This is an expansion on this tweet (chain – click to see the rest):
I wanted to provide a little background to what I meant.
You might have heard about the benefits of giving both left and right brain hemisphere something to do when performing tasks. Well, there’s that, and there’s also association. Mix something you don’t like with something you do and your brain will make a connection. And the factor I wanted to focus on is about the repetition:
I attended a psychedelic spiritual ritual (Santo Daime, ayahuasca) a couple of times where there would be singing of very similar melodies, over and over, for hours. (Some breaks from that for spoken parts, but relatively few.) Now what this does is that if there’s a part of your brain that simply resists the repetitive nature of the experience, e.g. finds it boring or dumb or annoying, that part, which prevents you from accomplishing the task, will eventually have to succumb and admit defeat. You are literally getting your mind out of the way. Not necessarily completely, but the part that resists.
So one of the best example for such situations that I can think of from my own experience is computer games and “farming”. I’m sure you know that. You want something rare or something in great quantity in an MMO, but it involves mind-numbing ( 😉 ) grind for hours, and the longer you do it, the more resistance your mind builds up.
Now if you can find a music that puts you in the right mood, that conveys a kind of vibe of being diligent, productive, to keep going; music that has flow and groove (D&B is usually good with flow), and you find yourself able to listen to that on repeat, over and over, then you can combine that with the repetitive task and you will have fused the best of both worlds. The core issue you took with the grind, the seemingly endless repetitiveness, has been connected to two things: Your wish to accomplish the task and your enjoyment of the music.
You know this really worked well when you eventually realize you’ve overshot the mark and kept going. ^^
You know the music is REALLY good when you KNOW you’ve overshot your mark but keep going anyway. 😀
The following are just some of my personal favorites, but they might give you an idea what I’m talking about. The music needs to speak to a deeper part than your rational mind. Some music can be awesome fun, but only for a while, because it adresses the mind too much. Other is less obtrusive. Generally, what works well is music that makes you want to move your body. As an added effect then, your manual actions towards accomplishing the task will be treated like dancing by your emotional mind.
Awkward Marina – Fairy Tail 2014 Theme (EXCEED The Limit Remix)
PsychGoth – The Derpinator (Fighting theme of Derpy Hooves)
RawGreen – Donut Steel 2: The Soundtrack
A bit less effective for me, but still in the category:
Whitetail – Rarity Theme (CommandSpry Remix)
DerpyCrash & Leafrunner – Mezza Luna (Hay Tea Remix)
And then there is a set of somewhat different tunes that used to help me a lot in World of Warcraft, in part during daily quests that are quite action-oriented. It might be a change of taste, or the fact that it’s a different game. You’ll have to figure out what fits you and the situation, but this essay might help you understand what to look for and how to find fitting music more easily.
(I also did my own cuts from the following tracks in order to make them ‘cut to the chase’ and work better when looped.)
EVE Online – Retribution
EVE Online – Seven Clans
EVE Online – Fight Like You Live
I am usually not into industrial or acid punk or whatever this is, but it’s about the context and I’m quite open to various music genres.
Even if, for example, you are not at all someone who enjoys listening to orchestral music, when it skillfully complements a movie scene, it’s literally a different story. Should I say…
Klendathu Drop from Starship Troopers
Being a musician is one thing, but being able to find just the right music for a specific occasion is a skillset in itself.
Of course, apart from repetitive music, any music that really gets you going can work, because no matter what you do of whether you do anything at all while listening, you’re already having a good time and thus perceive the world differently. And what I mean by that is beautifully depicted by this:
If you are into chiptunes, the following might do the trick (Not gonna link them, it slows down the article display):
Titles: Break Space, Fifteen Colours, Arcane Zone (Part 2), New Line, XL Dance
As a sidenote: I use to go to a TCM massage parlor and they were playing the same set of tunes every time, all the time. And the choice was perfect, because for reasons I cannot put into words, that music was another example (even if not repetitive and motivating, but calming and unobtrusive) of not getting bothersome even if you hear it again and again. And it was like that throughout the whole CD. A skillful choice … and for the therapist understandably a necessary choice.