Headlights bounce into your driveway. You pull on your Filas. You grab a jacket. You jog to the waiting car. As you hop into the front seat and mumble hello, your coolest friend passes a black wire into your sweaty hands. You've been waiting all day for this.
The chance to be on aux cord.
After just one Weezer song, though, he coughs uncomfortably.
"Uhh... would it be okay if I take care of the music for this trip?"
There's nothing more fulfilling than being granted authority over a duo drive's soundtrack—and nothing more humbling than having that privilege be taken away. Maybe your friends already beg you for your godly car tunes. Maybe not.
Either way, we've got you! Just follow these steps to become a pro listener, playlist-maker, and queue curator. You (and your friends) will thank us later.
If you don't have a physical aux output or bluetooth, don't fret. Check out this vid to see how your cigarette lighter can power a bluetooth transmitter!
Now, without further ado... here are five ways to up your aux game.
1. Know What Music Is Good
Step one is a given: like your music.
You can’t expect your carful of ears to enjoy what you play if you don’t like it yourself! Do a bit of exploring. Make many, many playlists. Pay attention when a good song comes on, and save it.
Don’t limit yourself to one genre. It’s painful to listen to new stuff at first, but keep pushing. Your music life will be so much richer because of it.
Not sure where to start, but know you like a certain artist? Take a peek at our Artists Who Sound Like series to find curated suggestions that match what you already love.
2. Identify Your Musical Goals
Good aux-ers play what their passengers already know while the best aux-ers introduce their guests to music they don’t know—but they’ll love.
What would be familiar enough that they like it instantly? Different enough that it surprises them? You want to make your audience wonder why they haven’t been listening to this all along.
3. Figure Out What Genres They Like (...And Why)
Right—the goal is expand their taste. But first, you have to become familiar with their taste. Already know? Skip to the next step.
If not: start paying attention!
Next time you ride with them, have them grab aux. If you don’t have time to hear it all out, just ask what they’re into. Or if you can poke around their Spotify.
Even if it’s Glee tunes, don’t fret. (Okay—fret a little bit. But you can still guide them towards the light.)
Take note of the vibe. Then, continue to tip four.
4. Synthesize Your Musical Tastes
So you’ve gathered the intel. You know the artists/genres they like.
What do you already know and love that might incorporate a bit of that?
Maybe something in your library uses similarly-unconventional drumbeats. Maybe you can queue that addictive song with the likewise-retro vocals. Maybe they’re a sucker for high-speed raps and you can rope ‘em in that way.
Linking a musical element you know they already adore makes it impossible for them to not dig your stuff. Especially when your stuff is so sick (see step 1).
5. Know The Fun Facts
This one’s the cherry on top – Know the lore that accompanies the artists you play!
Maybe you play Gorillaz for a friend who’s never heard of them. You can have a bit of fun explaining what a “virtual band” is.
Or maybe you put on a friend's original tunes. You get to surprise your passenger with a deep knowledge of the song's meaning and unique info about the singer.
Not only are you the friend with sick beats—you’re a musical tour guide. Shouldn't you be getting paid for this? Ah, well. The validation will have to do.
On to step six...
Congrats! Suddenly, whenever you enter a car, the speakers are yours.