Music is one of the most unifying forces in the world. It has the ability to lift moods, create happiness, and inspire joy, which is why playlists are so important. People have been compiling their own playlists since cassette tapes were a thing, but these days we don’t have to hover over the stop button waiting for the song on the radio to end. Luckily, the digital age has made it much, much easier to create a playlist that will inspire you and your friends for years to come.
Whether you want to make a groovy playlist for your friends to dance to, or a playlist themed around your favourite show, there are a few golden rules you can follow to make sure you create the perfect collection.
Pick a theme
Theming your playlist will make the job of finding the right songs 100 times easier. Slower, more melancholy songs can be added to a nostalgia playlist, while upbeat, happy songs are great for summer days in the sunshine. You could even go as far as curating a playlist themed around your favourite TV show, like Peaky Blinders or Friends. Or think about an activity you like to do and base a playlist on that. If you enjoy looking at the stars, create a chilled out list of tunes that would be the perfect accompaniment to watching the sky, or if you love playing sports, imagine the kinds of songs you would want to hear to get yourself in the competitive zone.
It’s all in the length
Something that many people don’t consider is the length of the songs. This is important because a playlist needs to be evenly balanced in terms of the song duration. Songs that are too long or too short will stick out and disrupt the flow of the playlist, so try to keep your tracks roughly the same length to create harmony and flow in your soundtrack.
Consider your audience
Of course, what it all boils down to is who is going to listen to your playlist. If you’re just creating a one-off playlist for a wedding or celebration, then the rules are a little stricter. Be careful not to include songs with swearing or violent references in case there are families present and try to cater to a wide range of ages and tastes. Not everyone is going to like everything on there, but everyone should at least like something!
But the rules will be different if you’re creating a playlist for yourself or your friends for a night in playing poker or board games. This is when you need to really think about what you’ll want to listen to while you’re in the competitive zone! Think about the pace of the music and whether lyrics or fast beats will be distracting from the task at hand and build your playlist up from there.
Create order in chaos
The order of the playlist is absolutely essential. If you’re making a party playlist, think of it as a momentum building exercise. Start off with the good vibe tunes, build up to the dance songs and end with some chilled-out tracks to wind everyone down before bed. If you’re making a playlist for someone else, it’s also a good idea to build momentum to a poignant moment in the order. Start off with songs that pull them in, make them want to keep listening and then hit them with the tear-jerker or feel-good track about ¾ of the way in.
Playlists have a place in most people’s hearts, from the young to the old. They have the power to create and invoke memories while lifting us up and making us happy. So, now that you’re up to speed, go make a playlist for your other half to show them how much you love them, or make one for yourself to make that gym trip a little more bearable. And don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing it!