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How to Choose Background Music for Videos? The COMPLETE Guide

Choosing background music for videos

How to Choose Background Music for Videos? In this day and age, sharing video with music has become a norm. Everyone from travel vloggers, makeup artists, filmmakers to big brands use music to create cinematic masterpieces. Taking a cue from the maestros, novice content creators have also started embedding tracks in their video projects.

However, your soundtrack selection can be a hit or a miss if your choices aren’t strategic. We help you put the guesswork out of this musical equation by teaching you to choose the right background music for videos. These tips can be the difference between average productions and outstanding productions.

Here’s a step-by-step guide that places you on the winning side:

Do you binge-watch Netflix shows a lot? Or, maybe you replay the same pop music video again and again? Smart content creators jot down the memorable musical moments of their favorite content for inspiration. You should do the same by keeping an eye on competitors and learning from musical mentors.

For instance, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy has infamously grabbed attention by placing upbeat background tracks to fight scenes. It’s chaotic, but it flows well with this show’s often eccentric and quirky vibe. In contrast, Bridgerton fans still swoon over the classic renditions of modern tracks for the new period drama.  It also sets the popular show apart from the classic Jane Austen adaptations that are more in sync with traditional sensibilities (ala the OST from Pride and Prejudice 2005). Could the same audience appreciate all three drastically different music choices? The chances are relatively low.


The moral of the story is music allows you to be whimsical, quirky, or literal, depending on your video project. That’s why understanding your audience’s needs can direct you towards the right tunes.

Phase Two: Map out a Cohesive Plan

After brainstorming ideas and finding musical muses for your video project, you need to develop an action plan. It will ensure that your background music selection doesn’t exceed your budget or cross-licensing regulations. In addition to this, you need to think about the placement of each track and how it fits into your narrative.

Look at your video scene-by-scene or divide it into thematic segments.

Then ask the following questions:

  • Does this scene need dramatic music?
  • Do you need a low-key corporate music composition or upbeat promotional tracks?
  • Will lyrical music drown the voiceover?
  • Is there a genre that can enhance the viewer experience?
  • What have competitors done for similar productions?
  • Do you need an intro, outro, or ambient background music?
  • Will sound effects be enough?

Use your responses to create a playlist for your video project. Then decide whether you have the budget to hire musicians to create similar symphonies. If not, you’ll need to take the stock music library route.

Music Hack: Watch this video infomercial to understand music licensing rules and ways to evade them.

Phase Three: Try It Once Test It Twice

Choosing Background music for video editing

You need to hit the video editing board once you have selected a few tracks and sound effects for your background music. Check if your music works well with the scene during the first round of edits by playing it in the background of the raw footage. If the chosen background music meets the mark, you can focus on editing.

Testing it twice refers to:

  • The Sound Test: Using sound mixing and editing techniques to heighten the impact of the BGM played in each scene/segment. Play the edited track again to synchronize scenes with your soundtrack.
  • The Audience Assessment: Before the final cut, you should ask trusted friends and family members to watch the video. Monitor their reaction to assess whether your selected pieces are as impactful as you imagined.

After this, you can produce the final cut and share it with your social circle and niche audience. The triple testing method ensures that your visualized plan doesn’t fall short during the execution phase.

Music Hack: Watch this tutorial to learn sneaky secrets for choosing the right BGM for your video projects.

Let the Music Play!

Whether your videos are festive, bleak, dramatic, or promotional, music can strengthen the connection it forms with viewers. The wrong note can result in a disaster, and the right tone can set the mood. More than that, it can make scenes more memorable and keep audiences engaged for longer.

That’s why learning how to choose background music for videos has become a must-have skill for content creators. You need it to get your point across. The key lies in formulating an attainable action plan and understanding viewer interests. Merging them will allow you to create a well-synchronized and harmonious video project.

We hope that our mini-guide of musical tips and tricks allows you to achieve this feat.

Good luck!

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