It's that time of year again, when all I want to do is stay outside. Working inside an office all week gazing out the window at the gorgeous day outside makes me crazy to get out! So when I can be, I'm outside. If I'm working or having fun I always like to have some music playing. Over the weekend I took a bit of time to make a new summer playlist on my iPod which has inspired me to share my do's and don'ts. I think I listened to the summer playlist I made summer before last last summer also, with only adding a few new songs to update it a little. It was time to change it up! My son downloaded all my CD's onto an external hard drive awhile back for me so I had a ton of new stuff to choose from. I'm going to have to take that boy out to dinner! I've been jamming ever since!
These tips are for the folks who always just hit shuffle on their whole collection and may need a little guidance in making a great playlist for themselves or a special occasion or those who may need a little push to go digital. I say go for it! You'll be glad you did. I know I would have found it helpful if I were a newbie. It amazes me that people actually still buy CD's and don't download them to a digital device or own any digital music. I know it to be true because I actually know some of these strange ladies! lol
Ok, here's the scoop:
DO: First things first, update your music software (I use iTunes and an iPod nano 5th generation). Then purchase any new music and download any CD's. It's easier to have all your songs at your fingertips when the mood strikes to make your list. You can always add or delete a song but if you can get it almost perfect to begin with, well, that's all the better I say. Also, you might want to figure out how long your event is going to be and plan for a few hours of extra music as you will probably want to turn it on before your guests arrive and/or listen while you clean up. That way you will have plenty of music and that's one less thing you will have to worry about.
DON'T: Even though you haven't downloaded anything in ages don't take this as a chance to download all your music just because you have the software updated and you are messing with music stuff. That stack of CD's can wait. Just pick out what you need for your particular playlist.
DO: Check the settings on your iPod. There are different settings to obtain the levels of bass and treble and many presets. You may like one of those better than the default setting you may have it set to. Also be sure and turn ON the Sound Check button. This helps immensely in keeping volume levels even. Although you may still experience a bit of lows and highs it does reduce those a great deal. Set the Sound Check to ON if you don't do anything else. Oh, and don't forget to shuffle those songs.
DON'T: You might absolutely love that Kid Rock song (hell yeah!) that's a bit spicy but if you will be playing your playlist for people other than birds of a feather it's best to err on the safe side of no f'bombs, drug references or explicit sexual language. Remember children and mothers hear everything!
DO: Include that Kid Rock song which is beautiful that you also absolutely love but has more of a G rating. Personally I don't go above an occasional PG-13.
DON'T: Unless you are having a rave steer clear of dance mixes. Most guests will prefer to tap their toes and shake their booties a bit rather than hopping up and down. Although there is one song that I added to my list, Cher's We All Sleep Alone. It's pretty awesome and after all a little hopping never hurt anyone.
DO: Stick to lively music! Remember summertime is the time for fun and although it might be your party and you can cry if you want, don't let it be over a sad slow song. I like rock and roll and the blues which you can mix and match easily. Don't forget to include classics that everyone knows and can sing along if they want. There's always someone yelling Free Bird! A good place to find those are movie soundtracks or collections if you don't already own them. That way you can use every song on the CD for your playlist with only one purchase. If you want some new stuff a good place to find that is to listen to the radio and write down the song and artist to download later or watch the latest top twenty shows. Sometimes listening to an old CD you haven't heard in awhile will give you a few extra songs you hadn't even thought of. You can't go wrong with a love song.
DON'T: You might be tempted to add every Beatles song you own but put a hold on yourself. I try to keep the songs at 2 per artist. Ok, we are talking The Beatles so maybe 4. A good way to cheat your desire to add more songs by one artist than you should is to look for cover songs. The Beatles and most classic rockers have many bands playing tribute to them with excellent versions of their songs. Your guests will love hearing a new twist on old favorites! As long as you don't add too many known songs by one band you'll be good to go. No one wants to hear the same band every other song. Even The Beatles!
DO: Once you have your playlist ready if you have time try to listen to it. If a song doesn't quite fit in you can always go in and delete it. Remember to keep your device charged as you listen. If your device goes dead it will reshuffle when recharged. While you listen you may think of another song you want to download. Write that song down and you can add and delete songs at the same time. When your playlist is finished go ahead and plug it in to charge the night before your party. Hit shuffle songs when you turn it on and that way the music will start at the beginning and won't stop until every song has played.
Now get to jammin' on your new masterpiece and have some summertime fun!
Video: The Beatles - Words of Love (Official)