Instrumentals – Different Genres and Styles

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Instrumentals – Genres & Moods


Whether someone is a paid disk jockey or just the one who seems to be the one responsible for the music
when hanging out with friends, It is a good idea to have a healthy dose of instrumentals on your playlists.
There are many uses for good instrumental tracks. One can easily find instrumental tracks in every genre
including hip-hop, country, rock and roll, jazz, and electronica like trap and trance.

mood set with instrumentals

Instrumentals and When to Use Them

When planning a playlist for an event the first thing to do is figure out what mood to set. Should the people be energized or relaxed? Should conversations be encouraged? What is the end goal?
Instrumentals are key when designing a playlist for any occasion. Lyrics in a song can demand attention,
even when we don’t realize it. For many types of events that is just fine. However, for some types of events, the desired effect is to enhance your guest’s ability to conversate, not inhibit the ability to do so with busy music and distracting lyrics. The mood can be affected by the instruments used and the speed and volume at which they are played. The right choice in instrumental can actually promote conversations.

Different Speeds

Instrumentals in each genre are different speeds as well as using vastly different instrumentation, which
leads to vastly different sounds. For example, you can have a piano piece that is around 130 beats per
minute and that would still be appropriate for a dinner party. If one were to play a trap track or a rock
track at the same speed and it would no longer be appropriate for the average dinner party.
Remember that there are certain instrumentals that are better for playing at low volume than others.
Some of the types of instrumentals use only a limited number of sounds and when played at low volume
the music itself loses integrity.

Jazz Music

Jazz is an easy go to for nearly any event. If you only have one type of instrumental on your playlist it
should be jazz. Jazz has a timeless and prolific sound that makes it stand out from the other genres,
especially when talking about pure instrumentals. Jazz can be found on the spectrum at anywhere from as low as 49 BPM’s to as high as 250 and up.Jazz has an unfair advantage over the other genres as it is mostly
made up of instrumentals. The Jazz ensemble is unlike the others in the sense that there are instruments
used in place of vocals, which fills those areas that seem missing when the vocals are removed. Jazz is
great when played at low volume, because of the instrumentation, it easily fills the ear with rich sound.

Hip-Hop and Rap Beats

Hip-Hop and Rap Beats can range from 80 to 120 BPM’s. These instrumentals are key to have for any situation. Many DJ’s have found themselves the hero of the party because they have the beats available for guests to dance and rap to. Hip-hop instrumentals are arguably as important to a playlist as Jazz for this very reason.
Hip-hop uses a bass-heavy instrumentation. This type of instrumental is not great for being played at low
volumes, as the music loses integrity and doesn’t make a lot of sense at low volumes it tends to sound
like nothing more than booming bass hits.

R&B Instrumentals

Conversely, slower R&B instrumentals will keep their integrity, but they are not always what is needed
for the event, as this can evoke a slowed down sexy vibe. While that may be exactly what you want, slow
and sexy aren’t always the best choice.

Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll instrumentals can range from as low as 40 or 50 to over 200 BPM’s. This music can have a deep rich instrumentation like Jazz. It can also change the sound and therefore the mood more drastically than Jazz can. Jazz does come in many speeds, but with the versatility of the instruments used in rock music, it makes rock a more versatile approach.

Sub Genres in Rock and Roll

Within the rock and roll genre, there are acoustic bands as well as electrified ones. This makes for a
large variety in what is available in this category. This should weigh on the decision to include them or
not on the playlist in question. The acoustic jams will have a laid back quality, whereas the electric
versions are more uptempo, so bear that in mind when choosing instrumentals from this group.

rock and roll instrumentals image

Country Instrumentals

Country instrumentals range from 40 to 120 BPM and can be a great choice if Jazz won’t do and Rock
and Roll is too busy. Country music can have instrumentation like rock and jazz without being quite as
full. Watch out when played on low volume as there isn’t much left as the volume gets turned down.
Country is a great choice if the crowd demands that speed and you are able to keep it at a decent enough
volume that it won’t lose quality. Like R&B, country instrumentals can be relaxing and set a pretty specific type of mood.

E.D.M. Beats

Concerning the fully electronic choices in instrumentals like trap and trance, there is always room on any
playlist for these. They will work to set any number of different moods, depending on the sub-genre that
is chosen. Just like under the main genres listed above there are a million different varieties in this field and one should use them only after listening carefully and choosing wisely. Don’t get fooled by a slow opening in this genre, as some of the biggest hitters start out really quiet. Always know what you have.

The Breakdown

The mood for any event can be orchestrated and carefully constructed if the playlist contains the right
kind of instrumentals. Always remember that even when they don’t seem to be paying attention, the
music has a massive amount of influence on people at any event. As usual with music, it can be very
helpful as well as very damaging.