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5 Ways To Discover New Music

Lets take out the frustration diversifying your playlist!

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There are millions of tracks available for streaming now, yet it still is overwhelming to sift through them.

Choose one of these paths and you'll help the algorithm of your platform of choice (if you are on Deezer or Pandora) give you a smoother listening experience. So you're less likely to utter the words: 'What the heck is that!?'.

1. Listen to mixes

Spend the next 5 minutes browsing through the various (generic) mixes that has been put together. Find the one that you could listen to for 10 songs straight. Leave it on while you go about your day and add tracks as they jump out at you.

(Oddly...my top mix of choice for this is the Electronic mix)

2. Look up playlists relating to the shows you like

Say you enjoy watching Homeland. Do a search on each show and chances are, you'll find both tracks featured in the show and similar tracks that complement the feel of the show.

After a quick search on Deezer I found two playlists (here and here).

3. Ask a friend

Bet you haven't sent a message via SMS for awhile. How about making the most out of your monthly unlimited messages?

Let me make it even more easier for you. Cut and paste this:

"Hey (insert friend name here). What you up to?

I'm trying to update my music playlist, gotta help make new brain connections! This is one simple way I can do that is discovery new tracks.

Would you have time today to send me 5 recommendations?"

Send that to 20 of your friends and a good scenario would be you'd have 100 new tracks to listen to. Best case you might have twice or thrice that number.

* Additional reading for growing new brain connections are here, here, and here.

4. Follow music discovery newsletters

I have yet to discover newsletters that focus on music alone (except for ones that are released by streaming platforms), and found that ones that actually aren't primarily focused on music are the ones that are most interesting!

The one that comes to mind is Austin Kleon's one. You can view his latest release here mentioning Yuja Wang's playing.

5. Look up YouTube covers of your favourite tracks

Best results are if you go for a track that you're not really crazy about then find a version that you find yourself liking. Then see if that artist has released an album, listen to the first three tracks and see if there's something that might end up in your playlist.

I'll try this on 'Call Me Maybe', which is not currently in my playlist. I came across a version of it when Carly Rae Jepsen appeared with JImmy Fallon and The Roots. Yes, I had no idea what the lyrics were and just liked the version (and my first time watching 'The Classroom instruments' series).

Here are the first three that caught my attention:

- Ben Howard

- Lakyn

- Michael Schulte (With Wonderwall mashup)

This also works in reverse! Find covers of tracks that you have already fallen in love with and see if another artist can give that track additional meaning for you.

The list is arranged from level of difficulty (effort needed). One being the easiest, and 5 being the most difficult. Would you get better recommendations as you head closer to 5? I leave that for you to test...then drop me a line on how you went!

PS: Thumbnail photo credit: Jonathan Grado

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