A Playlist of 20+ Artists to Play While Writing

Many of us prefer to have background music playing while we write. Some of us prefer instrumental, calming music that will not interrupt our flow of thoughts, while others of us prefer to have music that matches the mood of the scene we are writing, and some of us have musical themes for certain characters.

If you haven’t done so already, create a playlist for your current writing project.

Here are some of my go-tos:

For building Battle Music, bands like Two Steps From Hell and Nightwish tend to get me into the right pacing.

For more sad and mystical scenes, I tend to go for music like that from Anilah and Oceania.

For sad songs, besides Adele, I tend to select songs that are pretty pared back on the instruments and have a very clear vocal track. Some of my recent ones have been Svrcina and Snorri Hallgrimsson.

If I am feeling like I need plain instrumentals that aren’t going to put me in a trance, I usually go for rock & pop violin (Damien Escobar, David Garrett, and Lindsey Stirling).

I do have a really soft spot for 2Cellos and The Piano Guys as alternatives to the violin.

When I am not writing with what I call scene music, I sometimes write with character music. So if I have an angry teenager, I will pull out my old punk and emo bands, such as Panic at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, Evanescence, Disturbed, and sometimes Anberlin. (You can so tell that I was a teen in the 90s)

Other times, when I am writing a character that I feel like is being a gentleman, I will put on Josh Groban or Michael Buble (I just realized that I haven’t figured out how to do the accent mark in WordPress…. If you know, please tell me in the comments!)

But if a character has a bit more grit and soul to them, I might start using Hozier, Rag n Bone Man, Aretha Franklin, and Roberta Flack. If you want an entire soundtrack that is gritty, I suggest you check out the OST for the King Arthur movie by Daniel Pemberton.

I tend to discover new music and artists on YouTube as I let it play in the background. This means that I do get the occasional advertisement which can jolt me out of my thought occasionally, but I am also VERY good at tuning other’s voices out when I want to.

Let me know what some of your top recommendations are for writing music! I would love to find new artists to write to!