How to discover new music online

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Drawing the sound

Another excellent opportunity to become aware of Chromesthesia is the technique to draw the sound. Drawing the sound engages you with what you see when listening.

Botany students draw the flowers to see the details

When I was a botany student, we spent a lot of time drawing the floral parts of the plants. In this way, we had to look carefully.

Drawing it helped to sharpen the eye and to become more aware of the details of the flowers.

With Sound-Vision Synesthesia it is very similar! As you try to draw it, you need to look carefully. And so you become more aware of the experiences of the visual aspects of sound.

It is challenging to draw music, but it makes you aware of it

Drawing synesthetic perception is a little bit tricky. Synesthetic experiences of music are very volatile. It is not like a two-dimensional painting that you can draw as if it was a photograph.

Since the perceptions changes as you focus on the different aspects. For example, you zoom in and out the music, so also the visuals change.

To draw this fluidity exactly is probably not possible. Some artists do a pretty good job of painting music, though.

However, for you, it is also not the goal to create the perfect picture of the sound. The idea is that you engage with the synesthetic experiences of sound.

So, maybe give it a go!

Get a paper and some pens, and start your synesthetic journey of drawing the sounds!

Drawing Sound Exercise

Pitchfork (+4) and Paste (+3)

(Shannon) And of course, Pitchfork, Paste.

(Diana Rose) There’s also Paste & Pitchfork that have lists separated into categories so you can browse.

The opposite: hearing what you see

We now talked about seeing shapes and colors when hearing the sound. But, it also works the opposite. When you look at something, you may even hear it. Motion-Sound Synesthesia is a recently described synesthesia. And it is a prevalent one. Over 20% of participants in one study reported having an auditory experience when seeing the video with the morsing code below.

The Coolest

Hugo Fauquenoi — Editing weekly playlists to share the latest electronic gems (French Touch , Deep House, Beats, Nu Disco/Soul/Funk, Future Garage, Chillwave, Future Bass).

Our awesome Medium readers had a ton of other suggestions for music discovery as well. Check them out!

Find New Music: Music Streaming Services

The best place to start is by thinking about what you’re currently using to listen to music. For most of us, this will probably be some sort of music streaming service. And when it comes to finding new music, streaming services are a brilliant starting point. Are you an Apple Music user, a Spotify fan or do you use something else? Personally, I use Spotify premium (you can follow me on there if you want here) and I’ve used it for the last 4 years or so. Getting Spotify premium was a huge game-changer for me when it came to developing my interest in and knowledge of music. If you’re looking to join a music streaming service then I’d 100% recommend going with Spotify. 

Music Streaming Services: Spotify ‘ Daily Mix’ Feature

One of my favourite things about Spotify is just how easy it is to find new music. Spotify will make up their own playlists tailored to what you’ve been listening to, which are called your ‘daily mixes’. A lot of the songs in your daily mixes will be tracks that you already listen to, but Spotify also throws in a few tracks by similar artists, as well as songs that you haven’t listened to by the artists that you do listen to (if that makes sense). So, say for example you listen to Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin all the time, Spotify will include that in your daily mix but they also might add in Black Dog or Ramble On (both Led Zep). Get the gist?

Photography by Fixelgraphy via Unsplash.
Photography by Fixelgraphy via Unsplash.

Music Streaming Services: Spotify ‘Fans Also Like’ Feature

Another favourite aspect of Spotify for me is the ‘fans also like’ section which pops up when you click on a specific artist. Let’s take Harry Styles for example. He’s one of the biggest names in music (26th in the world according to Spotify!) so you’re probably thinking that when you click on the ‘fans also like’ section on his profile it’ll just be loads of other big names that you already know. And to a certain extent that is true. You get the other 4 members of One Direction and loads of other big-name pop acts. But you also get Declan McKenna, who has around 8% of the amount of monthly listeners that Harry Styles does.

Do the same thing on Declan McKenna’s profile and you’ll find bands like Vistas who have 20% of Declan McKenna’s listeners. Then do the same again and you’ll find a band called High Tyde who have 8% of Vistas listeners. 4 clicks on Spotify and you’ve gone from a musician with 44m monthly views to a band with 52k monthly views. Pretty easy right?

Music Streaming Services: Spotify Specific Genre Playlists

Then you’ve also got playlists that are pre-made by Spotify and focus on a specific genre. I find that these playlists are ideal if you’re just looking to learn about a certain genre. For example, I’ve recently been enjoying the pre-made Bossa Nova playlist on Spotify. All I had to do to find it was a quick Spotify search for Bossa Nova. What’s so great about the pre-made genre playlists is 1. how there’s a mix of big names in the genre and up-and-coming artists too and 2. how much they flow as playlists. You can shuffle one of their genre playlists without any fear that a completely random track will come on in the midst of your chilled vibe. If you want to discover some ready-made gems then head on over to my favourite Spotify playlists post for a few recommendations.

