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How to Discover New Music

Updated on December 21, 2013
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Nobody likes everything

As much as we know this to be true, we can also agree on the fact that nobody knows everything, especially when it comes to music with all its different kinds and variations. While public radio often provides us with the present artists, the one-hit wonders or just really good songs that have to be played thousand times a day, well, in a way this is new music. But it’s not what I am going to cover today and surely not what you have been expecting from this article.

The kind of new music I am considering is the one that has yet been hiding from your ears, the one that maybe existed for several decades only to be discovered by you and appreciated as what it is to you: “new” music.

But how can we find something we don’t even know exists? To be honest, this question is a bit exaggerated, but you get the point. It’s difficult to know where to start.

While you could just go online and google for new music, there are much easier ways to do this.

1. Ask your parents

Being born in a different generation your parents can provide you with a whole lot of new bands, songs and albums which are still great to listen to today. This is, in fact, much more personal than the online search as you will get recommendations, free access to every song they bought and maybe get to hear a few stories from back then.

2. Ask your friends

While your parents mostly can show you music they used to listen to, the next – pretty obvious – source are your friends. They are maybe influenced by their parents’ music taste themselves or listening to something completely different. No matter what, they will most likely be more than happy to show you around in their personal musical universe.

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3. Go online

After having talked to real people it is now time to explore the almost endlessly amount of music being available on the World Wide Web. Your options here are unlimited, hence I am only going to name a few. I would definitely recommend Spotify and Soundcloud as you can like and share songs as well as create playlists so you can follow people and explore their taste of music. A great app that visualizes connections between bands in a very pleasing way is discovr. But as I said, you can get lost just by the vast amount of platforms and different services.

4. Play an instrument

This helps you finding music in two different ways. You’ve got a teacher who can provide you with a great variety of musical pieces, classical and modern ones, you can ask him to provide you with music he likes, too. Furthermore, playing an instrument increase your interest and curiosity so you will find yourself on YouTube watching videos of the great masters (most of whom you are hearing about for the first time)

5. Watch TV

While this advice may seem strange at first, it can come in really handy when you are keen on finding new songs and bands. Many commercials make use of really good music because people are more likely to buy a product with which they associate a certain song. In order to catch your attention even more, these songs are not yet played over and over again on the radio. The next time you see a commercial which music you like, grab a pen and note the advertised product in order to google the song. Sometimes the name is displayed somewhere on the screen, so be sure to check that too.

How do you like to discover new music?

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6. Don't be afraid to ask

In our everyday lives we are exposed to so many different sources of music. We hear it in pubs, in nightclubs, in commercials, on festivals, in shopping centres and even in medical practices. In fact, there is more music being played than we are able to recognize. So you have to try to be as open as possible to the sounds and the music around you. But hearing it is not enough: to keep track of your discoveries and to be able to get to know artist and song better, you'll have to ask. You could, for example, ask the storekeeper what that song was he just played. You could ask the cover band at a small festival, because you really liked some of the songs they did. In most cases the people will be more than pleased to help you out.

7. Get lucky

You surely stumbled upon a record store at some point. You may have even entered, amazed by the huge amount of different artists you never heard about but left without buying anything, because you didn’t know neither title nor artist. The next time just go for it. Pick any cover, band or song name that you like and give it a listen. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t, but if you do, you’ll be so happy with your new discovery that you ask yourself why you didn’t do this earlier.

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