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How To Create a Carpool Playlist Without Much Bloodshed

You know what they say: different strokes for different folks. This is especially true when it comes to music. Well, imagine a situation in which a bunch of individuals with diverse musical tastes are thrown together and cooped up in a confined space in the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B with only a single car radio or stereo available for entertainment. That’s right, welcome to a carpool

Now, how can people in that particular circumstance peacefully co-exist when the music situation is a challenge? Will the person riding shotgun get to call dibs on the music, or is it the driver’s privilege? And what about the poor souls riding in the back?

Indeed, it is a dilemma as good as any, and can be easily resolved by any of these solutions:

• Keep the radio turned off throughout the entire journey.

• Set a schedule, so everyone gets a day to be the Music Master.

• Create a playlist in which everyone gets a say on what music to include.

Well, let us look at the merits of each one. When you really think about it, keeping the radio off seems a bit boring. Not only that, everyone can hear every single sound in the car. That means, your carpool mates can hear every fart, every stomach grumble, and Lord knows what else. That can be rather awkward. Plus, the silence will be so deafening that someone will be obliged to make small talk. It is not a very good solution, to be honest. Now, setting a schedule does seem rather democratic. However, do you really want to live through an entire day of Willy’s heavy metal music, or Irene’s screaming divas, or Tina’s Justin Bieber albums? We didn’t think so.

This leaves us with the last and, arguably, the most appealing solution: create a playlist that everyone in the carpool can contribute to. This ensures that while not everyone will be happy with every single song in the list, they, at least, have a few of theirs to look forward to. Plus, there is a variety of songs playing at any given time, so while you may have to endure a bit of heavy metal every now and again, you actually get a respite when Nicki Minaj comes on next.

So the question is how can you make a killer playlist that everyone can enjoy, or at the very least, tolerate? Here are some tips:

Keep it fair.

Consider the time it takes to get to work and back, and you will already have a rough idea of the number of songs that’s going to play in that span of time. Divide that number by the number of people in the carpool, and et voila! You each have an equal number of songs to contribute.

Keep it appropriate.

Truly, there’s nothing like a bit of music to set the mood for the entire day. So just think – you are on your way to work, somewhat tired and sleepy, and desperately needing a picker-upper. A nice, upbeat morning playlist should do the trick. So throw in some Maroon 5, Iggy Azalea, and Imagine Dragons, to name a few. That should get your heart pumping just right.

Ditto when you are on your way home. You are already starting to wind down after a long day at work and you want something relaxing, something chill. Some John Legend, Lorde, U2, and the like is just what the doctor ordered.

Keep it old.

You have probably heard of the saying, “It’s an oldie, but a goodie.” This is very, very useful when a musically diverse group of individuals come together. It is very safe to say that you can never go wrong with the classics. Honestly, have you ever known anyone who could resist bobbing their head to The Beatles’ I Wanna Hold Your Hand, or tapping their feet to Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, or moving their shoulders to Madonna’s Like A Virgin, or even singing along to Friday, I’m In Love by The Cure? We didn’t think so.

Suffice it to say, songs that were released no later than 1995 are a sure win. In fact, the older, the better. Besides, they simply do not make ‘em like they used to.

Keep it fun.

Now, you would be surprised to know that there are some songs that can actually transcend genres. This pretty much means that these are really special songs that everyone, regardless of preference, can actually enjoy. And you know you have found a good one when no one groans in protest when it plays, or when no one in the carpool tries to talk over it.

This usually comes in the form of dance music. Like David Guetta and Sia’s Titanium, for instance, or even Bonnie Bailey’s Ever After. Even the most hardcore rockers eventually love it because songs like these, feel good all the time. Some people may resist it at first, but the good vibes that these tunes bring will break them down. Eventually.

Keep it respectful.

Different people have different values. So do try to respect your carpool mates’ boundaries. Songs with crude lyrics and cursing may offend some of your companions’ sensibilities, so these should be kept to a minimum. After all, there are plenty enough great songs out there that will not hurt anybody’s feelings, so why not stick to those? This is definitely a rule that should be set and agreed upon by everyone right from the very start because really, a badly written song is not worth losing a good carpool companion over.

It is said that music can bring people together. However, it can also tear people apart. A carpool is already a sensitive enough gathering of different souls as it is, and becomes even more so if there is no musical accord. So taking the time to sort out the music situation will really help in ensuring that your carpool remains a peaceful and harmonious one.

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