We all love music and we all have music we love listening to, but how often do YOU get out of your comfort zone and try exploring, and try to discover music that is unfamiliar to you? Most of us do not do that very often. By NOT exploring, we are missing out on a huge piece of the music puzzle that can take our enjoyment of music levels to the sky! Discovering new stuff can range from young bands from your country to totally different music genres or another countries’ “takes” on your already favorable genres, listening to other albums from your favorite artist and much more. Go as wide as you can think about.
I used to stay in the “favorite music shell” myself and listen mostly to my classic rock music, only rarely listening to new music or making an effort to discover new music. Later I realized, that especially as a musician, exploring and discovering new music that I love can have immense benefits for me, among them:
1 – Music Is A Huge And Unexpected World And You Never Know What Will Be The Next Genre You Can Get Hooked On When You Discover New Music.
And you will probably never know if you will not go out and actively look for it. That is why I love looking for new genres and especially through international and world music. “Putumayo“ is my favorite label for doing that. They regularly come out with colorful releases of compilations that expose you to music of different cultures from all over the world. Whenever I feel like chillin’ at home, I can play one of their albums such as “Bossa Novas from around the world”, “Acoustic Africa” which is one of my faves, “Brazilian Cafe”, “Music From Australia”, “French Classics” and so on. Right now I already have more than 30 cd’s from Putumayo. The always-funky cover arts are also cool. Please tell us in the comments about more similar compilations that you know of! Putumayo on iTunes / Amazon.
2 – Having The Excitement Of New Songs More Often.
I am sure you all know the feeling of rush when you get a new song or songs into your playlist and you are in cloud nine whenever you listen to them, at least for the first few days. Well, why not have that feeling more often and keep being excited about new music at least once a week? This is very easy to do today with all the music discovery apps. Always keep the flame on!
3 – Mixing Your Sound Up With Different Influences.
This is the biggest benefit if you create music yourself in my opinion . Every song in this world had influences on his own creation. By getting fresh sounds into your mind all the time, you get new ideas for song topics, for your instrumental choices, vocal elements that you can add and so much more. For example, I took the “scats” from the jazz and added them to a couple of my songs.
4 – Discover Affection For New Languages!
When I started listening to some world music, I quickly fell in love with spanish and Portuguese. Nothing sounds sexy as a smooth bossa nova sung by a Brazilian girl. Some languages are much more musical than others and it’s a joy to find them, and you might find you’re fond of entirely different languages than I did. French, Italian, English with an Aussie accent, Japanese… Human beings all over the world has their own charm for the language they speak.
5 – You Discover Totally Different Ways To Play Your Instrument.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a guitarist or a flutist, in a lot of countries there is a distinct way to play your instrument of choice, and you can learn and get tons of inspiration and new vibes in your head by listening to it. Think of the Spanish guitar sounds of the nylon strings played super-fast with finger picking, compared to the very American acoustic guitar that’s strumming chords. Think of African djembe drums sounds compared to the banging rock drumset or the delicate Jazzy swing This brings us also to the next point:
6 – You Find Out About More Instruments!
This one is always one of the coolest. Most of us are familiar mainly with instruments that became popular in the modern western culture, but there are thousands of musical instruments out there, and you might even discover something that you like so much that you will want to learn it yourself. Think about marimbas. (yeah, the one from the iPhone ringtone) A Japanese Shakuhachi flute, Jaw Harp and many more. These range from pretty ridiculous ones to totally legit musical instruments that we might have never heard.
7 – You Discover Awesome New Bands.
If you choose to stay more in the “Western” area, there are still in America alone thousands of great new bands every year that you will probably never get to hear unless you will actively look for them. Bandcamp is my favorite tool for doing this, and it is also very friendly to the new bands in terms of helping them get their stuff out and even get some money for it.
So How To Discover New Music?
First of all, you can look for new music online easily! My favorite tool is a free and very simple, yet very feature rich app called “Jango”. It is also available for free on the PC and basically every platform you can think of. You can start up a “station” just by naming a favorite artist and get similar music immediately, but my favorite is sorting through their lists of stations, and they have a ton. For example by clicking on the “Jazz” category you instantly see almost 30 sub-stations for different kinds
of jazz. A true pleasure.
Pandora is also a great option but it is not available outside of the US and in my opinion it is not as fun and intuitive to use as Jango.
Besides that, whenever I have the opportunity to go see a concert nearby that sounds like it might be DIFFERENT, I jump on it. Recently I attended a classical music concert at a local arts festival while I was traveling in New Zealand and also a “Sound Of Asia” concert by a very special group from Taiwan. Music fests and arts fest are usually full of good stuff like that so be on the lookout.
That’s it fellas, widen your horizons, and you will see how your whole musical experience is taken to new levels of enjoyment! Let us know in the comments about more music discovery options that you know of!
Peace and have fun, always look for more good stuff and discover new music!
Thank you for reading.
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