Four Ways to Expand Your Music Taste

There are people who like music, and then there are people who dedicate themselves to liking music. Whether it’s in the car, in the shower, while doing homework or at a concert, some people just can’t seem to get enough of their favorite tunes. Until they do. It’s bound to happen when you listen to music nearly every waking hour of the day. For some, this loop may be soothing, like a comfort movie. But instead of knowing every scene and every line, they know every beat and every lyric. But how will you find your next favorite song if you are stuck listening to the same one on repeat?

Music playlists generated by Spotify. Photo by Fath on Unsplash.

1. Explore recommendations from streaming services

      Today, music streaming services use data analytics to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to pairing you with your next favorite tune.

      Alexis Adamkowski, an undergraduate at SUNY Plattsburgh, has her headphones on whenever she’s walking somewhere. Listening to about three hours of music a day, she makes use of Spotify’s convenient Discover Weekly playlist updated every Monday. By utilizing this, she has gone down different rabbit holes that led her to genres she wouldn’t normally be into, like lo-fi rap.

      Apple Music has similar compilations, containing anything from daily global hits, Made for You mixes, to playlists categorized by mood. There is surely no shortage of music to explore in the streaming world.

      TikTok application open on computer. Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash.

      2. Keep your ears open while scrolling through social media

      It’s OK to be a victim of the current trends where you see fit. Go ahead and shamelessly download that TikTok song that has been stuck in your head after hearing it countless times on your For You Page in the past week. Chances are, it must be a pretty catchy and at least halfway decent tune if all the influencers are using it, right? 

      Audio can be put over just about any type of social media post. A fitness guru might post an Instagram story at the gym with one of their go-to hype songs for breaking their PR. Another example could be that your friend posts a Snapchat of a concert and you swipe up on their story to ask who the band is.

      There’s no harm in letting yourself be influenced by music through social media, because it’s certainly a trend that’s here to stay and constantly evolving.

      “Your music should grow with you,” Adamkowski said. “Once you outgrow a phase of your life, you need a new soundtrack to go with it.”

      Friends listening to music together. Image by pablo Villarroel from Pixabay.

      3. Get recommendations from friends

      Sharing music with friends is another great way to expand your music taste and ensure you don’t run out of options, especially if you spend most of your day listening to music.

      This is the case for Gray Norberto, an undergraduate at SUNY Plattsburgh, who listens to music all the time. Whether they’re walking to class, in their dorm,  studying, doing chores or even when the TV is on, there’s always a melody playing. With this dedication comes the need to switch things up, so the same records aren’t playing on repeat, and also the willingness to help your friends do the same.

      “I get really bored of songs really fast, so I just like to always keep it new and fresh. I also share music with friends as a way to connect with them. It’s always cool to have these new things to show them and talk about,” Norberto said.

      Small concert setting. Photo by Karl Hörnfeldt on Unsplash.

      4. Take a chance, you have nothing to lose

      Lastly, a more daring option is to just put yourself in the middle of uncharted territory and see where the rhythm takes you. If someone you’re close with is headed to see a band downtown and looking for someone to tag along, go for it, if that’s your kind of scene. Even if you’ve never heard of them, it might be worth your while. For all you know you could walk out of the gig as their new biggest fan.

      If you don’t mind a bit of a gamble and you appreciate the vintage ways of listening to music before streaming giants stole the show, head over to your local record store. Sift through the $1 vinyl records and take a chance on any that catch your eye. Some stores even have mystery bundles that can cost as little as $5 to bring home a stack of CD’s at random.

      You’re a winner either way because in the worst case scenario you listen to an artist and aren’t digging them, but now you know what you don’t like.

      We all want to find those special songs that resonate with us in such a way that makes us wish we could listen to it for the first time again. Seeking out new music will only make your palate more fruitful.

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