Monday, February 28, 2011

ASMR and Music: Track Spotting

A while back I posted on the Facebook Group wall that I was going through my entire music collection, trying to gather all the tracks that acted as ASMR triggers, listening to them, and making a note of them.

This is part of a practice that I’ve decided to call “track spotting”. Whether there’s another name for this, I’m not sure. You come across a song of any genre, and then just make a note of which song it is. People within the community often do this, and post their recommendations on Facebook, or favourite YouTube music videos and the like, which work for them.


Example of Track Spotting:

Song: Black Magic | Album: Show No Mercy | Artist: Slayer | Hit location: 02:31 – 02:45

Yeah, so I like my old school thrash metal and the like. So what?

But delving deeper into this track spotting (similar to the phrase “train spotting”) activity is actually finding the exact moment(s) in a song that cause a sensation. I’ve experimented with this, and often make a note of choruses, solos, and other changes in energy within a song that elicit ASMR. You often see this on YouTube where people leave comments, saying: “listen at 05:40, and you’ll see what I mean!”

You can obviously do this with YouTube videos and the like as well – it’s not just limited to songs. It’s then interesting to list the points of a song where you feel a hit, so to speak, and then recommend that song to someone. They then know what to look out for, and anticipate that moment in a song (which is a trigger in itself!), and when they finally reach that point in the song, it either works or it doesn’t. That depends on the person and their musical preferences, which should probably be established beforehand!

On a side note, yes, I’m aware that there is a growing concern online, revolving around the difference between ASMR and chills that some experience while listening to music, which has been covered in a recent study or two. But more on that in another post! Maybe it will be the subject of a future poll too.


  1. What people have taken to calling "ASMR" online is more commonly referred to as "frisson," or the more ambiguous "chills," in scientific literature. A recent article in the journal Nature studied its effects on the brain in detail:

  2. It's a possibility. There are several other theories or possibilities out there.

    Some claim that it's a form of synaethesia. But from what I've learned, most people with synaesthesia talk about strong links to colour and the like, as well as getting these tingles. But I don't get the whole "colours" thing like they do.

    I've read that study though, among others.


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