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Choosing Music for your Video

I often find that when I add the music track to a video the whole thing comes alive. Choosing the right piece of music is crucial – you can make it or break it. Sometimes choosing the right piece of music is the thing that takes the longest because I want to get it just right. Music touches the soul – it has a way of evoking feelings in your viewers. And it’s the emotion which will motivate the audience into action. So if you get the music right you’re on your way to making a video which creates the impact you want and the right response.

I always make sure I listen to the client’s ideas. Some have a strong idea of what they want and what will work well. Some business owners have a favourite genre. I follow their lead. At the end of the day it’s their company they’re presenting and they know their brand best. 

Many clients give me free reign. So this is how I choose: It has to be appropriate to the message. I consider what feelings does the video needs to evoke in the viewer: peace of mind, relief from stress, positive, exciting, forward-thinking, action…On music library sites you can search by mood. 

You can also search by instrumentation. A full orchestra sounds grand. Perfect for accompanying shots of prestigious buildings. Acoustic guitars and indie vocals work well for campsite promo vids, for example, where campers are chilling out. It will help viewers feel the mellow vibes and join in with the whole experience.

Titles at the beginning and end captions/logos need a good clean punchy sting or a gentle fade which appropriately matches the message of the video.

I often use quiet music in the background of interviews. This keeps the video moving and provides continuity throughout. Volume is increased when talking stops. It’s best to avoid a piece with a strong drum beat. This can distract from the speech.

How to source music is a big consideration. I avoid commercial music which can be very expensive to license. 

If a company has the budget music can be commissioned specially. It’s easier to negotiate rights to use this music and it works well if we’re making a series. Unique music gives a series its own identity. Otherwise, library music offers a massive choice and good value. I don’t go for free tracks – these will be over-used and will make your video like thousands of others.

Finally, I always give the client the option suggest changes. We work on the video until everyone’s happy and it tells exactly the story that’s intended.

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