I generally send the song out to four or five people. These guys are people that I trust and know pretty well. I can take their comments on board without feeling insecure about the work that I am doing. The song’s always improve when you let other people comment on your work. Having said that you need to weigh up what they say, keep the bits you agree with and forget the rest.
I ask someone who is musical to input on the songs musicality. Often the musical expert will have chords and structures up their sleeves that improve the musical journey of the piece. I also ask someone who is good with the English language; it is good to see if they can improve the flow or expression of what you are saying. I remember on the album there was a phrase that I wanted to capture but couldn’t quite nail the words. My friend Jennie listened to what I was trying to express and came up with a line that worked really well and improved the song. Finally I ask someone who has theological training to check the songs theological integrity as it is important that we are reflecting God rightly. There was a song on the album that had a phrase that wasn’t theologically sound. My friend Mike highlighted the error to me and I gratefully corrected the phrase, again the song was stronger because of what he said and the changes that I made because of his comments.