Choosing the right music for your vlog might not feel as important as your footage, or what it is that you want to say, but in fact, it’s incredibly important. To help you get your audio track just right, we explain why your music choices are important, and then give you some examples to help you make your selection. We also curated a number of collections at Artlist with which you can soundtrack your travel vlog.
The importance of audio
If you’ve ever heard the filmmaker Philip Bloom speak, he’ll tell you that good audio is just as important as a good image when it comes to films. ”Audio is one of those things that too many underestimate and put as a secondary consideration. That should never be the case.” We are much more likely to switch off a video because of bad audio than we are because of poor pictures, so it pays to get it right. Sure, he’s mostly referring to the audio that you record as part of your film here, but this also helps to explain why good music is so important, too. There are many vlogs out there. If people don’t like what they hear as well as what they see, they will click elsewhere. Even if your visuals are great and what you are trying to communicate is excellent, you need to be sure that you’re not turning viewers away from your product with poor audio.
Mood and tone
More than anything else, the background music for your vlogs is going to set their mood and tone and help establish an emotional connection between your viewers and your vlog. Think about the vibe of your vlog and the music you will need to communicate that.
The chances are that if you produce comedy or skit vlogs, you’ll need upbeat, playful music that might have an element of slapstick to it. As soon as your viewers hear that type of music, they will know what to expect. However, if you make educational vlogs, you will need something much calmer. It’s always important not to distract your viewers with your music choices, but if you’re trying to communicate something complicated, think about using music that will help concentration.
For some types of vlogs, the music that you use will need to change according to the topic that of your video. For example, the feel of family, lifestyle, and fashion vlogs will change with their subject matter. A lifestyle vlog can be either exciting, romantic or just chill; it all depends on what the vlogger at the moment. A vlog looking at wedding outfits will have a different vibe to a vlog trying out swimwear, and you should choose appropriate music for each mood.
The different types of mood that you might want to think about include:
- Calming, contemplative or Peaceful
- Fun and Playful
- Something to dance to
- Busy and industrious
- Hopeful or inspiring
- Reflective or somber
- Upbeat and Uplifting
Music for travel vlogs
Matching your vlog music choice to the landscape in your video is something that travel vloggers take a lot of time to consider. Think about it, a busy urban scene will need different music than a tranquil forest scene. A summer beach, full of people chilling out, splashing about in the sea, or playing on the sand will feel different from a deserted winter beach and needs a different type of music to give the right feel to what you are saying. Exactly what vibe you want to give off is up to you, but remember that your viewers are going emotionally connect to what they’re watching through the background music. You need to identify your vlog’s feel and select your music to match it.
Use local music
Depending on the type of vlogs that you create, you might have the opportunity to introduce some local music into your videos. This can work especially well for travel vlogs and food videos when you want to give an instant feel for your content. Of course, you need to be careful that you’re not using the music as a prop, but if you’re doing it right, you have the opportunity to expose your audience to new types of music as well as send an authentic vibe.
Consistency and branding
Whatever your vlog genre, you will need to have some kind of consistency to it so that you can establish your brand. Music can definitely help you achieve that. First, you might want to consider some theme music for your vlog. Even a few bars that your viewers can associate with your vlog will do the job.
Second, think about using a particular type of music for your vlogs. For certain vlog genres, you are going to need different mood-setting music depending on your subject. But other vlogs always have the same feel, which means that you can select music that reflects that. For example, as soon as people hear music that has a particular type of beat, they will associate it with your vlog.
Casey Neistat, YouTuber extraordinaire, has done an excellent job of relating music to his videos by using a specific type of vlogging music that has a great groove and a vintage quality. The web has become full of Casey Neistat music mixtapes.
Going one step further, some types of vlogs, for example, tech, DIY, or food vlogs, could work great using just one piece of music in all their videos. It’s definitely a strong way of reinforcing your brand, but you do need to be careful doing it. You might find your viewers get bored with it.
The pace of your vlog needs to be matched by your music choice. That’s true whether you’re on the move in a family or travel vlog, making or constructing something in a food or DIY vlog, or if you’re demonstrating something in a fashion or beauty vlog. Make sure to keep the pace of your vlog music similar to that of your content. And if your vlog has a climax, definitely marry the climax of your music to it.
Finding vlog music
There are many sources where you can find background vlog music. Some sources offer free vlog music and others have royalty-free music for vlogs. The quality of the latter is usually better than that of the former. If you want to get quality and affordable vlogging music, music licensing is the optimal solution. Whatever type of royalty-free vlog music you’re looking for, Artlist has something for you. You can find several hand-picked collections on the site like a tropical-themed collection, music for exploring, a specially curated collection of YouTube vlog music and a specially designed collection of soundtracks for travel vlog. There are many others, of course; if you're looking for chill background music, check out a Lofi Chillhop collection. Have a listen and find something that fits your content and take it to the next level.