How to Use Spotify to Dig for Samples


Spotify is not only the biggest music streaming platform, but it’s also a useful tool for sample hunting. And while it may have some shortcomings for online crate digging, it still has features that can help to uncover fresh samples.

When to use Spotify to dig for samples

Spotify is best used for music discovery. With over 70 million songs available, you’ll have access to a massive collection of music from different genres, eras, and styles. This wide variety opens up opportunities for uncovering musical styles that you would never otherwise know about.

And as you find artists whose music has potential for sampling, you can use Spotify to dive into their discographies to find more sampling opportunities.

But keep in mind that Spotify also has some limitations for e-diggers. First, it doesn’t allow you to download audio. Second, its catalog is focused on more popular music, which means you won’t find as many obscure tracks. For these reasons, I suggest supplementing your efforts with a tool like Crate Stash to find rare records that don’t exist on Spotify. But if you’re just getting started and need a quick way to listen to different music, then Spotify is the way to go.

Now, let’s dive into some strategies for finding samples on Spotify.

Search by mood or theme

A great way to start your search is with specific moods or themes.

Whether you’re looking for something funky, sad, uplifting, or mysterious, Spotify has got you covered. It includes playlists curated by both experts and regular users who share themed playlists.

To search by mood or theme, start by thinking about the kind of feeling you want to convey in your music. Do you want it to be calming and ambient? Or maybe energetic and uplifting? Once you have an idea in mind, type relevant keywords into Spotify’s search bar.

You’ll get a list of songs and playlists that you can start digging through. When you find a playlist that aligns with the mood you’re going for, take some time to listen to the tracks and identify any potential samples.

Use genre-based playlists

Alternatively, you can search Spotify for genre-based playlists. Start by exploring the most popular playlists in your desired genre. In the early phases, look for collections of songs that represent the essence of the genre. By listening to these tracks, you can gain insights into the characteristics and elements that define that particular style.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the main genre, dig deeper into sub-genres by exploring related playlists. Each genre has its own sub-genres, with its own unique sound and style. These sub-genre playlists allow you to dive into musical niches that can offer lesser-known tracks for you to sample.

Explore playlists from curators and tastemakers

Be sure to use playlists curated by experienced listeners and tastemakers. These individuals are experts in finding unique and interesting music, and they often create playlists that showcase their favorite tracks.

When looking for expertly curated playlists, make sure to follow the ones created by respected curators within your desired genre or style of music. For example, if you’re digging for jazz, search for playlists created by well-known tastemakers or curators in the jazz community. These individuals have a deep understanding of the genre and can introduce you to hidden gems that you may have never come across otherwise.

It’s also worth noting that curators often update their playlists regularly, so it’s a good idea to check back periodically for new additions. This allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest releases and keep your sample library fresh.

Once you find artists whose music you like, you can easily find related artists. All you have to do is head over to their Spotify page. Once you’re there, scroll down to the “Related Artists” section.

In this section, you will find a list of artists who have a similar sound or style to the one you are interested in. This can be a goldmine for finding samples because artists who have similar styles often tend to be great sources for more samples. Clicking on one of these related artists can lead you down a rabbit hole of discovering new samples and expanding your musical palette.

Take advantage of the algorithm

One of the great things about Spotify is its powerful algorithm. It can help you discover new music based on your personal tastes.

When you follow artists whose music you enjoy, Spotify keeps track of the artists and genres that are related to your preferences. This means that as you explore more music from your favorite artists, Spotify will recommend new artists who have a similar sound or style.

For instance, let’s say you’re on the hunt for ’70s-style funk songs. By following these artists on Spotify, not only will you receive their latest releases and updates in your feed, but Spotify will also suggest other artists with similar musical styles.

To make the most of Spotify’s algorithm, make sure to actively engage with the suggestions. Listen to songs from these recommended artists. Over time, Spotify will gain a deeper understanding of your taste, which will lead to even more discoveries.

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