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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting caught up in popular music? Want to know how to like it and your own favorites? Read on for instructions...

1. Appreciating and liking are two completely different things. Listen to all sorts of music, even if some of it might not be your absolute favorite. You don't have to like the music, just listen to it and try to understand it. Listen to a little bit of everything, from Bach to Billie Holiday to Less Than Jake to Liquid Tension Experiment to Michael Buble to Slayer.
2. Most songs are written for a reason. There is usually a message being sent. If you don't understand it upon first listening to a song, look up the lyrics. This is hard to do in classical music, as there are not necessarily any lyrics. For that, you have to try a little harder when you listen.
3. Don't criticize the first time you listen. Just sit back and let it wash over you. If you start complaining or griping, you have no hope of appreciating it.
4. Do your best to expose yourself to new kinds of music. Go out and buy a random used CD or listen to a different radio station each day. Go on sites like allmusic.com, pandora.com, myspace, or purevolume.com to find new bands.
5. Research underground music or listen to garage rock/pirate radio stations. These types of music are usually unique and tend to expose you to different.ideas and styles. Research music like ska, two-tone, and experimental. All of those less popular genres will help you to better your understanding of different music.
6. Don't limit yourself to "Pop" music. Go for some opera, classical, jazz, techno, reggae, and heavy metal, too. Also, look up music from different countries.

Go to your local library and take out some CDs that you normally wouldn't listen to. That way, if you don't like it, you didn't lose any money! Some music stores allow you to preview a CD with a quick scan of the album, such as Barnes & Noble and FYE. This is also true of most online retailers, and there are many places to find free samples, such as videos on Youtube, Pandora.com, or the band's website. Try it before you buy it!

Be aware of your surroundings. Headbanging at the office usually isn't acceptable. Keep it down. The guy a block over probably isn't as interested as you are in hearing opera or the latest techno remix. It's a hobby, not a chore. Don't feel like you HAVE to go listen to the new track you got RIGHT NOW. Music can be better appreciated if you actually want to listen to it.


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