• College On Tap

Tips to Be Better on Aux

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Being on aux is a bitter-sweet scenario. If the crowd deems you “good on aux” one night, you have more clout, people compliment your music, and life is good. If you flop on aux, you’ll receive a lot of passive aggressive comments, and feel pretty down. The truth is, even if you’re great on aux, sometimes you’re going to be off your game. You just want to make sure the majority of the time, you are decent at it. Also, you want good music to enjoy when you’re by yourself, and just in very small groups. The main key is lots of preparation which we will go more tips for shortly. In the past, we’ve given song suggestions in our articles, which we will continue to do, but we figured this would help people boost their own library of music.

As I mentioned right above, preparation is key. Music is always a reflection of a mood or vibe in a room. If you’re prepared for any vibe, mood, or group of people, then aux won’t be a challenge at all. Obviously, it is impossible to cover EVERY one of those, but you can find playlists that you enjoy, and will fit your needs most of the time. The question becomes, how can I prepare? Well, you need to make playlists, and a lot of them. This won’t always come quickly but will happen over time. Some people are pretty loose about what they put on a playlist. On the other hand, I’m very particular and make sure songs I put in my playlists, I like the sound of AND they match the vibe of the playlist. Starting a playlist can happen a few different ways.

1. You are in a situation and you can kind of hear the song you want, but don’t have the playlist for it. Maybe it’s “ugh I wish I had a great playlist for long car rides.” Now you have the mood or theme, and next you need the songs. Then, as you listen to songs you know, or knew songs, keep an ear out for songs that match what you want for that playlist.

2. You can hear one specific song or maybe a few and go, “I love that song so much, I need a killer playlist that matches that.” For me, making playlists off of one song always proves to be difficult because no other song I hear is as amazing as the one I’m in love with at that moment. To avoid that issue, don’t be too attached that nothing is perfect enough for it. No playlist is perfect and having enough songs so that you can skip some at times is important.

3. As I hear a bunch of songs overtime, I usually like them and them accumulate a list of my liked songs. Once I have a bunch on there (anywhere from 50-100) I start sorting through and see what songs may fit well on a playlist I already have, or maybe start a new one.

4. After a while of adding songs, sometimes I get playlists with 100 songs or maybe more. I’d say a decent rule of thumb is that after 50 songs, you could probably break up your playlist into more specific vibes. In other words, 50 is usually the max amount I need on a playlist. So, if I get to 100, I usually like to split them up. For example, once I had a playlist of 100 songs with pretty slow songs, some acoustic. At 100 I realized a bunch of them have a more upbeat sounds, and another group is just downright side music. That’s when I decided to split them into too playlist. They both are still playlists with slow songs, but one is for maybe studying, and the other is for DEEP in the bag.

So that helps with how to decide how to make the playlists, but we need to take a step back even further and say, how do I find the songs? There are obviously many ways to do this, but I’ll give some of my favorites. Find a few Spotify curated playlists that you like, where they mix it up every week or so. This will help you hear what is up to date and find some new songs in genres you like. You definitely won’t like every song on the playlist, and some weeks are better than others, but still give them a listen and see what you can find. Another way is playing attention to what your friends are listening to and save those songs. If they like it, and you like it, then it must be a good song to save. Don’t let those gems slip away! Social media is also a great way to find music. Some people on TikTok only focus on ranking music, introducing you to new music, or the TikToks themselves have music in the background. The app is filled with music so find what you like and save it to your library of music.

Overall, be creative and always ready for change. Find that vibe but always have a good read of who you are with. Understand what they like, what they sing along to, or if it’s a chill vibe what that entails too. I’m the kind of person who likes a lot of different types of music. This means when I’m with my friends I can really adapt to what my friend like who I’m with at that time. In a crowd, you can even understand what type of music they gravitate towards on the whole. This may seem a little complicated, but rather than saying there is a science to it, I’d opt to say there is a “flow” to picking the right music. Remember the more playlist you have, the better. This will allow to have more options in any given situation. Always be looking out for new music. Lastly, enjoy! Music is supposed to be fun, not stressful. When I can’t tell what people want to hear, or feel they are uninterested, I like to just pass the aux off. No shame in that either, better than people not enjoying their night, including you!

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