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Discussion on: Music to Listen to While Coding

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Ryan Smith • Edited on

I agree with the familiar music guideline. I will typically reach for the playlist that I normally listen to, even though it has lyrics and may not be mellow. There is comfort in not having to skip tracks or figure out what to listen to. I could never get into lyric-free music while coding, it isn't something I normally listen to and it was hard to find something I liked, so it was distracting to me. The best I got was the Interstellar soundtrack and some other Hans Zimmer soundtracks.

Listening at a low volume allows me to be "inside my head" and focus easier. Even if the office is not overly noisy, I noticed that small sounds (doors opening, someone walking down the hall, someone using the microwave, someone washing dishes) were strangely distracting. I'm not a nosy person, so I am not interested in who is walking down the hall, but I am still acknowledging that someone is because of the sound. I used to think that music would be more distracting but I find that it helps quite a bit.

chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard Author

Good point about familiar music - even with vocals. I do have a few playlists of "regular" music that I can listen to while coding as well; but that's only because I've listened to that exact playlist a bunch of times already.

Another favorite (again on youtube :) ) are specific live performances of some of my favorite artists. They provide a nice set of their best hits generally, and are a bit different than the rest of this list for when I'm wanting that.