The Art of Making Playlsits

April 19, 20176 min read

Making playlists is great because you have all the songs you like in an organized, continuous play so you don’t have to skip to hear the songs you really want to, and you can easily play the ones that you’re feeling at the moment. Curating music to put in a playlist is equivalent to curating works of art to put in a gallery because they both provoke emotion and require creative thought. Here’s some things to consider in order to make the best playlist possible for whatever occasion.

1. Where You’re Going to Make the Playlist

Decide if you’re making a playlist that’ll turn into a physical copy (a CD) or just something to play directly from your phone. This will help you figure out where it is you’re gonna create your playlist. It’s not too much of a difference in what music app you use; SoundCloud, Apple Music, or Spotify are all great choices that allow you to share the playlists you make, but if you’re making a CD, Apple Music would be best so that you can transfer your playlist to your iTunes library to later burn to a CD. You can also go the old-school route and use a “YouTube to MP3” converter and download your songs from there to put on a CD.

2. What The Playlist Is For

I have about 10 playlists currently in my music library and they each have a different feel depending on the mood of the songs and what mood they put me in. That could be dancing, singing, putting me in my feels, or a groove that the songs have. Depending on what you want out of a playlist will determine what songs you put in there. Or it could just be a playlist of random songs you like that have no particular order. Playlists can convey messages to the person who’s listening to it, so if you’re making one for your significant other, for example, cheesy 90’s R&B love songs could be put in a playlist to let them know how much you care for them, or songs that remind you of a friend that hold meaning or specific memories could be shared to reminisce. Also, playlists filled with songs of a certain artist or band are nice to have since it’s like having their discography in one place.

3. How Long the Playlist Is Going to Be

A short, 10-track playlist to give to someone is usually a good measure. It keeps their attention without it being too long where the songs lose meaning, but of course it can be however long you want it to be and some people appreciate lengthy playlists. Me, personally, I like the playlists I make for myself to listen to to be quite long — I have one that contains 220 songs. Lengthy playlists are good for road-trips, parties, and shower-concerts. How many songs you put in a playlist is ultimately up to you, the creator, and what you think is best for the listener.

4. What Songs Will Go in the Playlist

Similar to deciding what the purpose of the playlist is, selecting songs is the real art to curating a playlist. You could have a playlist of old 70’s rock & roll, oldies from the 50’s/60’s, or early 2000’s R&B. Also, your playlist of songs could be from a certain genre, meaning you could choose rap songs to put into it or strictly love songs, etc. Choose your favorite songs that make you feel good when you listen to them (or make you cry) and start from there.

5. What Your Playlist Will Be Named

The final, or first depending in what order you like to create, step is giving your playlist a name. If you’re planning on sharing this playlist with somebody, titling it “Songs for ______,” is a good way to go. If it’s a playlist for you, or for anyone with a link that can listen to it, describing what type of music is in the playlist could be a title. For example, “Twerking Songs” for that playlist you put on to dance to in your room, “Songs to Listen to When You’re Sad,” for when you’re in your feelings, or simply “Trap” if you have a playlist full of trap songs.

Making playlists is fun if you’re a music lover like I am, and exchanging playlists with people is even better. I think of it as an art form because you’re fabricating an experience for the listener that causes emotion. Put your playlist on shuffle or listen to it from beginning to end, either way it’ll be a great listen.

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