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Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts

Ever since I downloaded Spotify in eighth grade, (which was seven years ago now) I have loved making playlists. I always come up with new ideas or rework old ones or make ones that I never finish or don’t rest until I find the perfect mix I’m looking for. I’ve even spent the last year or so sharing playlists with y’all here on the WKNC blog; making playlists is a huge creative outlet for me.

But I know that my music taste isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I encourage everyone to find their own unique tastes (which you can do with the help of my “How to Find New Music” blog). If you want to organize your music but you feel like you never know how to, I’m here to help. The following are some prompts/ideas for you to organize your music. By no means is this foolproof, but these are some ideas that have inspired me in the past.

SEASON

  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: they all have distinct moods and sounds. Find songs that fit the aura of each season. I’m working on a continuous Fall playlist for the blog, and it’s been so fun listening to a bunch of music and deciding what is and isn’t fit for Fall’s aura.
  • EXAMPLE: “it’s fall y’all”

TIME

  • This is how most people I know organize their music. They’ll create a new playlist for each month or quarter (every 3 months) and add songs they discover or really like throughout this period of time and add as they go. It takes some adjusting, and this is not my personal favorite way  to organize music, but it works for a lot of my friends. 
  • EXAMPLE: “this used to be a current playlist”

MY TASTE IN [INSERT NUMBER] SONGS

  • This one is a fun challenge, and the best part is that you don’t even have to find new music to do it. Choose a number: 25, 50, 100, or more. Then, without repeating any artists/bands, choose songs that encapsulate your entire music taste. It’s hard, but so much fun. I’ve done it before with 100, (but I’m currently workshopping it because my music taste has expanded a lot since I first made it), and it took me a whole afternoon to decide what songs to choose.
  • EXAMPLE: “my taste in 100 songs”

BOOKS/MOVIES/SHOWS

  • If there is a story you love in any medium, make a playlist or ten about it. It’s so entertaining to make soundtracks for books/movies/shows you love, and this let’s you live in that fictional universe just a little while longer.
  • EXAMPLE: “Unhoneymooners”

EMOTIONS

  • This one is pretty self explanatory, just choose songs that make you feel things, and sort them into those emotions. Mitski and Conor Oberst make you sad? Put it in a playlist. Liz Phair makes music that fires you up? Angry playlist incoming. Bad Suns and Lily Allen make you feel like you’re floating? Time for a happy playlist.
  • EXAMPLE: “time to despair”

“BEST OF” PLAYLISTS

  • Love an artist or band but you just want to shuffle the parts of their discography that you like? “Best of” playlists are great for that, and super simple to make. No creativity required, just you, thirty minutes, and listening to your favorite songs by your bands determining what makes it into the list.
  • EXAMPLE: “riki loley”

GENRE

  • Only like ten pop-punk songs? Add them all to a playlist, so if you’re in the mood, you don’t have to go to the trouble of queueing them every time. 
  • EXAMPLE:  “Cowboy Era”

MASTER PLAYLIST OF A BUNCH OF ALBUMS

  • Sometimes it’s good to have everything in one place. So as you come across albums you love, add them into this playlist so you have one giant thing to shuffle. Organized chaos.

Hopefully this gave you some inspiration for playlists you can make that won’t result in you using the same 15 songs every time you make a playlist (trust me, I’ve been there).

Until next time,

Caitlin

By Caitlin

Howdy, I'm Caitlin and I'm currently a junior in Communication Media. My favorite genres of music are pop and indie-rock, though I dabble in most genres. Hope you enjoy my content!