So you’ve decided to make a playlist. In your head, you thought this was going to be easy, but now you’re six songs in and don’t know where to go. Here’s the official step-by-step guide to ensuring your brand new list is perfect, top to bottom. 

Playlists, whether you realise it or not, make the world go round. In fact, in the centre of the Earth itself is a playlist, constantly running, and that is in fact what keeps the planet functioning.

House parties, dinner parties, playlists for certain moods, lists for your commute to work, lists dedicated to lovers, lists dedicated to yourself, the list goes on. Whatever the reason, everyone has tried to make a playlist at some point in time, and has also realised that when you get about 20 songs in, you hit a wall.

In this guide, I, the self-declared playlist aficionado for Tone Deaf, will help guide you through making the best playlist you possibly can.

Step 1: Why are you making this playlist?

First of all, you have to know why exactly you’re making this playlist in question. Are you trying to have the perfect music for a party? Or maybe make an 80s themed playlist? Perhaps a playlist for working out. A playlist is perfect for when you want perfectly curated music, and don’t want to leave things up to the devilish hands of Shuffle.

Start off with a name, and you’ll feel the creative juices flowing from there. For this example, I’ve made “Tone Deaf’s Perfect 2019 Playlist.” Why am I making it? To educate, obviously, but also to showcase incredible songs from 2019 specifically. I’ve set the parameters for myself, I know what kind of music will be going in, and I’ll be sticking to my own rules.

Tone Deaf Playlist

Step 2: Start with the essentials

Usually, playlists come about when you hear a song and think, this would be perfect for a playlist! Take that inspiration and start off by adding five to ten songs that you think are absolutely essential for your playlist. That’s all you need for now!

Now, give the list a description that will drive you, and tell yourself/others what the playlist is all about. For extra flair and creative inspiration, attach an image to the list, they’re easier to find that you’d think. Now that you’ve made the list your own, you’ve got the first shining beginnings of a musical list of your very own!

For our example, here’s one I prepared earlier in the oven. The image was inspired by the theme of 2019, and the description is equally as fitting.

2019 Playlist

Step 3: Give it some time

Now is the time to start putting in every song that you can think of that would be perfect on your list. The trick is though, as soon as you hit a roadblock and start endlessly searching for perfect songs, stop. A playlist doesn’t need to be made in one day, in fact, all the best ones are made over time.

Playlists are forever, so treat them like long-term projects that get better with age. Whenever you hear another song that you think would be perfect for the list, take that as your brain letting you know you’re ready to update your list with a fresh batch of around 10 songs. Sooner or later, your playlist will become the perfect length. It took some time and patience for me to realise that a good song to add to this list would be this jam right here.

Check out ‘Shoot to Forget’ by Olympia:

Play

Step 4: Try out your new creation

Give your playlist a few listens! If it’s a list for chilling and studying, then do just that and put the list on. There may be a song that comes on that really makes you think, “why did I put this on?” Now is the time to make those small edits that make the playlist perfect.

Step 5: Your playlist is finished!

Congratulations! Your playlist is complete! Now you can listen and enjoy the fruits of your labour, and hopefully, everyone else enjoys it too if the list was for a party. Now go forth and spread the music! Happy list-making kids!