Tunes for Writing

Last month I did a post on music and how specific songs influence writers. Sometimes music is a direct influence for me, like the story I just finished. I mentioned in that post how a Snow Patrol song was the inspiration behind one scene in my novel.

But often the influence that I get from music is much less direct, like the background stuff I have playing when I write. Sometimes I just need silence, but there are other times when I can’t think because it’s too quiet. And that’s when I  click over to Pandora for some background music.

My Faves

I’ve already mentioned how I love Pandora radio because you can choose the music and skip anything you don’t like. I want to share a few bands I’ve recently discovered that are great for writing to. The first one is Vitamin String Quartet. They do string versions of all kinds of music, from pop to classic rock to metal to you-name-it. Amazon has 289 results for the band, so it’s a bit of an understatement to say they have a lot of albums.

While I can’t take easy-listening elevator music, I really enjoy the Vitamin String Quartet because it is instrumental and fairly non-invasive but also interesting (I can’t write to boring music). My current fave is the AC/DC album, specifically T.N.T.

The other band I am enjoying, one with a totally different feel, is Apocalyptica. Their music is the crazy place where strings meet heavy metal. (What? You didn’t know the two went together? Maybe  not traditionally, but this band does an amazing job of meshing the two.) I can’t really explain it, but the best way to get your head around that concept is to just listen to a few songs (they have quite a range, so just one isn’t enough to do them justice. I’d listen to five songs or so before deciding whether or not you like them.) They are quite a bit harder, but there is still usually that unexpected hint of a symphony behind the hard guitar. Not all of their stuff is instrumental, and I can’t write to songs with lyrics, so I skip those. And a few are just too hard for my taste. But they make a really interesting background for writing.

Check them out and let me know what you think. What do you listen to when you write (if anything)? Do you have any cool bands to recommend?

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