How to Choose the Perfect Song for Your Video

How to Choose the Perfect Song for Your Video

Song selection can either make or break a video. Music drives a video’s mood, tempo, and also serves as a reflection of your brand. So how do you go about finding a song that perfectly compliments your message?

Having paired countless songs to countless client projects, we know a thing or two when it comes to music selection. Here are our top tips for choosing the right music for your video.

Consider the tone of your message

Your music should never conflict with the tone of your dialogue. Pairing a cheerful song to a video with a more serious message can distract and confuse viewers.

Instead, consider how you want viewers to feel while digesting your script. Is your message intended for them to feel happy, sad, hopeful, or entertained? This will provide a good starting point to narrow your search based on typical keywords most royalty free music sites are looking for.

Use music to strategically draw viewers in

Don’t discount the way in which music can pull viewers in at certain points in your video. Look for songs that have well-placed drops or builds that can give your content that extra flair it needs to grab a viewer's attention at critical moments.

Pro tip: If you’re choosing a song from a royalty free music site, don’t be afraid to do a little cut-and-paste rearranging so you can line up certain sections of the music with the time duration in your video that you want the music to either drop or build.

You don’t have to take a song at face-value. Taking the extra time to do some semi-custom composing will make all the difference in your final edit!

Your song should always compliment, never compete

Your music should never compete with your brand, on-screen dialogue, or pace of your video.

  • If you find that your song choice makes it hard to hear the person talking on screen, then it’s the wrong song.

  • If your song choice does not accurately reflect your brand voice, then it’s the wrong song.

  • If your song choice is too fast or too slow for the preferred pace of your video, then it’s the wrong song.

Your music should always compliment your video, never conflict or compete with it. It’s the difference between putting the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae versus ketchup. One works while the other… well, doesn’t.

Seek a second opinion

If you find yourself having downloaded 15 songs with 7 of them sitting in your editing timeline as “potential options,” it’s time to seek a second opinion.

Our team has found that having a second pair of ears can make all the difference in weeding out the songs that just don’t work and identifying the select few that do.

The good news? You don’t have to be an editing guru to judge whether or not a song fits. So enlist the help a co-worker or supervisor who can help you narrow down options before you drop another 5 songs in your timeline (please… don’t do that).

Pro tip: It’s never bad to take a 10-minute break if you feel you’re hitting a music rut. Stepping away from a project and coming back with a fresh perspective can provide the clarity you need to locate the perfect melody.

Where to source music for your videos

When it comes to finding music for your videos you have two options:

  • If you have the budget, you can hire a custom composer to create a song specifically for your video.

  • Or you can find affordable options through a royalty free music library.

The major pro to hiring a custom composer is just that… it’s custom! Not only do you enlist the help of a professional who can tailor your song to your exact needs, but you can 100% ensure that your content will be original (meaning, you won’t hear your song on another commercial and think… "why does that sound so familiar?”).

However, if you’re looking for something that’s a little more budget-friendly, you can absolutely find wonderful options through royalty free music sites like Premium Beat or Audio Jungle.

Pro tip: When choosing a song through a royalty free music site, don’t forget to take a peek at the terms of use before you click “buy now.” Especially if you’re using the video as an advertising piece! Most sites have different rates associated with web and non-web distribution of content. You don’t want to risk legal ramifications just because you didn’t read the fine print.

Above all, embrace the process.

It may take a minute to find the right song, but trust us… it’s worth it! Music can either be the driving force or the last thing that ties everything in the edit together perfectly. If you ever find yourself saying, “I think it works?” Keep looking.

We'd love to work with you

We love helping businesses create videos that help them connect, grow, and thrive. Interested in bringing your video idea to life? Take a look at this in-depth view of our process and start your project here.

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Tracey Spaulding