Hetfield range - 3 octaves, 3 notes

Whitney Houston hits higher notes than Metallica's James Hetfield but her range is much smaller than that of Hetfield. She just has a higher voice but this doesn't always mean the singer has a bigger range. As you can see, James Hetfield can sing a whole octave lower than Whitney and this makes his range bigger than hers. - Metal_Treasure

3 Some people think that the worst musicians are the musicians with the worst personalities and on lists about worst musicians you can see some actually very good musicians who did or said bad/controversial things

I agree- if you want to talk about personality, then make the discussion about personality. But don't say that a musician is a bad musician just because they are a terrible person. There are an innumerable amount of amazing musicians who are awful as human beings. - Gg2000

I've seen this mistake many times on this site - for example, on lists about worst singers some people add and start debating singers with bad personalities and not singers with bad singing skills.

But musical skills are different than the personality and they MUST be separated. There are good musicians with bad personalities and vice versa. There are many examples. - Metal_Treasure

4 Many people think that if a music artist sold many copies it proves s/he is good

It's mostly dumb people that would think that. There are also many people that think that way about movies. They would think that if a movie does big in theaters, that proves the movie is good. There are many people whose taste in things suck. The fame of justin bieber, lil wayne, nicki minaj, and kim kardashian makes that very clear. I know that kim kardashian is not a music artist, but her being famous at all proves that there are many people whose taste in things suck.

Thank you! I don't know how many times I have heard people try to defend certain crappy artists because they sold a ridiculous number of records. Many top selling records are designed to follow a specific formula to sell as many records as possible. - Gg2000

No, it doesn't always prove quality. - Metal_Treasure

Keep in mind that both Creed's Human Clay and Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone - cjWriter1997

5 Many people think that if a singer's voice fits the songs s/he sings, the singer is good and even use it as a proof that the singer is good

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. It's usually a desperate attempt to defend a bad singer.
No, this doesn't prove the singer is good because people who write the songs for that singer take into account the vocal abilities of the singer. Examples:
Dave Mustaine wouldn't write a song for himself that he couldn't sing. Dave wouldn't write a song that only Luciano Pavarotti could sing.
Tony Iommi wouldn't write a song for Ozzy that only Rob Halford could sing.
Songs are written for somebody's voice. - Metal_Treasure

6 Thinking a song is automatically good based solely on the lyrics alone and not the music

Thank you, christangrant! I always felt these are two different things - music is a different genre of art than literature/lyrics. I'd second christangrant: "I'd rather hear a song with "bad" lyrics with great music over the vice versa".
This explains why I like 'Something In Your Mouth' by Nickelback - this song has great heavy riffs, intense melody, catchy chorus and fitting bridge. Music to this song is absolutely perfect to me, including Chad's vocals (both aggressive and softer vox). - Metal_Treasure

Good lyrics do not equal good song

i'd rather hear a song with "bad" lyrics with great music over the vice versa - christangrant

7 Many people think that the best singer is their favorite singer just because s/he is their favorite singer

What if your favorite singer sings off-key and you don't know? But you claim s/he is the best singer. Or better than singers who at least don't sing off-key. Sometimes there's a big difference between what we like and what is actually the best. I respect people who are aware of this difference - people who say, "I prefer X but I know Y is better". My opinion is in two parts:
1) I don't mind if somebody prefers Lil Wayne over Freddie Mercury and says "I like Lil Wayne more than Freddie". It's a subjective opinion, a preference. We should respect personal music preferences.
2) but I'd strongly disagree with a further conclusion: that Lil Wayne is a better singer than Freddie just because that guy prefers Lil Wayne. Unlike in 1), this conclusion is a subjective opinion that is presented as a fact, i.e. something objective. Which isn't true. This is music ignorance and we shouldn't accept, tolerate and respect ignorance. I respect all music preferences but I can't respect ignorance. - Metal_Treasure

The worst one is when people say the lead singer of a band is a good singer just because they like the band and the lead singer of a different band is bad because they don't like that band! It's ridiculous! Mick Jagger is a prime example of this, he can't sing a note but is always in best singers lists purely because he's in an immensely popular band! It's something that winds me up!

It's like the remixes on our profile, things which we put at number 1 isn't necessarily put favourite, vice versa. - ParasN2000

8 Many people think that the singers of most popular bands are automatically the best singers
9 Many people think the songs played on the radio are automatically the best songs in existence
10 Many people think that a bigger range always means a better singer

No, it doesn't. A big range is a great gift but other things are also important.

For example, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has a remarkable range of almost 5 octaves but David Gilmour is still a better singer. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Many people think that all high notes are called falsetto

I have read comments of this type "Nobody can hit those falsetto notes like her/him", even though the notes weren't in falsetto, they were just high notes. - Metal_Treasure

12 Many people think that an octave has 10 notes

No, it has 8 notes. And a vocal range of 3 and a half octaves = 3 octaves, 4 notes - Metal_Treasure

I think it's 12 notes. The chromatic scale covers an octave and has 12. - Skullkid755

You'd think the oct- prefix would be a dead give away that it's 8 notes. - cjWriter1997

13 Many people think that as long as a concept album's story is good, the whole album is automatically great

I feel like this is my problem with Between the Buried and Me's latest efforts, great story and concept, not as good music to accompany it - cjWriter1997

I'm not among those people for sure. For me music is always first, lyrics - second. I'm mostly a music fan although I love good lyrics as well. - Metal_Treasure

The story isn't the only thing that makes a good concept album. It should be the music, vocals and production. - DarkMatter1997

14 Some people think that high-pitched singing guarantees good singing

No, it depends on how good the high-pitched singing is performed. While Rob Halford of Judas Priest has an excellent high-pitched voice with excellent vocal technique, some other singers just try too hard to hit high notes that unfortunately sound weak or shouted. This happens when the singer wasn't born for high-pitched singing or when s/he has no good vocal technique.
As Hansi K├╝rsch said, "there is only a small difference between a controlled raging high pitched distorted performance and an almost hysterical, desperate attempt of a poor scream". - Metal_Treasure

15 Many people think if a Singer sings about sex is not a good singer

Nine Inch Nails is a pretty good band and one of their more famous songs (Closer) is about sex. - DarkMatter1997

16 Many people think that an artist's lyrics are the only important thing

There's more to a musician than just good lyrics. - DarkMatter1997

17 Many people think their favorite singer just can't have a vocal range of less than 6 octaves even though s/he has less than 3 octaves
18 Many people think Highway Star is a hard rock song but this is wrong
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Top Remixes

1. Many people think that a vocal range is the highest note a singer can hit
2. Many people think that a singer who hits higher notes has a bigger range than a singer who hits lower notes
3. Some people think that the worst musicians are the musicians with the worst personalities and on lists about worst musicians you can see some actually very good musicians who did or said bad/controversial things
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