For as long as I can remember, music has been a ubiquitous part my studying—and life. I remember how at first I needed to swap CDs in and out of my Walkman [(knowledge insert: the first CD Walkman, or Discman, came out in 1984], essentially alternating between the handful of CDs I loved—oh the times spent listening to that Meteora CD by Linkin Park.
Back then—I’m making myself sound slightly prehistoric, albeit this “era” of mine I’m referring to was roughly 10-15 years ago—no one had the luxury of choosing between millions of songs at any given place, at any given time.
Today, with the copious amounts of music applications, people have the possibility to virtually—[insert reaction: Is that pun intended?] [Ominous response: yes, yes, yes!]— listen to anything they want. I find this amazing! It allows me to discover music easier and quicker than when I had to go to HMV, put on a set of headphones available on the second floor in the CD section, and sift through the different CDs that were on “audio display”. But to be honest, I enjoyed doing this quite a bit.
Moving on to the topic of this post: what type of music makes me productive.
I listen to a wide array of musical genres. My choice is often contingent on the task at hand. Over and above that, I tend to go through phases that last a few months at a time. However, I have a pith set of genres that I outrightly prefer—these are ranked in the order that they are coming to mind as I write this and not in order of preference:
Heavy Metal: I have loved heavy metal ever since I hit the double digits. My first concert was Linkin Park in 2003. Not really considered heavy metal, but they did have some relatively heavy songs on some of their first albums. Whenever I need to get into a mindset of “s**t needs to be done, right now”, I put on some In Flames and the ball gets rolling—and banging and screaming.
Classical: another genre that has withstood the test of time is classical music; my grand-father was a pianist, and as a result I heard him playing the piano quite often in my childhood. I listen to classical—my favorite is solo piano classical music—when I want to relax at night when I’m on my laptop or for the same reason I mentioned for heavy metal—although I choose classical when my ears request softer sound sources.
EDM—drum and bass; slow deep house: I started listening to electronic dance music (EDM) around 8-10 years ago. It is a genre for me that comes and goes with time, and thus my listening habits of EDM are paroxysmal. To name a few artists I appreciate: Camo & Krooked, Metrik, David August and all the latest Anjunadeep albums.
Pop-rock: my selection of artist in this genre are the ones who ressemble Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, or Drew Holcomb and The Neighboors. I went through a phase this past summer of about 6 months listening only to this genre, and it has slowly started to fade to give way to some drum and bass [loud sound insert: wanh wanh wanhhhh].
There are several other styles of music that I listen to, but these four represent the majority of the fodder for my ears.
What are your favourite genres for getting productive? Are they different from when you want to relax? Do you need non-vocal music if you need to be productive?
Side note: music with vocals are not detrimental to my productivity. Feeding music that elate my ears is all I need to put my instant gratification monkey back where he belongs—reference to this TED talk.