- How do I find the perfect music for a video?
- How do I find the right music for my video?
- How do I choose a background music genre for my video?
- What are good songs for video edits?
- How do I add music to a video?
- How do I match videos with music?
- How do I sync audio with video?
- Where can I find free background music for my videos?
How to find and use the best Background Music for Your Videos
YouTube videos are works of art, capable of expressing an almost infinite number of different emotions. Music is exactly the same, this means the perfect background music can elevate the tone and mood of your content.
But choosing the correct music for your video is easier said than done. You may be tempted to just choose one of your favorite songs as your backing track. But just because you love an artist or song, it doesn’t mean that type of music will be correct for the video you’ve made.
Also, if you use a popular song, it's very likely your video will receive a copyright strike. For more information on how copyright works on different platforms, check out our guide to royalty free music.
In this guide we’ll share some advice on choosing the best type of music for your content, and where you can find music that you can use without breaking any laws.
Is the music copyright-cleared?
There are a few ways to know if a song is copyright-cleared. If a song is commercially released then it will not be copyright cleared. This includes any pop songs, movie soundtracks, underground label releases, and even songs that have been independently released by an artist.
If a musician has written a song without it being expressly for the purpose of licensing for videos, then it is almost definitely not copyright cleared. The musician has spent a lot of time, money and energy working on their music, and so they want to receive financial reparations for their work. Using this music without permission is both illegal and immoral.
Of course, if you are creating videos for personal use, or you are not making any money from your video then this is a different story. But if you are benefiting from the use of their song then it is theft.
Luckily, some musicians do allow their music to be used freely, or they write music specifically to be licensed for use in video projects. You can find this royalty free music in specific royalty free music libraries. There are many of these available online.
You will have to pay to use these tracks, however, once you’ve bought the rights to use these songs then you have full rights to use the tracks however you like in your projects.
One really important thing to consider when choosing music is what is the tone of your video? If you are making entertaining comedy videos, then having sombre backing music could totally ruin the funniness of your videos. Alternatively, if you are making a video essay about a serious topic, there may be certain types of music that are insensitive to use. For example, you wouldn’t want to play trap music whilst discussing World War II.
Though there are no set rules when it comes to picking a genre of music for your videos, there are some genres that do make sense in certain contexts. Here we take a look at some common video types and share some recommendations on what kind of music you could use.
Vlogs are a very personal style of video. A vlogger is sharing their unique life and personality, and therefore it’s important that the music they chose reflects who they are as an individual. That being said, there is one big popular choice for vloggers.
Big names such as Casey Neistat have long been using lofi hip hop and chillhop as their go to genre when it comes to backing music. It’s a popular choice for many. It’s laid back, feel good, and tends to be quite minimal so it doesn’t distract from dialogue. It’s kind of perfect.
When it comes to sports videos, there’s one word to keep in mind: EPIC. Sports videos are all about drama, and a dramatic song can take that to the next level.
You could go with an epic orchestral piece (think similar to Lux Aeterna from Requiem For A Dream) or a high energy EDM track. Alternatively you could go with a motivational hip hop track, or dramatic rock tune - the choice is yours.
This is exactly the kind of music you hear used by SkySports behind sports montages - if it’s good enough for them, then you can’t go wrong with it.
- Cooking and Tutorial Videos
Fun, light and feel good are the watch words for cooking and tutorial videos. Modern takes on country music and smooth jazz are often popular, as are ukulele and piano instrumentals. Take a look at big channels such as Tasty and Tastemade for inspiration.
If your videos are designed for a young audience then music is especially important. Of course you do not want to use any songs that have lyrics with adult themes. Additionally you need to consider what kind of music kids like - you’re unlikely to find an eight year old who’s a fan of minimal techno or death metal.
Go fun, light, groovy and funky. You also may want to use music and sound effects to emphasise jokes and visual things happening on screen. If you’re looking for a place to get amazing royalty free sound effects, check out the Accusonus SFX Cellar.
Vibe and feel are important when choosing a song for your video, but there are also a few practical things to bear in mind. Here are two important things to consider when choosing music for your videos.
- Does your video have dialogue?
If you, or anyone, speaks to the camera in your video then it’s a good idea to not choose a track that’s too busy or distracting. This is also true if you’re making fictionaly videos with characters talking to one another.
If your music has prominent vocals, or is very loud and hectic, it can be distracting for the audience and can make it harder to focus on the dialogue.
One thing that can help make dialogue clear is understanding frequencies in audio. Check out our guide to that here.
- How long is your video?
It may seem trivial, but if you have a 10 minute video and your backing tracking is only 30 seconds long, then you’ll have to loop it 20 times - this can be annoying for your audience.
If you do have a long video it’s a good idea to choose a longer track. Alternatively you can pick several tracks that work well together. If you do pick several tracks then try and pick songs with similar vibes - you want your backing tracks to change almost without the audience noticing so a sudden genre shift will be a jarring.
Fortunately, adding music to your video is incredibly easy. With most video editors you can import audio in exactly the same way you would import video - first load it into your media library and then drag and drop it onto your project timeline.
If you’re working with a few different music files, and lots of footage, it can be a good idea to organise your footage and music into two different bins in your media library. This just makes it a lot easier to keep track of all your different files when working on your video.
Organising footage into bins is also a great way to speed up your editing workflow. For more workflow tips, check out this video.
Getting your audio and video to work seamlessly together is essential in order to achieve and professional piece of content. Let's explore the best way to do that by syncing your audio and video.
The best way to get your audio and video to work well together is by synchronizing the cuts in your video with the beat of your music. Luckily, we have an in depth guide on how to do that over on our blog, you can find the guide here.
In the guide we show one quick and automatic method you can use in Adobe Premiere Pro, and another manual method that you can use in any video editor such as Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X and much more. Find the guide over on our blog.
We also have a video on our YouTube channel on how to synchronize audio and video in Adobe Premiere Pro. Check it out below.
So, after all this discussion of how to pick the right music for your video, it’s time to discuss where you can actually find royalty free music for video.
There are loads of paid platforms out there where you can pay a fee in order to gain rights to use a track in your videos, a quick Google will present you with 100s of options.
Alternatively, there are some websites which provide free options - these are less common and the quality is likely to be lower.
Of Course you can always find an independent artist on a platform such as Soundcloud and message them to ask if you can use their music in a video. Don’t expect them to let you use their music for free though, they’re working artists and it’s important to respect the craft of other creatives.
You could always hire a composer or musician to write a song specifically for you to use in your video. Places like UpWork or Fiverr are great for this kind of thing, have a browse and see what you can find!
Hopefully now you will be able to identify the right kind of music to use in your video, and know where to find it! If you want to learn more about working with audio for video then be sure to check out our blog and our YouTube channel.