How to Pick the Perfect Song for a Video

In this blog, I am going to try and explain the process of choosing what music belongs in your video production. I will teach you how to select the right background music for your videos, without violating licensing.

If you find the perfect background music for videos, you can amplify their reach and resonance with very little extra work.

Decide What Role Will Play in Your Video

Some background music is designed to provide a sub-perceptual lift. Other music unleashes energy, and other music matches what’s happening on the screen and sets the mood. It’s all about asking yourself, what sort of video am I creating and what role do I want the music to play.

For example, an explainer video heavily relies on the graphics so the music should be subtle to not take away the attention. Whereas, live-action footage uses the music to explain and advance the story.

An industry scenario would be creating a video for a music streaming industry for example Spotify. The music would more than likely be the main feature and that you should work solely around the music.

Understand Which Genres of Music Make the Best Background Music

It is important to narrow down your options so that it is less stressful when you are trying to decide which song to use. In order to do this, it is worth knowing the different genres of video and what music works best with it.

  • Cinematic: Big, sweeping, grand, victorious
  • Corporate: Engaging, inviting, unobtrusive
  • Comedic: Bubbly, fun, bright, exciting

The best way to find a song that fits when you have narrowed down to a genre is to use a music library and filter the results to your needs.

Use Reference Music

A lot of the time we already have an idea of a song in mind and this will be what you start creating in your head, you must use this as a guide and find songs that are of the same style based on rhythm, speed, progression, instrumentation, or key. Some royalty-free music sites make this easy as you can upload a song and it’ll find similar sounding ones.

Using Off-Limits Famous Music

Sometimes you really have a song in mind but don’t have the budget to pay for the licensing, so you have to find a new way to get the right song for your video. As stated above, you could try and find a similar song by spending time looking or having an audio library do the work for you. However, a lot of people don’t know that copyright only lasts 50 years after the artists’ death. Therefore songs by Bach or Beethoven are useable, as does anything recorded before 1969. This opens a lot of doors to a lot of compositions and music from films that you can use to add some drama and your desired effect can be achieved without having to spend a penny.

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