We’re all so busy!
We love music, we love discovering new bands and songs that fill our days with happy beats but we find it so stressful to find that music, we just don’t have time to waste on duds.
So, we went and asked a bunch of musicians about the best way to find new music that might suit our tastes.
And this is what they told us…
Most streaming platforms now have playlists of new material to discover and will even recommend those playlists as they analyze what you listen to and find compatible music.
You may even find your favorite artists and blogs can point you in the right direction of streaming playlists.
Free Music Apps
Of course, you can make streaming services even more valuable sources of insight by having access to them all the time, even on the move.
And as you can see from our list of the best free music apps, you can access, quite literally, tens of millions of new songs anywhere in the world from a smartphone.
Music-focused Social Media
Music blogs, like those on our list of the best music blogs, Bandcamp and other forms of music-focused social media also make discovering new music a cinch.
You can even subscribe for email notifications from your favorite platforms to effortlessly discover when an exciting new development hits your preferred music scene.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
The easiest way to stay in touch with the artists that you love is to follow them on social media (and this is significantly less creepy than following them around the grocery store).
The artists you love will recommend the music that they love on their feeds and that can make it super easy to dive into new music and the beauty of social media is that there will be links to follow to connect you to that music too.
Word Of Mouth
There’s also the most old school approach of them all, relying on your friends and fellow music fans to point the way.
Tape trading has, in most scenes at least, gone the way of the Dodo but there are plenty of other ways to share new music amongst the dedicated fans in a scene.
And what could be better than cranking up some tunes when you’re socializing with your mates?
Live Shows – Support Acts
So many people go to live shows and skip the supporting acts because they haven’t heard of them, but that’s exactly the wrong way to go about it.
A support act is a chance to try something new that either the band you’ve come to see loves or the band’s label loves.
You’ve paid for the ticket, you might as well get the full value out of it and if they turn out to be terrible (it happens)? Then you’ll have a funny story to share with your friends.
Live Shows – Flyers
You’ll also find that live shows tend to attract a lot of musicians looking to make a name for themselves and handing out flyers advertising new material or even the occasional CD sampler or two is standard practice.
If you collect up those flyers and then check out the websites advertised on them, you might just discover the next big thing before anyone else does.
Oh, and if you’re in a band, you can make your own flyers at Canva and make it easier to discover your work.
Record Label Mailing Lists
The record labels may not have had the best decades since digital came along but they still have websites and mailing lists and promo material.
If you love a band, head over to their label’s site and sign up for the mailing list, you’ll get plenty of news on new music which should be, at least sort of, similar to the music you like.
You might even get invited to join a street team or two and get some bonus freebies.
You should never judge a book or album by its cover, but we do and we like to do so (see our favorite album covers here) and the best place to do so is in a music store.
Your local music store is not just a great place to discover new music on the shelf, if you talk to the people who work there, you’ll find they’re a goldmine of information on new releases and hidden gems.
OK, Rolling Stone, NME, etc. may have had better days too but they’re still going strong and they can bring you a range of diverse musical insights and opportunities that you might not get from more focused music media.
One thing we do love about old media is its ability to identify and communicate new live music opportunities in your area and to do so before tickets are sold out (most of the time).
Final Thoughts On Ways To Discover New Music
Listening to new music is an awesome experience but it can be kind of daunting to go looking for things not knowing if you’ll like what you hear.
Fortunately, as our musician friends have noted, it’s much easier to discover new music that you’ll love than you might think.