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The Top 5 Music Nerd Essentials!

You are not a music nerd? You just don’t care about all the fuss around music. On Spotify, the recommendation function wants you to listen to Calvin Harris?

Well, most people are like you, don’t worry. But now there is this girl or boy you’re really into. And she or he really loves their music. The last talk you’ve had been pretty awkward because you had no earthly idea what he or she was talking about?

If this definition from Urban Dictionary about the music nerd sounds freaky familiar to you, then you know you’re dealing with a severe music nerd.

The ultimate music nerd definition

Music Nerd
One who is quite knowledgeable about music. Every time they get engaged in an argument about music, they win. (…) usually play at least one instrument and are good at it; (…)can read and/or improv really well. They seem (and probably do) to know the answers to just about every bit of music trivia. They also seem to have heard everything and know about all the cool bands before you and everyone else.

Person 1: “Have you heard this really cool song by this really cool band?”
Person 2: “Of course! I heard it the day after it came out!”
Person 1: “You’re such a music nerd!”
Person 2: “I know! Should I start learning mandolin or bassoon next week? I can’t decide…”
Person 1: “Well, you ALREADY play at least 27 instrument… But I’d go with bassoon.”

by Elfiepie December 18, 2013, Urban Dictionary

But don’t be down in the mouth! There is still a chance on how to catch up with your music nerd crush.

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Keep it 300 like the Romans! Ancient music nerds doing their thing.

5 Top Tips On How You Pretend To Be A Music Nerd!

  1. Try to memorize at least 3 Beatles Songs
  2. Get familiar with some music theory
  3. Name three hottest classical composers
  4. Recall the secret musicians ranking by instrument
  5. Do some music genre research

Alright, so don’t stress out, you don’t have to get down with Theodor Adorno’s ‘On Popular Music’ in order to impress your music nerd crush.

1. Try to memorise at least 3 Beatles Songs

Let’s start with something easy. The Beatles. Yeah, it’s simple as that. There is no proper music nerd who wouldn’t commit that the Fab-Four are still and for all times to come, at least, influential.

Maybe your parents still have some CDs or Vinyl’s from them lying around. Give them a try, and if you really can’t bond with them, well then at least the songs are not too long.

The NME 100 Greates Beatles Songs, great for music nerds

In case you want to do cheat, there is an easier way to remember Beatles Songs: The NME 100 Greatest Beatles Songs.

The Songs are listed downwards and always have someone famous commenting on them. So as you go through them, you’ll find a musician you actually know and which songs he or she likes best. Then through this connection, it’s easier for you to remember the song.

For example: Let’s take Nr. 99 straight away. It’s Now and Then. Chosen by Liam Gallagher (one of this grumpy brother of 90s super-group ‘Oasis’). There is always a little quote to it to make it extra special.

Liam: “Lennon’s voice when he sings it is the one for me. It was one of those demos he did in India or somewhere with George Harrison [nb. Liam’s wrong here, it’s a solo Lennon demo from his Dakota days – Beatles Ed]. But the rest of them all mixed it again around the time of ‘Free As A Bird’. I love it.”

Conversation practice for you:

Music nerd crush: “Omg I can’t believe how much I love The Beatles”
You: “Of course! Who doesn’t love them? I particularly cherish Now and Then, John (always use the first name to add some intimacy) just sounds so special on that, I think it was one of the demo’s he did with George, Ah no, wait it was a solo one for the Dakota thingy “
Music nerd crush: “Wow, it’s something special when you find someone who is also a real ‘fan’. (Hopefully, gets a bit flushed, yeah also boys do that when it comes to The Beatles).

There you go, the first impression is set, now add at least two more from The NME 100 Greatest Beatles Songs List and you’re fine. If you’re a lucky one then your music nerd crush might already be a little intrigued if not already into you.

2. Get familiar with some music theory

Alright, I have to say that this one is a bit crazy. But at the end of the day you want to be able to actually talk with your music nerd crush about something he or she really loves, so stay calm and carry on! I promise you, your music nerd crush will award you at the end of all your hard work.

So, music theory. There is nothing scary about it, really. It’s just something that doesn’t come across you in case you don’t play an instrument. What you probably don’t do, otherwise you wouldn’t need the top 5 music nerd essentials.

Music Theory For Dummies

Again, there is a cheat way on how to get a bit of knowledge without getting too much involved. The brilliant publisher ‘For Dummies’ is writing books for all kind of issues where you might be a dummy but desperate need to get to pro status.

And yes, they’ve also written a book for you! Music Theory For Dummies. It “makes music theory easy to understand, with a friendly, un-intimidating overview of everything you need to know”.

In case reading a whole book about something you actually don’t care about is too much of a task, here is a cheat sheet. And if your music nerd crush is also into music production than a little reading about that wouldn’t harm.

