When hosting a get-together, the music sets the vibe and drives the energy, so opening your music library and hitting shuffle is not an option. Creating the perfect playlist can feel like a daunting task, but it’s actually much easier that you’d think. Just follow these simple rules and your guests will bow down to your curation skills.
Start with the basics
A good playlist is all about the ebb and flow. You want a mix of genres, tempos and moods without any abrupt changes that have people being caught off guard. One of the best ways to attack song order is to move through decades chronologically. Each song is going to remind listeners of another that they’ll want to hear next. So if you play a hit from middle school, people will likely want to hear other faves from that era next. You should also generally avoid playing new tracks no one’s heard of. If you want to test a few, sandwich them between fan favorites.
Know your audience
Playing only your favorite songs is a surefire way to lose control of the playlist. Consider who your audience is and make sure there’s something for everyone. A playlist for your close friends is going to look very different than a playlist for your extended family, including grandma and your 7-year-old niece. If guests are a wide range of ages, consider covers or remixes of older songs to bridge the gap between different generations.
Build an arc
A good playlist should build as the night goes on. At the top of the playlist, keep things mellow. People are arriving, getting drinks and speaking with other guests, so you don’t want to overwhelm them. Also, if people are trying to hold a conversation you don’t want to drown them out with loud party music.
As the night goes on, build the energy by picking up the tempo and playing songs that are easy to dance to like Top 40 hits. As you get to songs with more beats per minute, crank up the volume as well.
Finally, be sure to test the sound quality and volume of your equipment to make sure everything sounds ok. Planning a night out at a bar with a TouchTunes jukebox? Download the TouchTunes app and upload your playlist or build one in real-time without leaving the dance floor.