Like most people, my early music tastes were influenced heavily by what the rest of my family was already listening to. The things you are exposed to while you’re young certainly help shape the things you like (or don’t) as you develop your own tastes.
Lucky for me, most of my family had pretty good taste in music. My grandparents listened to a lot of big band and blues music, and I developed a real appreciation for the sound. My parents were definitely more progressive and preferred rock music. My siblings, who are older, got me into hip-hop, rap, and alternative music. People were always giving me something new to listen to, intentionally or simply through the fact that it was playing so loud there was no escape.
Throughout this musical education, I sought out the sounds that spoke to me the most. I became a big fan of strong guitar lines and interesting melodies. The great thing about loving the sound of guitars is that so many different styles of music incorporate it into the sound. Looking for great guitar players no matter what type of music really broadened my musical horizons.
For example, my current favorite guitar players are Joe Bonamassa, Julian Bream, Syran M’Benza, and Davy Knowles. They are blues-rock, classical, African, and folk guitar players, respectively. I don’t find it weird at all that I like all of them. On the other hand, I think it is amazing that they all play essentially the same instrument and yet it can be so versatile and have so many different sounds.
I have been able to incorporate so much of my musical taste into my daily life. Different music suits different moods for me. Sometimes I like the ease and peace I get from classical music, especially the completely instrumental kind. For some reason, I find music without lyrics less distracting when I am working or trying to concentrate on a difficult task. Other times I like blues or rock music, especially when I’ve had a bad day. I like to have jazz music playing when I’m cooking, and Top 40 type music during parties. Usually when I need to feel creative (like right now when I am trying to write this post), I’ll listen to world music.
I would not fault anybody who liked only one or two styles of music, but I do think that they are really missing out on a lot of other great styles. Everyone has their preferences and opinions, and I’d never tell you that you were wrong for only liking a certain genre. However, I also feel that if you keep an open mind, you never know where your new favorite song is going to come from. I think that’s a pretty awesome thing.