Once in a while I go music surfing. This is when I listen to a Pandora station until I hear a song I like. Then I create a station based on that song and listen to it until I hear a song I like. Rinse. Repeat. This is a great way to be introduced to new music I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Normally though I just pick one of my permanent stations that fits my mood and let it play. Therefore, I like to have a set of stations that I know will play music I enjoy. I put some care into keeping them full of good music while mostly excluding the bad. Sometimes I’ll find a song or artist that makes a station good enough that it doesn’t need any modification. For example, I like the station I created based on the band Delain as is. I haven’t modified it in any way.
Most of the stations I create need some expansion. You can get this a little bit if you give songs you like a thumbs up, but that is rarely enough. You can greatly expand a station by using the Add Variety feature to add more songs or artists as station seeds. However, this often makes the station much too broad.
I’ve found a little trick that works for me. Once in a while if I’m going to be at my computer for a while I’ll take one of my existing stations and use the Add Variety feature to add more songs or artists as station seeds. As the station plays I’ll give new songs I like a thumbs up. Then before I leave the computer for the day I’ll edit the station and remove the extra seeds I added at the start of the day. That will remove the influence of those seeds, but the songs I gave thumbs up will still play and once in a while a similar song will play. This allows me to slowly expand a station without the dramatic effects of adding new seeds.