How important is my choice of music for a YouTube video?

For a lot of people it would seem that choosing music for a YouTube video is something rather easy to do. The scenario I see in my head is this…

Joe Bloggs: ‘I need music for my YouTube video selling my latest app. I wonder what will work. Let’s look at what’s out there.’


Cut to computer screen showing 1000’s of YouTube videos playing ukulele music


Joe Bloggs (Dramatic close-up): Ukulele music. That’ll do.


Personally, I find that a little disappointing if not rather annoying hearing, effectively, the same music over and over again.

Knowing what is popular is of course important when trying to market one-self  or a product but we should never forget to use the appropriate music to fit what we are trying to say. Neither should we forget that being like everyone else makes us one of a big crowd and not one who stands out of that crowd.

What music you choose is important and what one piece says is very different from another. Take a look at this video and see what I mean.

It’s quite obvious to me that that narrative would be the overriding factor in choosing the music for the above video. If the narrative led us to saying how beautiful and wondrous the Earth is then the music called ‘Tuar’ would be very appropriate. However, if the narrative was saying how powerful the earth is then ‘Escape To Alban’ would be more appropriate.

It’s obviously very important what music you choose and it can seem quite daunting when presented with 1000’s of choices. So my advice is this.


Try out music that you have readily available. You obviously won’t have the rights to use this music but it will give you a starting point. It’s well known that for 2001: A Space Odyssey that Stanley Kubrick did not like the music composed for his great epic film so went though his own record collection and used that music in the film. There may have been a few copyright issues to follow so make sure you have the appropriate licenses for whatever you use. The prices these days are very reasonable. There are a few sites listed on this page that you could shop around in.


Don’t settle for the first piece of music you think works in step 1. Try others to see if you maybe missed something. From watching the video above I could swear that the desert looks darker the second time round even though I know it can’t be because it’s the same video content. It’s that important that music makes me see things differently.


Use bullet points or keywords to describe the scene or overall feeling you are trying to create. Or use keywords to describe the music you found in step one. Music library sites have lots of ways for you to find the music you are looking for. Keywords, moods, feel, tempo, genre… they’re all there.

After very little time searching with the preparation you have done, using the steps above, you will find the perfect music.

And if it has ukulele in it then so be it. It’s what was needed.


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