How to make a great playlist

I’ve learned in the last year or two that I really enjoy putting together music playlists. It started when I regularly played pick-up volleyball here in Nashville. There was often music as the backdrop, provided by some random person who was also there to play.

I began thinking about what songs I’d add to a playlist so I worked on it. Besides falling in love with Spotify, I eventually came up with a playlist that I thought was worthy to share on one of those volleyball nights.

Now, I will share with you tiny nuggets of advice I’ve learned since then.

  1. You aren’t just picking songs you like, you are choosing music that creates an atmosphere.

Think about all the folks that will be hearing the music. What might they like? What is the event? Obviously, if you’re making a playlist for sports, it’s going to be different than a playlist for a funeral, a wedding, Sunday mornings, etc. Pick songs that fit the environment. That’s the most critical part of all of this.

2. Think about beats per minute.

This isn’t always necessary but if you’re coming up with a “hype” playlist, say for a pre-game football warm-up, you’re not going to be playing Jack Johnson music. You’ll want something that has a good drum beat, rocking guitar, or lots of bass. Rap music works really well in this situation, just also be aware of the lyrics as most of them are “explicit” these days. Another example is a playlist I have for running. I’ve learned that there are certain songs that help me run faster, and there are some that do nothing for me. The higher beats per minute, the more motivated I am to run faster. I have a post about that here. Back to Jack Johnson, if you’re putting together music for sand volleyball, he definitely is someone to check out for the laid back beachy vibe.

3. If you have a chance, ask people for a few songs they like.

This is easy to do if you’re part of an organized team. Just check in with your teammates on what songs they like, what songs get them pumped. You can add those songs as well as other songs you’ve discovered that fit the environment of the event.

4. Most of the time, lyrics are secondary.

Especially for something like pick-up volleyball, softball, mostly any sport actually, you won’t want to use songs where it’s important to listen to the lyrics. The sport being played is the #1 focus, so anything that distracts from that (trying to listen to lyrics) is counterproductive. That’s a no-no. With all that said, it is totally OK to have a theme! If you’re school or team is the Tigers, for instance, it might be fun to include songs that fit with a tiger, “Eye of the Tiger,” is an easy example.

Putting together playlists is so fun. I love doing it. If you are into it too, just be sure to have fun! Definitely include music you like because chances are other people like the music you like. Just remember to think about the playlist in terms of the listener, not just yourself.

Do you have any additional points we can add to this list? Chime in with a comment below. Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Volleyball Spotify playlist

Yesterday I posted a playlist designed for your softball games, but below is a list compiled for volleyball, either sand or indoor. While the softball playlist is mostly hip hop, rap, and a few rock songs (music to get you psyched up for homerun hitting, outfield catching, pitcher striking out batters, even in slow pitch), this volleyball list is designed to be chill and mostly relaxed. There is still rap, don’t get me wrong, but it’s about conjuring up good feelings, happiness, and it’s meant to be a compliment to the fun atmosphere that volleyball should be. Check it out and let me know if you have songs that should be on this list!

-Out of the Wilderness

Softball Spotify playlist

Are you in need of an awesome playlist for your sports team? Well, take a look at the playlist I put together for my adult co-ed softball team. The list is ever-changing, but I think this list is a homerun and will make you the unofficial DJ of your sports team. Check it out below or search for me on Spotify and find the most current playlist there.

For a list specifically designed for volleyball, check back tomorrow. This list is more about mostly chill music that’s perfect for background, good vibes.

-Out of the Wilderness

Adventure week part 1

Greetings! Today is Friday and it’s technically the last day of a week I’ve titled “Adventure Week!” I did so because for the last month or two, I was in a routine. Not a rut, per se, but just doing each day without many bells and whistles. That’s all fine and good, but I knew things needed to be shaken up!

img_20190805_1323232843207081375152261.jpgThe first day of this week-long adventure kicked off with an early afternoon movie at a local theater. I actually love going to watch movies but haven’t been in many, many months. So I treated myself to a movie I’d been wanting to see since I first knew about it; Yesterday. Great movie! I almost cried multiple times (in a good way), and laughed often. The plot of the movie really intrigued me and although they never really address the why and how of what happened in the movie– everyone in the world except for a handful of people never knowing of the Beatles (or Coke, or Harry Potter, also)– it was fantastic. And I’m not even a die-hard Beatles fan.

On this, the second day of Adventure week, I went kayaking. I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t been all year, in spite of having kayaks at my disposal all day every day. So I hit up a nearby lake and it was extremely satisfying. I mostly stayed close to the shoreline because I like to see turtles and birds and whatever other creatures pop up.


I decided to do a repeat of Tuesday, so I went out to the same lake but launched from a different park. Just like Tuesday, kayaking was a big success. On both days, I ventured out in the late afternoon so by the time I was paddling, the sun wasn’t scorching and I was able to be on the water as it neared dusk. Very fun!


I kinda cheated on the Adventure week because I didn’t really plan something special for this day… I did what I’ve been doing the last few weeks on Thursdays… play volleyball. I absolutely love playing and at a particular sand volleyball court area, a bunch of folks show up on Thursday to play pick-up volleyball. So it’s a great chance to see friends I’ve made out there, and make new friends. Now I’ll admit something, it wasn’t as fun as it’s been in the past and I don’t know exactly why, but evenso, it was still a great time on the court.

Friday… today.
Today is still a mystery but I have a few ideas for Adventure Week. Check back soon and I’ll have an update!!

Thanks for reading, have an adventurous day!

-Out of the Wilderness

While I wait…

The other day I was fixing to play volleyball with a friend, but had a few extra minutes so I decided to take some pictures with my Nokia 6.1 –warning: I receive compensation through my Amazon Associates account for an transaction made through this link, but hey, if you need a great smart phone and don’t care to follow the iPhone masses, the Nokia is exceptional!– OK where was I? Oh yes, pictures. Here are a few from around the volleyball courts.


-Out of the Wilderness