Have you hidden behind the limits of a single type of music genre your entire life? Is your CD collection boring and sparse? Have you begun to notice that all the music that is commercially successful seems to be a variation on the same theme - a theme that you are already tired of? Here we teach you how to give your ears a new music menu.
Step 1. Listen to Internet radio stations
Forget the standard radio. Look for all kinds of stations - international, rap, hip hop, electronic, alternative, blues, sountracks, jazz, and so on. Leave that music in the background while you are on the Internet, answering emails, etc. If you hear a song that you like, write down the title, album, and artist, if possible. Some good sites include: pandora.com, accuradio.com, jango.com, last.fm, and deezer.com, but there are plenty of other sites worth your while.
Step 2. Search for online music stores
Type in the name of the band or song you liked and listen to samples of all their albums and songs. Also check out related artists (sometimes mentioned in editorial reviews and recommendation section). Find what genre of music has the song or artist that has caught your attention, and start shopping / searching by genre.
Step 3. Ask interesting people what music they listen to
You know that guy on the bus who wears a trench coat, eyeliner, and fingerless gloves? Well, you may hear some interesting songs. Look at the boy with the lip piercing and the bag of art supplies. The next time you see him shaking his head with his iPod, ask him what he's listening to. They may think you're rude or weird, but they'll probably be happy for the opportunity to share their taste in music with someone who is genuinely curious. Instead of asking people if they like (or not) the weather that day, ask them things like:
- What was the first CD you bought?
- What was the last CD you bought?
- If you had to choose one song to sum up your entire life, what song would it be?
- Has any song made you cry?
- If you were to make a soundtrack of your life, what songs would you play?
Step 4. Listen to full albums
Sometimes an artist or group puts out a singles or two to attract more people, but it is not characteristic of their work. And commonly, the jewels of music are buried in albums, far from what they play on the radio. So if a catchy song you heard out there appeals to you, don't be surprised and throw the CD away if the rest of the songs aren't.
Step 5. Listen to the album more than once before deciding if you like it or not
It's best to listen to an album three times before making your final decision, especially if it's a genre you don't normally listen to. For example, if you are listening to your first heavy metal CD, you will probably spend the first round frowning and trying to adjust your ears to the music. By the second round, you may start to move your feet, and perhaps to move your head a little. And by the third time you may already be singing and listening carefully to the lyrics. You don't have to listen to the entire cd three times in a row - just make sure you give it the benefit of the doubt before you throw it away.
Step 6. Find independent music
Discover the local bands and where they play. Visit places that promote independent artists. If you live near a major city, find out where you can listen to live music and go there. Even if it's a group or artist you've never heard of, and / or a type of music that you usually don't like, sometimes listening to live music can change your opinion and perspective.
Step 7. Take a music theory class
You can better appreciate music if you understand how it works. Music has many layers, which are often difficult to recognize if you don't know the difference between music and noise. In other words, listening to music without understanding music theory is like saying you like cars and having no idea what's under the hood.
Step 8. Learn to play an instrument
What better way to take your musical appreciation further than to learn how to create music yourself? Cover your favorite songs. If you like a certain genre or certain songs because of the emotion it generates in you, chances are that that emotion will be amplified if you really try to play music yourself. and who knows? You may discover your inner musician and start creating music on your own.
Step 9. Go to the library
The library is an impressive storehouse of wealth. Think of it this way: what's theirs is yours! Besides all the books out there, libraries also have music - all kinds of music: rap, country (both modern and old), blues, classical, opera, world music, reggae, techno, minimalist, trance, disco, etc.). What your library does not have, they can ask other libraries as they want.
Step 10. Identify someone in your life whose musical tastes match yours
Then explore some of the music he listens to that doesn't fit into the niche you've created. Give yourself the opportunity even if it takes you out of your musical comfort zone (see the precious note in listening to an album more than once). When you listen with an open mind rather than prejudice, you will be surprised by how much you really like. Ask your friend for recommendations that they think you might like but don't normally listen to.
Step 11. Connect the dots (or, we could say, artists
). Identify some artists that you really like, and find their collaborations. Then, listen to the compilation albums that have featured that artist, and listen to the other artists on that album to find out who else you might like. You can also try soundtracks that include their music - both strategies can help you discover artists with musical styles similar to the one you listen to so much.
- You may end up feeling that the type of music you started with still feels like your favorite, and that's okay - this is about opening up to other possibilities and expanding your horizons. But don't be surprised if you end up liking other types of music as time goes on - all tastes change and evolve as we grow older and have more experiences.
- Check out sites dedicated to offering music to download for free (legally) to your computer. Browse through the styles, or take a chance and download the latest review from the site. Who knows what you might find? Some songs may scare you, while others may surprise you, but more than anything they will expose you to something new that you may not have heard before.
- Try not to judge a style of music by the morals / religious values / lifestyle that you may associate it with. Remember that stereotypes don't always apply, and learning to appreciate a style of music can open a window into someone else's way of life.
- Look for patterns in your thinking that might prevent you from appreciating a new genre. Thoughts like "everything sounds the same" or "they only listen to music that sounds cool" usually come from ignorance. Give those who listen to that genre the benefit of the doubt, that there is some substance in their music, so much so that some people dedicate their lives to it.
- Surprisingly, you can find that sites like Amazon.com are good for expanding your musical tastes. With its editorial and reviews and ratings, lists of other bands who are interested in a product listening to a product, and a fairly large database of available CDs, it can be a great tool for expanding your musical horizons.
- Sign up for websites that offer free online music content, such as Last.fm and Pandora.com. Both sites offer a protocol that links you to other users within the site with similar tastes to yours.
- Everyone has CDs that they hardly ever listen to. Identify the songs that you don't know well and put ONLY THOSE on your iPod. You will appreciate them much more, and even if they are from your favorite artist, they will be new to you.
- You must be willing to put your money in your mouth - or at least, in your ears. (Don't just download the songs and keep them, that's stealing - if you download and listen, and then buy the ones you like, you're supporting the artists!)
- Consider swapping mix CDs with your friends - you may want to include your greatest musical discoveries in the mix.
- Support diversity and creativity by buying CDs and merchandise directly from struggling or starting musicians who have offered something unique in the world.
- A good site to find similar artists is www.tastekid.com All you have to do is write an artist or band that you like and they will introduce you to bands similar to those. And a good thing about this site is that it also includes groups that are starting their careers. It is a good way to listen to other groups that nobody knows and have a unique taste.
- The LaunchCAST player automatically selects what kind of music to play for you based on your recommendations. Once you rate a sufficient amount of music, it can become a great source for discovering bands that you might not have heard otherwise.
- Make sure to look for extreme musical forms, like death and black metal. Many songs have folk / classical and even symphonic influences. Try Eluvietie, Korpiklaani, and Behemoth.