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How to Make the Perfect Playlist: Secret Tips

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Making playlists is a surprisingly deep art form.

While you can just stick a few songs into a playlist without much thought, you'll need to spend more time creating a truly awesome playlist if you want to make a more compelling listening experience.

This guide gives you a range of tips to help you make better playlists. From selection to ordering, and the software tools you need.

You'll be able to make playlists like a pro by the end of this guide!

TL;DR - How To Make a Good Playlist#

  • Putting thought into your playlists makes a more enjoyable listening experience.

  • Pay attention to the selection and ordering of music.

  • Refine your playlists over time, and get feedback for the best results.

  • DJ.Studio helps you to craft quality playlists, and easily convert them into seamless, DJ-style mixes.

Check out our other guide on How to Make a DJ Playlist: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

How to Make a Great Playlist: Step-by-Step#

This section outlines the best process to make playlists, as well as highlighting important considerations for each stage.

  1. Define the Playlist Theme - Before selecting any songs, you might want to think about what specific vibe or different moods you want to include. This can help to guide the rest of the playlist creation process.

    1. Mood or Atmosphere - Decide what mood you want to set. Is it for relaxation, a party, or a workout session?

    2. Theme - Consider if you want the playlist to have a specific theme, such as a certain era, genre, or lyrical content. Maybe you only want to use new music, or perhaps only play songs from the same artist.

    3. Audience - Think about who will be listening. Is this playlist for personal use, a friend, or a broader audience?

  2. Select your Music Library/Platform

    1. Many different music libraries and platforms have playlisting features. Some are better than others.

    2. Think about where you plan on using the playlist, and if you plan on sharing it.

    3. Spotify playlists are great, as is Apple Music, but YouTube is probably the easiest to share.

  3. Think About Playlist Length - You can set a playlist length before you start working, or you can come back to it later. It can be handy to have a rough idea of how long you want the playlist to be as you start, so you can gauge how many songs to include, and avoid adding too many songs.

  4. Add Key Tracks - When you have all the above variables planned out, you can start to add songs to your playlist.

    1. One useful technique is to start with a larger pool, and then trim it down to be more focussed.

    2. Alternatively, you could start with a small selection of tunes that perfectly fit the vibe of your playlist, and then work to find songs that follow nicely.

  5. Build Around Your Key Tracks

    1. Variety: Include a mix of songs from different artists, genres, or eras, but make sure they all align with the overall mood or theme.

    2. Flow: Pay attention to how the songs transition from one to the next. Consider the tempo, key, and energy level of the songs to create a smooth flow.

  6. Arrange an Order - The order of songs can make or break a playlist, and is where a lot of the artistry of this craft comes into play. You might want to start with a few attention-grabbing tracks and then vary the tempo and energy level to keep it interesting. Make sure you start with a great song that sets the mood and tone for the rest of the journey.

    1. Consider Key and BPM - When it comes to arranging the playlist, you should pay attention to the musical key and bpm of the tracks. While this requires a basic understanding of music theory (and some analysis tools), using harmonic mixing and beat matching will make your playlist incredibly cohesive, flowing, and professional. You can use software like DJ.Studio to take care of this stage for you.

  7. Review and Refine - Listen to your playlist from start to finish. Make sure the transitions feel natural and the overall vibe stays consistent. Don’t be afraid to remove songs that don’t fit or to add new ones that might work better.

  8. Name, Artwork, and Finalize Playlist - A creative and descriptive title can attract listeners and set the expectations for the playlist’s vibe. Many streaming services allow you to add a description and custom artwork. Use this to further express the theme or mood of the playlist

  9. Share and Get Feedback - Share your playlist with friends or the public. Be open to feedback and willing to make adjustments based on listeners’ experiences.

Following these steps will get you on the path to mastering this delicate art form.

It’s about more than just selecting songs; it’s about storytelling through music, creating an experience, and evoking emotions. By following the steps above you'll be able to create highly engaging and entertaining playlists.

Experimentation is essential. By testing out a wider range of music in playlists, you'll be able to get a better perception of which songs work and which don't.

By experimenting with a wider range of music you'll be able to become a better selector and pick more meaningful and flowing songs.

DJ.Studio is incredibly useful in this regard, as you can experiment with any song on YouTube and Spotify for free, as well as use the flexible playlist interface to quickly try out new orders.

Making Better Playlists and Mixes with DJ.Studio#

Playlists are good in some situations, although the gaps between tracks and slow transitions can break the immersion. For the most flowing experience, you'll want to create seamless transitions and fades between each song, so there aren't any unwanted gaps.

While you might think that achieving this is locked behind technical barriers and software skills, you can convert your playlist into DJ-style mixes with only a few button clicks and no technical knowledge thanks to DJ.Studio.

DJ.Studio is a new app, which is loved by both professional DJs and humble music lovers. The main purpose of this tool is to create DJ mixes - no decks or DJ gear required. The workflow is simple enough to be used by people with no DJing experience, but it also has the depth and precision for advanced DJs.

The workflow for making playlists and seamless mixes is simple:

  1. Open the app (either installed on your PC, or run in your browser)

  2. Create a project - You can use Local File mode for downloads, or YouTube mode to mix music from streaming sources like YouTube and Spotify.

  3. Create a playlist - Import music to your library, and select tracks you want to use in your playlist. You can import entire playlists from YouTube or Spotify when using a YouTube project. You can then order the playlist manually, or...

  4. Automix - DJ.Studio has a powerful automix tool that is ideal for playlist inspiration - it automatically orders your tracks based on key and tempo and applies smart transition presets to get the flow rolling.

  5. Refine your mix - Use the timeline editor to craft your mix in as much detail as you want. You can use presets if you're not technically minded, or use the manual controls to sculpt your mix however you desire.

  6. Export - When you're happy with your mixed playlist, you can rapidly export it. It can be rendered to a .mp3, .wav, audio-reactive YouTube video, and other playlist formats.

DJ.Studio is designed to make it incredibly easy to convert playlists into seamless mixes. This tool means you can make your playlists more immersive, and get deeper on the storytelling and flow crafting.

This is great for humble music lovers who want to make a cooler playlist, or for a pro DJ working in a club or radio station. DJ.Studio also works with YouTube - learn more about Creating a Playlist in YouTube.

You can try it yourself for free with the 14-day trial. You might also want to learn How to Make a Dance Party Playlist.

Finally...#

Now you're ready to make the best playlists of your life! I recomend learning How To Create A Playlist Using ChatGPT for some extra speed

With the advice and workflows above, paired with the playlisting powers of DJ.Studio, you'll be able to get deeper into the art of crafting perfect playlists.

From preparation and experimentation to transition crafting and speedy exporting, DJ.Studio kits you out with all the tools you need to excel.

Try it for free now!

FAQs About Making Good Playlists

How do you make a perfect music playlist?
What are some good playlist ideas?
How many songs make a good playlist?

Excited to start mixing?