Photography by SGC Design Co via Unsplash.
Photography by SGC Design Co via Unsplash.

Congrats! You’re A Music-Finding Pro!

So that just about covers everything you need to know about how to find new music. I know it was a pretty hefty post but hopefully, you feel like you know exactly how to discover some new music to listen to and WHERE to look for it! Do you have any other ideas of where to find new music? Have you got specific sources that you read to keep up to date with the latest tunes? Send them my way.

If you enjoyed reading then make sure to share the post on socials (via the little share bar on the right) and tag me in it! I’d love to chat with you about your own music discovery journey. And if you’re looking for even more music content to read then why not sign-up to my blog newsletter

Female Original

Read next: 52 Best Queen Songs (The Legend Slot)

Five rules of music discovery

Listen to music anywhere and everywhere

Your job is to build music into your life to such an extent that it’s harder to avoid it than it is to keep listening. Got a buzzer-style alarm clock? Get a clock radio instead, and tune in to a music station as you wake up. Make sure you have speakers in every room of your house (Bluetooth, Sonos, whatever). Keep your iPad, iPhone or MP3 player packed with music for when you’re out and about. Set every preset on your car radio to a different music channel. If you’re allowed headphones at work, wear ’em. When you go out, try to go to a music bar rather than a sports bar (for instance). Subscribe to a streaming music service such as Apple Music or Spotify, and make sure you get your money’s worth. Wear headphones at the gym, walking the dog, while running, on planes…you get the idea. No silence.

Listen to anything and everything

This isn’t about being painfully cool, it’s about listening to music – any music. From death metal to kiddies’ TV themes, classical to country, this is your chance to hear music of all types, not just music you’d play, buy or even particularly like. The point is to have music on. Indeed, it is often better to listen to stuff that makes you uncomfortable – that’s when you broaden your tastes and become more knowledgeable.

Don’t think too much about it

This is at first a hard one to do, but you will get better at it. listening to music 24/7 is not about having long debates with yourself over whether what you’re hearing is cool or not, whether you could play it in a DJ set, or anything else cerebral, for that matter. If you cave in to consciously grading, sorting and organising the music you hear, you’ll be exhausted pretty quickly and find yourself turning it off to get a break from yourself. This is about feelings, not thoughts; emotions, not reasons. When a joke makes you laugh, do you analyse why it made you laugh? of course not. Nor should you analyse the music you’ve got on.

Notice what interests you

As from now you’ll be playing music all the time, and as you’re not going to over analyse it, you’re inevitably going to switch off and almost forget you have music on at all. That’s exactly what we want, because now you’ll be listening like a ‘normal’ person, not a DJ. And when something grabs your attention, it will do so not via the critical faculties of a hard-to-please DJ, but because deep down you like something about whatever the piece of music is. It’s important to realise that what it is you like about that tune is not important. You may notice it because it’s a great song, because it really annoys you, because it sounds like something else in your collection, because it’s the first tune you’ve heard loud for ages – whatever. learn to acknowledge that something has got your attention, take note of the fact, and get on with your day.

Religiously note all such tunes

Using a note-taking app on your smartphone, or Shazam (the music recognition app for ioS and Android, which is great if you don’t know the title of a particular piece of music), or just good old pen and paper, scribble down names, artists, even snippets of lyrics for you to Google later if that’s all you can get. Just try and get some kind of placeholder for that tune in your system.

The database for music nerds

Here you can see the most “collected”
Here you can see the most “collected” rock artists of the 2000s.

discogs.com is already a real institution among music fans on an international scale. First and foremost, Discogs is a community-based database. Based on the database, users can submit ratings and create music collections.

If you want to search for new music, the Browse section offers you a whole range of possibilities. You can filter the database by genre, style and publication decade. The filtered selection can be sorted by criteria such as “most collected” or “announced”. Discogs is a great port of call for new music, especially if you already have some basic musical knowledge. If that’s the case, the search can be really fun and will help you discover new releases as well as classics that you haven’t come across before. This site also serves as a marketplace for vinyl records and CDs.

Content Based Filtering

utilizes tagged information about the song to make

utilizes tagged information about the song to make its recommendation. It constantly extracts information from the internet (like from Kollection articles!) to match similar adjectives or nouns describing a song to a recommended song. The obvious issue here is the more a song is talked about online, the more likely it will match tags with one you already like: leaving the underdog artists in the dust, again.

Social Media

We would never encourage you to spend more time on your phone and social media applications. However, if you’re looking for a new routine, some of these platforms — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. — offer an effective highway to music discovery. It will be more spontaneous, though, as you’ll have to simply follow some of your favorite artists, record players, and music critics or blogs and wait for them to share new material.

Word of Mouth

Still, one of the best ways to discover new music is to strike up a conversation the next time you are with a group of your favorite friends or family members. Word of mouth is almost always the most trusted form of information exchange. No matter how much our lives become consumed by the digital world, that will never change.

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