Music, they say, is a story taller. Every single piece of music ever written, was written by someone who was conveying emotions. Whether that music has lyrics to guide us through the story or is just an instrumental to give us an overview of the emotion, it all tells a story.
One of the most frustrating things as a videographer, besides sifting through 96 hours of uncategorized footage, is choosing the proper music to convey the message you want the story to tell. We have personally spent hours (or days, we’re ashamed to say) trying to find that perfect track.
Now, there is no right or wrong way to choose music for your project, but if you’re anything like us, then maybe we can give you a few simple tips that might help you at least narrow down your chooses.
Let’s take a wedding highlight video for example.
First of all, take a look at your footage. What type of shots do you have? What type of people? What mood? Do you have a lot of in film audio that you want to use?
Is it fun and upbeat? Is it pretty and classic?
By determining a few of things right at the outset, you can significantly narrow down your options. You can determine if you need a fun or upbeat song, something slower, something instrumental, something young and trendy, something more refined.
Once you’ve determined the style of music, it’s time to start listening. If you’ve decided to use a track with vocals, it’s important to read the lyrics. The last thing that you want to do is find a song you think is perfect, edit your video to it, then realize that the singer is talking about lost love or break ups…(been there, done that).
SO READ YOUR LYRICS!
A few other notes about music. To us, music can completely change the dynamic of a video. It’s more than complementary, it can be THE emotional tie that draws out the feelings of the day. So when you’re searching for music, look for tracks that are dynamic in themselves – something that builds, something that has slower parts that move to something faster, places where you know that when the song gets really full here, this is where the bride enters the room, etc…
We generally try to stay away from the Top 40 artists or whatever is popular on the radio right now. Those songs and artists come and go. In six months, if you use a top 40 track, everyone will have heard it 473,000 times and they are tired of it. So dig deeper for your music. Find tracks that are not mainstream, that aren’t heard all the time. These are the tracks that will last. For your clients, these are the tracks that are timeless. Even if they have never heard of the artist, the fact that this track is theirs will make it perfect.
And the last bit of info we can give you is to just LISTEN to music. All the time. Listen to new stuff. Listen to old stuff. Just listen to music. Make a playlist or have a scratch notebook. When you hear a good song (or even a decent song) that you think you could use one day, make a note of it, put it in a playlist, and refer to that when you are having trouble. The more you know, the more you hear, the better off you are when determining what will work best for you.