5 Ways to Answer “What Kind of Music Do You Like?”

It’s a popular conversational question: ‘What kind of music do you like?’. Answering it, however, can be difficult.

Do you list songs? Should you talk about your favorite artists? Should you try to guess what the other person likes?

When answering the question ‘What kind of music do you like?’, honesty is the most important part of the answer, so make sure you’re giving a real answer. Beyond that, you may want to consider starting vague and going from there.

How To Answer ‘What Kind Of Music Do You Like?’

When it comes to answering this question, there’s only one real wrong answer: a dishonest one.

Answer honestly, no matter how you think a person might respond.

What’s Beyond an Honest Answer?

Here are some basic tips:

Start with generalities, then move toward specifics:

  • First/Second Answer: Genres
  • First/Second Answer: Styles/Instruments
  • Third Answer: Artists
  • Fourth Answer: Specific Songs

Go from ‘popular’ to ‘obscure’:

  • A favorite who’s big in the Top 10, or trending on YouTube.
  • A favorite who’s less well-known, but easy to find.
  • A favorite that might not be on someone’s radar.

Be ready to share for common tastes:

  • What Genres/Artists/Songs do you both like?
  • Where can someone find a favorite artist of yours they don’t know?
  • What’s a song you’d recommend for someone checking out your music?

Reciprocate the question:

  • Be sure to inquire about their musical preferences too.
  • Be prepared to change gears if necessary.

Note: Don’t push the subject if it becomes clear that a favorite of yours doesn’t interest the other party.

From General to Specific

Here’s an example of responding to ‘what kind of music do you like?’ that goes from general to specific:

Other: “What kind of music do you like?”

You: “I like Rock Music, and maybe Metal.”

Other: “Oh? Anything specific?”

You: “I enjoy listening to bands like Black Veil Brides.”

Other: “I like their music too!”   or  “I don’t think I know that group.”

You: “My favorite songs are Heart of Fire and Wake Up. If you haven’t heard them, you could check them out on Youtube, or Spotify.”

From Popular to Obscure

Some people keep their favorite bands among the Chart Toppers of popular music. If you’re not one of them, you might have a conversation similar to this:

Other: “What kind of music do you like?”

You: “I like instrumental stuff like dubstep or other genres modified to a similar style.”

Other: “I like that too! Who’s your favorite artist?”

You: “I started with Skrillex, but lately I’ve been looking into stuff by Lindsey Stirling.” (Skrillex is the 2nd most well-known dubstep performer, and Lindsey Stirling is a rising star in the industry)

Other: “I think I know some of her music…”

You: “I really enjoy her songs. You should check her out on Youtube.”

Other: “I think I might. Any other good names you know?”

You: “Well, there’s a performer that I haven’t seen much of, but I like what I’ve heard. They’re called…”

From well-known to new faces on the scene. This allows you to share favorites, while also giving your favorites more exposure.

Sharing Commonalities

Sometimes, you just click and find out you have a lot in common. If you find someone who shares your music taste, the conversation could go something like this:

Other: “What kind of music do you like?”

You: “I like a lot of different things. Lately, I’ve been into 80’s artists, and movie soundtracks.”

Other: “I love that music! Do you have a favorite artist?”

You: “I like David Bowie’s music.”

Other: “Oh, yeah! I love that one song he did…’Let’s Dance!'”

You: “Yeah, that’s a classic. What about ‘Changes’?”

Other: “Yeah, I love that one. And speaking of soundtracks, what did you think of his Ziggy Stardust?

You: “It was pretty good, although…what did you think of the songs in Labyrinth?”

You can keep a conversation going for hours this way.


The best way to keep a conversation going is to reciprocate the question. Even if you don’t share tastes, it’s a good way to learn more about someone.

If you’re having trouble finding common ground, you might try steering the conversation something like this:

Other: “What kind of music do you like?”

You: “I’m a big fan of Celtic music.”

Other: “I don’t really know much about that…”

You: “Yeah, it’s not one of the most popular genres. But since you asked, what kind of music do you like?”

Other: “I like country music…”

You: “Oh? Do you mean stuff like Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson? Or…I don’t know many of the newer artists, but…”

From here, there are a number of ways the conversation can go, and even if you’re not a huge country fan, being interested in someone else’s favorites is never a bad move.

Change Gears

Not all music tastes coincide. If your tastes aren’t meshing, you should try changing to a different topic.

If you don’t turn out to have much in common, you might take the conversation in a direction like this:

Other: “What kind of music do you like?”

You: “Oh, I’m a huge fan of J-Pop.”

Other: “Really? I can’t get into that kind of music at all…”

You: “Well, there’s some really good stuff out there, but I guess it isn’t for everyone. What about you? What music do you like?”

Other: “Oh, I like blues and jazz, and that sort of thing.”

You: “I never really got into that kind of music myself. But I’ve heard of some good songs on movie soundtracks. Do you watch a lot of movies with jazz in them?”

Other: “I’ve seen a few.”

You: “Oh? What kind of movies?”

Final Answer

There’s no wrong answer to how to answer the question ‘what kind of music do you like?’. However, the answers above can help give you an idea of how to steer the conversation beyond the initial question.

Whatever answer you give, there’s really only one rule: Be honest, and speak from the heart.