How to Play Music in Discord

Many servers let you play music in Discord. This is possible using a bot called Groovy to stream songs over voice channels. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to set up groovy and play music in your Discord server.

How to Play Music in Discord

A great way to bond with your friends and family is to listen to music together, but that can be hard when you’re not in the same room. Spotify and other apps offer limited methods to do this, but most of these platforms put a price tag on social listening. You can easily get around this by playing music in Discord.

Discord contains many different automations called bots that perform various tasks that make servers more efficient and fun to use. One bot, Groovy, plays music over voice channels in Discord servers. Using Groovy, you can play music for free in Discord in just a few steps.

About Groovy

A screenshot of the website for the Groovy bot.
A screenshot of the website for the Groovy bot. 

With Groovy, you can listen to any song, without ads, as long as it’s on YouTube or Soundcloud. Groovy isn’t just for music, though. You can also use it to listen to the audio from YouTube videos like they’re podcasts.

Everyone knows that YouTube videos stop playing once you leave the app if you’re on mobile, which makes it hard to have them on in the background while you’re doing something else. However, you can circumvent this by joining a Discord voice channel and using Groovy to play the YouTube video like you would a song. Now, you can still listen as you switch to other apps or put your phone to sleep.

In this article, I’m going to show you:

  1. How to set up Groovy in your Discord server
  2. How to use Groovy to play your favorite songs and YouTube videos.

Step 1: Get an administrator role

To add a bot to a Discord server, you have to have an administrator role in that server. People who have an administrator role in a server are able to create and delete channels, invite bots into the server, and make other changes to a server that a normal user cannot.

There are two ways to get an administrator role in a server:

  • Asking someone who already has an administrator role to give you administrator permissions
  • Creating your own new server

If you create your own server, you are automatically that server’s administrator. If you're setting up a Discord server for the first time, we have a complete guide on how to get started.

Try these free Discord tools:

Step 2: Set up the server for Groovy

The windows that appear when you are trying to create a new channel on Discord.
Creating a text channel and voice channel in Discord. 

Before adding in Groovy, you need to create several channels that will streamline the process of playing music: a text channel for typing bot commands and a voice channel for listening to music (feel free to skip this step if your server already has these channels).

To create a new channel, press the plus button + on the left sidebar, enter a name for your channel, choose whether you want it to be a text or voice channel, and choose whether you want it to be public or private – this controls whether everyone in your server has access to the channel or only some members.

Once your channels are set up, you’re ready to add Groovy to your server!

Step 3: Invite Groovy

An image showing the simplified process of adding the Discord bot Groovy to a server.
Adding the Groovy bot to a Discord server. 

To invite Groovy, head over to the bot’s website and click “Add to Discord”. Then, select the server you’d like to add the bot to, and you should see that Groovy is now one of the server’s members.

Step 4: Play a song

To start using Groovy, hop into one of your server’s voice channels by clicking the channel name. Have anyone you want to listen to music with do the same. Then, in your text channel for bot commands, type /play, hit the TAB button, and then type the name of the song you want to play.

For example, if I wanted to play Castaways by The Backyardigans, I would type /play hit TAB, and then type castaways the backyardigans. Keep typing in /play, TAB, [name of song] to keep adding songs to your queue.

Three screenshots showing the process of using the /play command on Discord.
The process of the /play command on Discord. 

Groovy works by taking audio from preexisting YouTube videos that match your search term. So, when you search for Castaways the Backyardigans, you will hear the audio for the top video result if you searched “Castaways the Backyardigans” on YouTube.

You can also queue a song using the song’s URL by typing in /play, hitting the TAB button, and then typing the URL.

Two screenshots showing the process of typing /play and then pasting in a video link for Groovy to play music.
Using the /play command to play a song from a URL. 

If you paste in a URL from YouTube or Soundcloud, Groovy will play the audio from the YouTube video or Soundcloud file that you linked. If you paste in a URL from a music streaming service, Groovy will find a YouTube video whose audio matches that of the URL you pasted in and play that video’s audio for you.

If you’ve prepared a playlist on YouTube or your favorite music streaming site, you can queue the entire playlist by typing /play, hitting the TAB button, and then entering the link to the playlist.

Step 5: Disconnect

Two screenshots showing how the /disconnect command works in a Discord server.
The /disconnect command on Discord. 

When you’re done listening to music in Discord, you can tell Groovy to leave the voice channel by typing /disconnect in a text channel. After the bot has disconnected, you can leave the voice channel and go about the rest of your day.

Command Options

Three screenshots showing what happens when you type /skip, /pause, and /unpause, respectively.
The /skip, /pause, and /unpause commands on Discord. 

There are - more commands than /play and /disconnect that you can use to customize your listening experience. They can be found on the Groovy bot’s website here. Here are some helpful commands:

  • /skip — to skip a song
  • /pause — to pause the music
  • /unpause — to unpause the music

Listening to More Music

One limitation of Groovy is that any song you want to play must be on YouTube or Soundcloud. If you want to listen to something not already on either site, you'll have to upload it to YouTube. Make sure you don't upload any music you don't own the rights to, otherwise YouTube may remove it. Using Kapwing, uploading a song to YouTube is possible in just a few steps:

  1. Upload a song to Kapwing
  2. Create a video using the audio
  3. Export the video
  4. Publish the video on YouTube

Here’s a more detailed guide on following the steps outlined above. Once your video is up on YouTube, you can use Groovy to listen to your heart’s content!

Groovy is one of the most useful bots on Discord, and we hope this article has convinced you to give it a shot in your servers. If you’d like to learn more about Discord or music, check out some of our articles below:

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