Amazon Alexa Music Commands

Using voice command, you can easily tell Alexa exactly what music you want to listen to and from which service.
Amazon Alexa Music Commands
Updated: 21st Feb 2021
Published: 19th Aug 2019
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By Ricky Harewood

Ricky is our Head of content and has written a large amount of the content on He man Read More...

Nowadays, having a virtual assistant is pretty common in many homes around the world. It’s no surprise since smart speakers have been the most popular smart home devices for quite some time. One of the best known is Amazon’s Alexa, which you can find in almost every Amazon smart device.

With such a powerful aide by your side, you can use your voice to tell it what to do. You can control other smart devices in your home, check the weather, schedule meetings, set alarms, watch your favorite shows, check the news, and many other things. And if you want to listen to some music, you can do so by uttering a simple voice command.

Thanks to advances in the music streaming industry, you can also use third-party services to access your music catalog or listen to your favorite podcast. In light of all the different commands that Alexa recognizes, this article will go over a list of the most useful.

Which Music Services Are Compatible With Alexa?

As an Amazon creation, Alexa supports all of Amazon’s music streaming services. Depending on your needs and budget, you can opt for one of the following:

  • Amazon Music Free – Comes with a smaller catalog of music organized by top playlists, as well as thousands of internet radio stations.
  • Amazon Music Prime – With an Amazon Prime subscription, you have access to some two million songs.
  • Amazon Music HD – This service is ideal for anyone who cares about the best audio streaming quality, offering over 70 million songs in HD audio and millions more in Ultra HD.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited – Access more than 70 million songs in standard audio quality, thousands of playlists, as well as streaming stations that you can organize to your musical taste.

Besides the above Amazon services, many other music streaming services have Alexa support. Some of these are premium, requiring a subscription, while others are completely free:

  • Apple Music
  • Deezer
  • Gimme
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora
  • SiriusXM
  • Spotify (Premium)
  • Tidal
  • TuneIn (no need to login)
  • Vevo

In addition to these, there are yet other music streaming services that you can access through Alexa-enabled devices and control them using your voice.

Setting Up Alexa to Play Music

Setting Up Alexa to Play Music

In order to get Alexa to play music, you first have to link the music services that you’d like to use. To do so, you’ll need to install the Alexa app on your mobile device. You can download it for Android from Google Play or for iPhones and iPads from Apple’s App Store. If you already have the app on your device, please check and see if you’re using the latest version.

Once you link Alexa to the desired services, you can also make any of the apps the default for Alexa. What’s great about Alexa is that it can tell two default streaming services apart, depending on the content you want to listen to.

Linking Alexa to the Music Streaming Services

To link your music services to Alexa, follow the steps below:

  1. Start the Alexa app.
  2. Tap the options button in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Tap “Settings.”
  4. Tap “Music & Podcasts.”
  5. Tap “Link New Service.”
  6. From the list of available services, tap the one you’d like to connect.
  7. Tap “Enable to use.”
  8. Enter your username and password.
  9. If the app asks you to confirm the access request, tap “Allow.”
  10. Now you should see the confirmation that you’ve successfully linked that music service to Alexa.
  11. Finally, tap “Done” when Alexa establishes the link with your account.

To add additional music streaming services, repeat the steps above for each of the services you’d like to use.

Setting the Default Services

Once you’ve set up all the services, it’s time for the next step – setting the default music app. This will allow you to use shorter voice commands later on.

  1. Start the Alexa app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the options button in the upper left corner.
  3. Tap “Settings.”
  4. Tap “Music & Podcasts.”
  5. Tap “Default Services.”
  6. In the section “Default Music Library,” tap one of the services available to set it as your preferred music source.
  7. Now, do the same for “Default Station” as well, informing Alexa which service to use when searching for an internet radio station for you.
  8. Simply return to the app’s home screen and you’re done.

Now that the Alexa app is set up and ready to go, it’s time to play some music.

Amazon Alexa Voice Commands for Playing Music

Amazon Alexa Voice Commands for Playing Music

Now that you’ve linked all your streaming services and set the default, it’s time to play some music. To do this, you can use the following general voice commands:

  • “Alexa, play music” – Alexa will play a random song from the default Music Library.
  • “Alexa, play the Top Hits playlist.” – Alexa will look for a playlist with that name using the default music service. This is especially useful if you have your own playlists, either public or private.
  • “Alexa, play ” - Alexa will play the radio station using the default service set.
  • “Alexa, play a rock station” – Alexa will find and play a random internet radio station in the rock genre available on the default station service.

