Finding unique music to sample is hard work. It requires patience, dedication, and special listening skills.
But if you want a shortcut, look no further than music blogs.
Music blogs are a goldmine for online crate digging
The biggest reason to use music blogs is for music discovery. These blogs cover a vast range of musical styles, from rock and electronic to jazz and world music. This diverse selection allows you to discover unique sounds and textures that might not be easily accessible through other means.
Music bloggers are usually passionate about what they do. As a result, their selections are often thoughtfully curated based on their personal taste or expertise in a particular genre. By following these blogs, you can tap into their knowledge and benefit from their years of experience in uncovering hidden gems.
Even better, some music blogs provide additional context for each record. For instance, you can find blogs that share editorial content or music reviews. You can also find blogs that share previews and downloads for offline listening. This can be a great way to trial the music before you purchase a physical version.
So, now that we’ve covered why you should use music blogs for crate digging, let’s take a look at how you can make the most of them.
1. Focus on niche music blogs
The biggest opportunity is finding blogs that specialize in a particular niche. A niche music blog is a website dedicated to promoting music from specific genres, sub-genres, or underground scenes. Unlike mainstream media outlets or general music blogs that cover a wide range of genres, these blogs focus on specific musical niches. This singular attention allows them to curate and showcase hidden gems that might not get widespread recognition elsewhere.
To find the right niche music blogs, it’s important to identify the type of sound you’re looking to create. Do you want music with jazzy elements? Or maybe you’re after those classic funk vibes? Knowing what style you’re aiming for will guide your search and make it easier to filter through the vast amount of sites available.
Once you know what you’re looking for, start with a simple search using relevant keywords like “niche genre name + blog”. This approach can help you discover blogs dedicated to your desired genres.
2. Find blogs that share obscure records
Another consideration is whether the blog features lesser-known content. Blogs that share obscure records can help you find samples that haven’t been overused or exhausted. This allows you to add freshness and originality that can set your music apart.
Of course, finding blogs that feature rare content is challenging. Your best chance at finding these hidden blogs is to participate in online music communities. Find groups that consist of passionate listeners, and ask for suggestions. Most of the time, these spaces have enthusiasts who are happy to share their discoveries.
Alternatively, I recommend trying out Crate Stash. Crate Stash is a powerful tool designed specifically for producers seeking obscure samples from online sources like vinyl blogs. It provides a searchable database where you can find and explore a variety of handpicked blogs tailored to specific genres and sub-genres.
3. Use search filters
Once you’ve found a blog with suitable music, you can use filters to narrow your search.
Many music blogs categorize their posts by genre, artist, or theme, making it easier for you to explore specific types of samples. For example, if you’re looking for soulful samples, you can browse through the “Soul” category or search for posts tagged with “soul.” This way, you can quickly filter out irrelevant posts and focus on finding the samples that resonate with your style.
Another option is to search by keyword. Most blogs have a search bar where you can type in keywords or phrases related to the type of music you’re looking for. For instance, if you want to find instrumental tracks, simply type “instrumental” into the search bar and see what results pop up. This method allows you to discover posts specifically tailored to your needs.
While using search filters is a valuable strategy for finding samples on a music blog, it’s also important to be open-minded and explore beyond these constraints. Sometimes, unexpected gems can be found by stepping outside your usual comfort zone. When browsing through a particular category or tag on a blog, take note of any related categories or tags that catch your eye. By expanding your search to these areas, you might stumble upon new and interesting samples that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
4. Follow the rabbit holes
If you come across a sample on a blog that piques your interest, don’t just stop there. Dive deeper by exploring the artists mentioned in the post or clicking on links to related tracks. This practice can lead you down a rabbit hole of discovery, exposing you to an array of potential samples.
Another effective strategy is finding similar artists or albums based on records you already know and enjoy. Many music blogs include recommended or related content sections within their posts or sidebar menus. These sections often highlight artists with similar styles or albums with a comparable sound.
If you come across a blog you enjoy, take some time to explore its blogroll or recommendations. There’s often a community of like-minded blogs within the same genre or scene that share similar content and taste. By finding additional blogs through these connections, you’ll expand your sample discovery network even further.
5. Stay organized with the blogs you follow
Once you’ve found a few music blogs that consistently provide samples aligned with your musical style and preferences, make them a regular part of your routine. Create a schedule for checking your favorite blogs. Decide how often you want to check them: once a week, every few days, or even daily if you have the time. Consistency is key here, so make sure to stick to your schedule and set aside dedicated time for browsing through the blog’s content.
As you browse through music blogs, it’s important to save and organize the samples that catch your attention. You could bookmark them in your web browser, create a dedicated folder on your computer, or use sample management software. Properly organizing your samples will save you time in the long run and make it easier to locate the right sound when inspiration strikes.
It’s worth noting that music blogs come and go, so it’s essential to keep exploring and discover new ones regularly. Use Crate Stash for an up-to-date database of sources so you never run out of inspiration, even if your go-to sites are no longer available. You might find hidden gems on both established favorites and new sites added to the library.
Avoid This Common Mistake…
The last thing to remember is this:
You can learn all the skills, tactics, and tools in the world…
But nothing will save your beats if you choose the wrong samples.
Too many producers struggle because they try to make beats with limited inspiration. This causes them to force sounds that don’t belong.
That’s why it’s crucial to dig for the right samples.
This training shows you a simple test you can use to uncover the perfect samples in 30 seconds or less.
It’s perfect for sample-based producers of all experience levels.
Don’t miss your chance to overcome this common mistake.