Figuring out the right background music for your videos is one of those things that can make or break the quality of your video and its ability to get the maximum amount of views possible.
After all, who would really be focusing on your sports-based video if the background music has banjos in them, sounding like a folk revival session? No hate towards lovers of folk music, but maybe don’t use that as your background music, unless your video is actually talking about folk music, or is related to folk music in one way or another.
If you’re completely unfamiliar with picking the right music genre for your YouTube videos, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the most common music genres that you can choose.
Music Genres 101: Figuring Out What You Need
Alright, before starting our deep dive into the world of music genres all available on the market, we’ll want to do some soul searching first. Learn the music theory with detail.
The very first step will have to be deciding what role the music for Youtube will take. Some music genres are designed to add a “lift” to your video content, while others hype the viewers up. Other types of music can help explain what’s happening onscreen or appropriately set the mood.
This is why you’ll want to decide on what role the music will take in your video creation process. Here are some examples:
- Story or Live-Action Video: Clear and minimalistic music can be used to explain and advance the plot of the story;
- Promo or Ad-Based Video: The higher in drama, the better off your video will be. Dramatic music can be used to evoke (and heighten) emotions;
- Explainer Video: Gentle subtle music is quite enough to fill the silence without distracting your viewers from what you’re trying to say.
Moreover, if you happen to make music videos or videos about music, then the background music becomes one of the main features of the video, instead of providing strong support to your content.
You’ll want to nail down the emotions and feelings you want your viewers to experience. Do you remember that heartwrenching Sarah McLachlan ASPCA ad? Yes, that’s what we meant.
Breakdown the Best Music Genres for Background Music
Simply put, there are specific music genres that work out better as video background music than others. After all, if you have to select every single track one at a time, things can be a bit too stressful and time-consuming.
You can bypass that issue by narrowing your options to a single genre, and you’ll be good to go. Here’s our breakdown of the most common genres used for background music.
- Acoustic: Empathetic, minimalistic, connected, sometimes melancholy depending on the scale key used;
- Electronic: Cerebral, intelligent, curious, and almost preppy;
- Hip Hop: Edgy, fast, confident. The cool kids’ background music;
- Comedic: Bubbly, fun, exciting, and bright in tone and pitch;
- Ambient: Soothing, centered, calm. Think mindfulness and meditation;
- Rock: Raw, more of an in-your-face type of video with strong flavors of rebellion;
- Funk: Bright, discordant, fast in pace;
- Cinematic: Big, sweeping, grand, victorious. Think the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and you’ve made it;
Of course, all of those genres are a mere introduction to the common music genres used as background music, so feel free to widen your research parameters and pick something different if it better fits your video content.
Bookends: Use Music as Intros and Outros
Generally speaking, a bookend means a short and sweet three to five-second snippet of music that comes with either animation or text. Those come in to either indicate the start of a video (the intro) or the end of the video (outro).
Basically, they are the main signs you’d give your viewers that aid with understanding your video content and helps them keep up with your storyline. In addition to being a great opportunity to put in some CTAs like “subscribe” or “hit the notification button,” you can take advantage of the space by including your logo, branding materials, and even your social media handles.
Make Use of Reference Music
No one says you can’t use reference music as your starting point. If you already have a popular song in mind that you think would be perfect for your video, you can use that as your main research guide.
Start by analyzing the track, pin down its genre, then you can find similar tracks based on the speed, progression, rhythm, and even the key.
Nail Down Your Budget
Your background music can truly fluctuate in quality if you keep a fluctuating budget, and that’s a no-no in business. You’ll want your background music to be associated with your brand image, so it can’t hop around when it comes to quality.
That’s why you’ll want to start by nailing down your budget, then sticking to it. If you have a small budget, start by looking at a creative commons license. This is the legal license for material that’s free to use, as long as you follow a couple of simple rules, like linking back to the source.
If you have a medium budget, say you’re willing to pay between $10 and $100 for a track. You can pick a royalty-free one from a music library. Those tend to be higher in quality than the generalized creative commons tracks, so you’ll have a bigger opportunity to customize here.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a large (or unlimited) budget, you can get custom music made of your videos, which can cost you from $300 to $1,000. This is a great option if you have the funds, as you can reuse the song and have it cemented in your viewers’ brains as “your music.”
Ready to Hype up Your YouTube Videos?
We know how exciting it can be to film content for your YouTube video and nail your script, but some creators focus too much on this process and forget how important it is to pick the right music genres for your background music.
After all, if you make the wrong choice, your viewers will be focusing on your disorienting background music instead of your actual content.
Hopefully, our guide about the different types of music genres available, as well as some key tips on how to pick the right one for your videos has shed some light on the process. When in doubt, remember to have fun with it.