Hans Christian Anderson, the prolific Danish author, once wrote, “Where words fail, music speaks.” No situation illustrates this better than a dull, uninspired party with no music. You know, those parties where no one is talking and there dark cloud hanging over the guacamole and chips. That’s why R.T. Clown Inc. always recommends having a great party playlist for any party. A good music playlist can kick start even the deadest of parties. So for you next party, make sure you apply these four strategies when putting together a good playlist:

Tip #1: Set the Appropriate Mood:

Let’s face it, a cocktail party with tinkling martini glasses and quiet chatter is a totally different environment than a housewarming party for a newlywed couple; similarly, a bachelor bash is completely different than a birthday party for a three year-old. The point is, every party has a unique energy, and this energy is almost always generated by the personalities of the crowd. Music can highlight or alter any mood of any party. So, when you are preparing a party playlist, the first thing you should highlight is what kind of mood will be emphasized. Also take into consideration the time of day, how high the volume should be, and what overall tempo will compliment your party guests. The whole point of setting the music mood is to capture the atmosphere of your party and your guests. If the group is quiet and mellow, try some jazz, slow electronica, or even some great old acoustic classics.

Another important ingredient of a good playlist is to make sure all songs will appeal to everyone at some level. Remember, if you have guests of varying ages, make sure you mix in some oldies but goodies along with some contemporary tunes. Try some modern remixes of older songs. These remixes always seem to help bridge the musical divide between different generations.

Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Different Styles of Music

Remember that variety is not only the spice of life, it is also a really good thing. So think variety when you are putting your playlist together; don’t be afraid to add a little spice. Professional D.J.’s use musical variety to create tension and resolution within a playlist. By combining slow songs with fast songs, and oldies with current pop hits, you will keep your guests entertained. One of the best ways to create variety is spread out all of your music and don’t play multiple songs with similar styles in a row. For example, don’t play nine rap songs in a row before switching to six country/Western songs. Keep people surprised.

Tip #3: Create a general theme

One of the best ways to engage your audience is to create a good musical theme. A good theme can be the repetition of a specific word or place. For example, songs with the word “California” in them. Another theme can be the music from a particular year. The possibilities are endless. However, one of the most important rules for creating a musical theme is to align the event or party mood with the theme. Surf music themes work great for summer parties, and a spring party should be include a theme that is upbeat and happy. Winter parties would work well with holiday tunes, or even solo piano music.

Tip #4: Make Harsh Edits

A cleverly designed playlist is like a well-crafted essay: plan on making lots of edits! Never assume your playlist is ready for playing the minute to put it together. Listen to it a few times, and pay attention to the personality of the songs, how they intermix, and imagine how people will react as they listen to your playlist. If you don’t feel confident about a particular song, take it out.

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