5 Painless ways to expand your music taste

5 Painless ways to expand your music taste

image via imagineanne

I need new music. All the time.

I spend hours looking on various sites for the new best thing, or an old classic that I have never heard of.

I do, on occasion, use Last.fm, Pandora, and Blip.fm for my new music searches. But for the most part, those music sites tend to reinforce the boundaries of your music library rather than break them down.

In this article I highlight what I think are the best ways to find new music that fits your collection. And I do understand that finding new music can be a frustrating ordeal, so I've put together a list of five ways to expand your music library with little frustration.

Two important things before you attempt to expand the types of music you like:
1. Keep an open mind 24/7, 365. My mantra is to always be slowly expanding my musical taste and to always be listening may it be a store as you're shopping, or the music in the background of a tv show always be listenig!!  

2. Low expectations: It takes time. Don't expect to be able to expand the type of music you listen to the second you decide to make a change. You will go through phases (Currently, I'm stuck in a country phase, where I only want to discover country music). Keep in mind that you can't just jump into a style and expect to like it. But be open for new sounds.

Now, the five ways:

1. Listen to your friend's music
This is the easiest way to expand the types of music you are listening to: listen to what you're friends are listening to. This means allowing them choose what station or cd they want to listen to in the car or while you are studying with them. Also, check out the links and videos people post on facebook, listen to their pandora, blip.fm or last.fm!. Be open minded!

I think it's best to implement a rule when listening to their music: you can't change their song when it is on. You have to listen to all of what they listen to.

2. Listen to covers of your favorite songs / favorite artists
Sometimes the best way to find new music is to listen to your favorite songs…but by different artists. Or listen to different songs covered by your favorite artist. The trick is to try and not to pay too much attention to who the artist is. (What I like to do is play the song without even looking at who made the song).
The following links are great places to start to find covers. The one I use the most is Copy Cats.

Copy Cats
best covers you've never heard of
the 50 best covers of 2009

3. Listen to what inspires your favorite artists
This is along the lines of listening what your friends listen to, but I feel that you would feel a little more obligated to listen to what inspires your favorite artists. I couldn't offer more of a variety of celebrity blogs, but I'm open to hearing about celebrity blogs that inspire you to listen to a variety of music.

common's blog
kanye west's blog

justin timberlake

4. Change the decade and/or country from which you listen to music to
sometimes you don't realize it, but you end up listening to the same type of music, from the same decade from the same artist. Try changing the time frame (try a different decade) Or try to listen to music from different countries. Maybe listen to popular songs in a different genre.

Here's a list of places to get your feet (ears?) wet:

rolling stone's 100 best songs of the decade
Pretty Much Amazing: Best songs of the decade
NPR: the years best world music
Billboard charts

5. Follow a music blog
Following a music blog is probably one of the best ways to get find interesting new music. When I say "music blog", I don't necessarily mean a blog that reviews music, or says why it's a tasteful piece of art, etc; but I do mean that the blog creator is constantly posting music on the site so that the music they want to share is easily accessed (i.e. youtube video, link, upload site….).Find someone who has a somewhat similar taste in music as you do and listen to the music they post.

Start looking for your personal music blogger:

i listen to everything
18 of the Best Music Blogs on Tumblr
NPR Music



  1. Anonymous · May 3, 2010

    dude you rock girl. great article. I’m going to have to try out some of these suggestions. Give me your ipod!

  2. Anonymous · May 31, 2010

    btw, i totally found band of horses by watching the tv show fringe, which is one of your base line principles

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