As the end of the school year approaches, everyone is looking forward to summer. Of course, with the season, music becomes a larger part of people’s lives than it does at other times of the year. Most people can recall memories from past summers that relates to a certain song — maybe it’s the first time you and your friends went on a road trip, maybe it’s a first kiss or even the time you were pulled over for speeding when you didn’t notice you were 20 over on the highway because you were jamming out too much. Whatever they are, those memories will stick with you for awhile, so why not make sure you can keep adding new ones to the collection?
Everybody’s playlist and song choice is different, but here are some tips to get a good start for how to form your own personal soundtrack.
Step one. Take into account the musical tastes of your friends who you’ll be spending a lot of time with. If they’re into punk music and you’re only into the current pop music, find a way to combine the two. Chances are, if you’re all listening together, it won’t matter what genre the song is, as long as you’re singing along.
Step two. Bring back your old music you haven’t listened to in awhile. There’s always a reason most of us keep those old albums downloaded (besides “because I bought it”), so go through them and look for your old favorites.
Step three. it’s practically essential to add oldies to your repertoire of newer music. A lot of artists now like to sample and take influence from music out of the 50’s all the way through the 70’s, and finding a way to keep the music’s flow from one song to another isn’t as challenging as you’d think when you start combining the anthems of summers’ past with your current library. (I’ve found a few hip-hop artists who flow in and out with the Beach Boys. It’s amazing.)
Step four. Set up a narrative to your songs! Sure, you could just mindlessly play one song after the other, but the key to making any song really stick is having the meaning at heart connect to your current status. Nobody would’ve remembered the impactful end scene of The Breakfast Club without “Don’t You (Forget About Me)!”
Finally, Step five. Plan accordingly for what time of the day you’re listening at. When it’s late at night and you’re starting to wind down, the slower and more melodic songs in your collection will really shine through. Nobody wants to listen to the Beastie Boys’ song “Sabotage” at full blast when they’re sitting around a bonfire next to the pool at 11 o’clock at night.
So, that’s it. It sounds like a lot less than it should, and seems harder than it is, but it’s all about what you put into it from here. Hopefully you’ll find the right song for every road trip, cruise, pool party, lunch break or late night spur-of-the-moment activity you’ll experience.