If you want to play music with any service other than the default, simply say:

  • “Alexa, play music on Spotify.”
  • “Alexa, play music on Apple Music.”
  • “Alexa, play music on Pandora.”

Basically, just add the name of the service that you’d like to use after “Alexa, play music...”

Amazon Alexa

In order to play specific content, you can tell Alexa to do so and even add the service:

  • “Alexa, play on .”
  • “Alexa, play on ”
  • “Alexa, play on .”

If you don’t want to listen to anything specific but rather a random selection of music of the same theme, you can do that as well.

  • “Alexa, play some head-banging heavy metal music on Deezer.”
  • “Alexa, play some lullabies for goodnight.”
  • “Alexa, play workout music.”
  • “Alexa, play relaxed office music.”

If you’ve connected multiple smart speakers to your smart home ecosystem, you can even choose where you want the music to play. And don’t be afraid to use longer sentences as well.

  • “Alexa, play popular techno music in the living room.”
  • “Alexa, play the latest album of Red Hot Chili Peppers on Spotify in the garage.”

For anyone who listens to audiobooks, Alexa allows you to control the content on Audible as well.

  • “Alexa, read on Audible.”
  • “Alexa, play on Audible.”
  • “Alexa, read me .”
  • “Alexa, read me a book from .”

When you’ve finished listening to music or you simply want to pause for a moment, you can use some of the intuitive commands to tell that to Alexa. This applies to song navigation as well.

  • “Alexa, stop music.”
  • “Alexa, stop playing music in the kitchen.”
  • “Alexa, pause.”
  • “Alexa, pause the music.”
  • “Alexa, resume.”
  • “Alexa, next/previous song.”
  • “Alexa, skip this song.”
  • “Alexa, play from beginning.”
  • “Alexa, skip forward twenty seconds.”
  • “Alexa, jump backward two minutes.”
  • “Alexa, loop this album.”
  • “Alexa, loop the playlist.”
  • “Alexa, shuffle on/off.”
  • “Alexa, repeat on/off.”

Even though there’s a lot of music out there, sometimes you might not be certain about what to play. Luckily, you can always turn to Alexa for help.

  • “Alexa, help me find some music.”
  • “Alexa, help me with a playlist.”

This will initiate a series of questions that Alexa will ask you to narrow down what is it that you want to play. What’s more, Alexa will play short previews to help you make up your mind.

Amazon Echo Dot

And if it so happens that you can’t remember the name of a song or the artist, only some of the lyrics, you can ask Alexa to find the song for you.

  • “Alexa, play the song that goes “Give it away, give it away, give it away now.””

As you can see, there are a lot of different voice commands that Alexa can understand. And although this article can’t cover all possible command variations, you can always try like you’re engaged in normal speech. Thanks to Alexa’s complex programming and voice recognition capabilities, chances are it will understand you quite well.

Alexa Voice Commands for Sound Control

Besides playing music, Alexa also allows you to control various sound settings. First of all, there’s volume.

  • “Alexa, turn up/down the volume.”
  • “Alexa, increase/lower the volume.”
  • “Alexa, make the volume lower/higher.”

These commands essentially tell Alexa to turn the volume up or down in 10% steps. Each time you repeat a command to increase volume, it will go up 10% up to the maximum of 100%. The same applies when lowering volume.

If you want to quickly set the volume to a certain level, you can specify that and in however many words.

  • “Alexa, volume one.”
  • “Alexa, set the volume to level eight.”
  • “Alexa, mute.”
  • “Alexa, unmute.”

As mentioned above, you might have several smart speakers at home and connected to Alexa. If that is the case, simply add the room name at the end of the command.

  • “Alexa, volume ten in my room.”
  • “Alexa, volume ten in Timmy’s room.”
  • “Alexa, mute living room.”

And if you’ve organized your smart home into different groups, you can tell Alexa these specifics as well. For example, you can create the “Living Area” group in the Alexa app and add to it all the smart speakers and similar devices in your living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, and out on the front porch.

  • “Alexa, volume five in the living area.”

Playing Music With Your Alexa

Playing Music With Your Alexa

Hopefully, this article gave you enough to start controlling your Alexa using your voice. With so many commands available and many more added on a regular basis, Amazon has truly achieved a high level of voice control. It surpasses even the wildest visions recorded in science fiction literature and movies of the past.

Courtesy of the advanced voice recognition technology, Alexa allows you to tailor your own vocabulary when talking to Alexa. And although the list of commands found in this article is quite extensive, there are many more you can find on your own.

Which voice commands do you use most when controlling the music playback on your Alexa? Have you managed to come up with some commands on your own? If so, please share your findings as well as any additional thoughts in the comments section below.