3. Name three hottest classical composers

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Franz “The Man” Liszt. Learn something about classical music to catch up with your music nerd crush!

Here we are, in the middle of music nerd heaven. No matter if your crush likes’ Rock or Pop or is into Whale Core, you will definitely catch up with their music neediness. Well, if you can pretend to know something about classical music!

But since you don’t want to be boring, you’ll pack that into something that can start you a conversation. Like to talk about something you think is hot.

Why not go with Franz ‘The Man’ Liszt

Also, wonderful advice for any party talk. Those lovely lists to help you out, here is a genius one: ’18 Classical Composers, Ranked By Hotness’. I would completely go for Nr.2 Franz “The Man” Liszt or Nr.18 Wilhelm Richard “Velvet Cap” Wagner.

There is also today’s version of this delicious hot-list. And, the female version, of course, comes with beauties like Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Lili Boulanger.

Get the ladies, fancy Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn?

So once you’ve picked you favourite babe, try to find out three important facts: 1. In which era is the composer located, 2. What are the most famous pieces and 3. With whom did he or she got jiggy with.

Like Nr. 13 Johannes “Skeletor” Brahms got kind of a thing with the wife of fellow composer Robert Schumann (Clara Schumann).

Richard Wagner famously pinched Hans von Bülow’s wife Cosima. (the daughter of Franz Liszt, Mr. Nr.2, herself a very skilled piano player and composer). Well, you see, even back in the good old 1800′, it wasn’t much different to today’s 90210’s.

4. Recall the secret ranking of musicians by instrument

This one is rather up to your individual taste. But if you have absolutely no clue than mix following instruments to any ranking you’d like: guitar, bass, vocals, drums and piano.

The system behind the ranking is that every instrument teaches the musician different skills. A bit like super-heroes, where Spider-Men is fantastic at jumping around wildly and is able to spin some massive nets.

Every instrument is like a superhero power

Or Hulk, who can transform himself into a giant green monster. (Excuse me if I’m wrong on that, but as you see there is different nerdiness expertise needed for superheroes).

Reddit has it all

There is an impressive Reddit feed dedicated to which musicians/instruments are hot. Delve a bit into that and mix up your ranking with a bit of exotic flavour.

Like user hidemythundr who states that it’s all about the:

“Cow Bell. I would have sexual relations with the next person who could rock the shit out of a cow bell for me!”

If you need an example, here you go:

Or Liraenna who nails the skill factor of the ranking by saying that:

“I think trombone players are sexy as hell. They know what to do with their hands and mouths, haha.”

Also really lovely quote from user Deadpoolien:

“Violin. Watching the forearm muscles flex with every movement just mesmerized me. And the way he arcs and bends his body if he’s really into it. Unf. Hot as hell.”

Well, I think this point has been made quite clear. Onto the last point on our the top 5 music nerd essentials list.

5. Do some music genre research

And now for the final finishing touch on you pretending to be a music nerd. If you’d ask your music nerd crush which genre he or she likes best, the answer is going to be that he or she loves all kind of music, of course, and would not like to be bound to one specific type.

Well, it’s confusing sometimes because of course, they have a favourite one! It’s up to you to do some Sherlock Holmes investigation about that but in the end, you’ll hopefully know what drives them high.

But there you are, not having any idea what that genre means or even what bands or musicians are known for it. Don’t bury your ambitions. Here comes the ultimate tip on how to sort out the music genre problem!

The perfect map for every music nerd

There is an interactive map from Every Noise at One, which shows you any genre under the sun. To be fair, that map is a bumper! It not only shows you the name of the genre, and connects it with a colour to make the classification easier. It actually functions like a real map with cardinal points.

“In general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier”
– Every Noise at One

But now comes the cracking point of this genius invention! You can actually hear an example of every genre located within the map. What is more, if you switch the view from map to the list, you’ve got a whole Spotify Playlist for every genre!

There are a whopping 1370 genres listed. So, no matter your music nerd crush has fallen for, like deep discofox, deep folk metal or deep regional mexican, you’ll be able to catch up. No long explanation attempts of your music nerd crush to tell you the difference between viking metal, brutal deathcore or deep symphonic black metal. You’ll just go, yeah I’ve checked it out on Spotify and I think I’m more into mathcore, orgcore and grisly death metal.


It’s not always easy to catch up with your music nerd crush but a bit of research and humour is a good deal to make you be able to communicate with him or her. In this text, you’ve learned 5 music nerd essentials. From how to pretend to know some Beatles songs, over getting familiar with music theory. Then you found your personal classical composer hotty, you have been recalling the secret musicians ranking by an instrument. Finally, you’ve delved into the most glorious map of music genres.

Now you are ready to conquer any discussion with your music nerd crush. What is more, you’ll be able to have caught their heart.

Sometimes All You Need Is Love!

(and a bit of research 😉 )