6 ways to find songs stuck in your head, your new favorite track, and more

May 15

TL;DR: Trying to find a song but not getting anywhere? Here are six tips and tricks to help you out!

Most of us discover new music by branching off songs, albums, and artists we already enjoy. While there are fewer record shop owners to ask for guidance these days, we have plenty of tools to help us find new stuff to listen to

Whether you're trying to find similar-sounding artists and songs, desperately need the name of something you heard but can't place, or simply want to discover repeat-worthy additions to your playlists, we've got some ideas.

1. Improve your listening to find more songs

The more you listen to music, the broader pool of references you'll have to pull from when trying to find a song that sounds like another song.

The more clearly you hear a song, the deeper each reference will become in your mind, expanding the number of other songs you could potentially relate it to down the line. 

When listening, you can optimize the sound of each song with a capable set of headphones, like this noise-canceling pair from Beats, that's designed to amplify the intricacies of a production. 

2. Study music to find a song you like

Beyond listening with better headphones, taking the time to study music can broaden your perspective when you're looking for songs that "sound like X." 

From online piano lessons to in-depth Ableton production courses, the internet is rich with options designed to enrich your music knowledge.

The more you study, the more you can discover connections between music from different times and places. Some of the latest hits today are inspired by riffs, lyrics, chords, and hooks from tunes of decades past (The Strokes, T-Swift, and Avril Lavigne are just some artists that do this!).

Knowing those associations could further help you find new songs to love (or finally place that one track that's stuck in your head!).

3. Create radio stations with streaming apps

While learning about music can help you identify similar songs, sometimes it's nice to outsource the process. 

It might slip your mind that Spotify and Pandora can generate radio stations of similar songs, based on whatever you input. It may not help you find a specific song since you'll be limited to what's on the platform and random play, but it's a frictionless way to gain wide exposure to a style.

Bonus? Beating decision fatigue. The create-a-station feature gets you right to the music.

4. Ask a bot to make a playlist or song for you

Unless you've seriously been off the grid, you know we have a wealth of chatbots out there with the entire internet's knowledge at their disposal. 

One way to find songs that sound like another song or artist you like to listen to is to ask ChatGPT or a similar program for a recommendation or a playlist. 

Another more creative option: You could create a song inspired by anything else with an AI music generator or by maybe combining one with your own independently produced inspirations!

5. Have a friend help you find a song

While there are still some record shops around (we wish there were more!), there are plenty of music lovers out there forging new paths, jamming, and sharing. It doesn't hurt to ask a friend to help you find similar songs.

Want to go a step further? Letting those friends or even strangers take over the playlist for a bit is a great way to hear new stuff. Having a portable and durable speaker that you can take to parties and on adventures could open you up to a world of great listening and enriched relationships. 

6. Find a song with Songs Like X

Songs Like X is a service that's designed to help you "find new music that sounds similar to your favorite songs." 

The platform's interface makes the search process as simple as possible. Head to Songs Like X, type in the name of a song in the search bar, and then it will deliver a list of similar options for your listening.

Just entering one song on this service could help create your new favorite playlist!

Finding songs and discovering music in new ways

You might be trying to find a song for reasons that have nothing to do with hearing similar music. Fortunately, the internet has tools for those times, too.

Did you know you can search for a song just by humming it to Google? This can be a lifesaver when a vague tune or beat is stuck in your head and you're trying to place it!

You can also listen to new music by sourcing a wide range of public playlists available on streaming platforms.

And when you have specific inspiration in mind, you can always turn back to these tips and tricks!

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