Playlists are the perfect way for you to create a soundtrack to a certain feeling or mood, and they are something which everyone should look to do. Not only this but great playlists can actually introduce you to new music. A lot of the new artists which I learn about come from playlists which have been made by James Haidak, a really well respected DJ who I discovered a couple of years ago.
If you are making a playlist for yourself then it has to be something which you are going to want to listen to again and again, and here is how to get the balance right.
The very best playlists are those which have a theme running through them, which are based on a certain emotion or a certain event. To this end it makes the most sense to try and keep the genre in the playlist quite similar. A great playlist doesn’t flit between rap and rock, jazz and bluegrass, they can, but the best ones stay within a certain genre.
Ebb and Flow
If you are creating a heavy rock playlist for example, then you have to make sure that there is a real ebb and flow abut it. What this means is that not every song should be a stomping assault on the sense, these sound far better when they are complemented by a more epic, slow moving, biblical rock song. The point is that no matter what playlist you are creating, you need to build it up and slow it down as it moves through the track listing.
I always try to focus a playlist to be more or less the same length as a double album, no more than 25/30 songs. The reason why I think this is best is that if it is 50 or 60 songs long, then it feels ore like a collection of songs than a dedicated collection. Now if you are making a playlist for a wedding or for to play in a coffee shop throughout the day then you can make something which is more sizable, but if this is just a playlist which has been created as an ode to a person, emotion or genre, then it makes much more sense to clock in around the 25/30 song mark.
No Bad Songs
A playlist should be something which is continuously changing and that is because there are some songs which sound great once but then after a couple of listens they lose their ability to thrill. A playlist should never feature a song which you want to skip and so when you identify a song like that, you should really be looking to take it off the playlist and adding something which is able to stand the test of time and still sound great after multiple listens.
These are the general rules which I like to follow when it comes to creating an awesome playlist.