Those of you who have listened to my game session recordings may have heard some of this in the background, but I thought I'd share outright: some of the music I play during my games.
It took a while to figure out a pretty simple rule of playing music during games: Keep it instrumental. That's probably obvious. Words distract people.
Also, keep it interesting: modern seems to work better than classical for most groups I've seen, as you can find some weird stuff and people seem to respond to that. Also get some stuff that fills up a background, this pours noise into the empty space people might be tempted to otherwise take up with conversation that distracts from the game. The right music can instead help immersion and prevent these distractions.
First up is Explosions in the Sky. I love this band and so do most people with whom I share it. I also find that the sound and space-filling quality of post-rock consumes dead silence particularly well, without being too demanding of one's attention.
My favorite album is this one.
So Long Lonesome made a perfect soundtrack for Leonard's funeral.
Metal is another genre people often use to game with. Since I like the instrumental style of most metal, but not usually the growling/screaming singing, I like to use Deathm0le. The albums you'll hear me use are Long Songs and Amps, because I grabbed them when they were free for a bit, but the albums are right there for nice cheap download so if you don't know your local record/CD store (you're missing out) or want to spend the money, you can always download.
Also, I know some people who like to use The Sword and when one of my players brought in a record last time it seemed to work out fine, so that works too.
Anybody with suggestions let me know.
Keep on (rocking and) rolling.