Playlistism: A Comprehensive Guide to Making Playlists that Don’t Suck.

January 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm (Music) (, , )

A good playlist is more than just a list of songs slapped together on the go. A good playlist says something, expresses a mood, or even shows some personality. In my experience, there are 3 types of playlists…

-Petty Playlists
-Mood Playlists
-Personal Playlists

Petty playlists are playlists that are designed to satisfy your musical appetite right now. For example, if you’ve just bought a bunch of new music and want to take it for a test drive, you put it in a petty playlist. Mood playlists are the hardest to master, and what I will teach you to make today. And finally, personal playlists are playlists you make with someone in mind. Songs that remind you of that person or songs that you share in common.

Awesome. Playlist Types. But why should I make one?
Everyone loves a good playlist. A good playlist can be burned onto a cd, given to a friend, etc. Playlists also help satisfy cravings for certain types of music. For example if you just won the lottery, you’re going to want to listen to happy music, which you, of course, have delicately organized in your “happy playlist”.

The Mood Playlist
Ok, so now you’ve decided you want to make a playlist. Excellent. Let us pretend that you are a happy person, and being such a happy person, you’ve decided you want to listen to a happy playlist. So you pick your first song. A song that makes you feel like you actually have won the lottery. This is when things get challenging for many people. It is important that after you choose your first song, you find songs that make you feel the same way or that have the same upbeat fashion. A good way to do this is put Itunes on party shuffle and skip until you find a song for your playlist. So lets say you find 20 songs.

The next thing to do to your playlist is to organize it. It is important that if you have two songs by the same artist (god forbid) on your playlist, you make sure not to place them near each other. You want to keep the listener interested. So put some contrast into your lineup. For example you could put “Build me up Buttercup” next to “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube. This keeps the listener interested, and more importantly, happy.

Now when you become a master playlist-maker, you’re playlist can evolve from start to finish. You can begin with songs about depression and sadness, put some uplifting songs in the middle, and then finish with songs that make you want to dance.

Finally, have fun. If you’re not having fun making your playlists, you are a sad individual, and for you I recommend the “A Tragic Romance” playlist (see below). Just remember, the most important thing is for the listener to be able to determine the mood of the playlist. Happy playlisting!

~ E.L.


1 Comment

  1. War Dog said,

    Good read !

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