Find yourself hitting the skip button when listening to a playlist? Do you forever change radio stations when driving, searching for that perfect tune that matches your mood? We can relate.
Even if you’re not a professional Music Supervisor for Film and TV (what a cool job, btw!), choosing the right background music can make or break your video!
We all understand how important music can be to match the mood you’re in, or the mood you’re wanting to create. Which is why choosing background music can be so painstaking! In this article, we’ll cover:
Free ambient tracks
How to select the best background music for your next video editing project
Whether you’re making a video resume and capturing the essence of you in musical note form or creating a video ad to introduce customers to a new product or service—you want the soundtrack to be on point.
Come along on our background music journey as we take you through how to select the best background music for videos from the dulcet tones of ocean waves to the upbeat synths of 80s Pop.
Okay, let’s go! (no skipping!)
Here’s how to start your quest for ‘that track’.
Let’s call it the ‘Clipchamp Finder’...
The first question you need to ask yourself is, what’s your video’s message?
Is its purpose entertaining or informative? Are you advertising a specific product or promoting your brand?
When you know what your goals are, it’s easier to narrow down your search for the right background music.
The second question: what’s the role of music in your video?
For example, is it there to support in the background or drive your message forward? If you’ve got detailed information to get across—say for example, your personal experience for a video resume or details for a safety video on how to evacuate a building—you likely want to have the music take a backseat. If you’re wanting to inspire your viewer to take a holiday or try a new extreme sport—then, absolutely, you want a track that evokes more emotion—bring on the drumroll!
The track you select should match the tempo of the music with the pace of the video.
If your video has narration, avoid a track with vocals or heavy instruments such as guitar, violin or piano which will make it difficult to hear the narrator speak. Bass or ambient music pairs well with the human voice.
Select a track with a steady beat, unless it’s timed deliberately you don’t want a track with sudden crescendos or swings. Use the music to draw attention where appropriate. Breaks or pauses in music can help highlight an important moment or big reveal in your video.
Thirdly, what’s your mood?
Once you know your message and the role of the music, it’s time to define the mood. Happy, sad, thought-provoking?
Next step is to pick a music genre that matches the mood of your video. For example, Clipchamp’s collection of royalty free stock audio, feature’s themed genres such as ‘Epic Battle Music’ , ‘Country Nights’, ‘Blissful Music’ or ‘Coffee Shop Tunes’. Or, maybe you know exactly what you’re after—so you search for ‘free ambient music’ to help narrow your search.
There's so many kinds of music out there, the list could go on and on—from Afrobeats to V-Pop (that’s Vietnamese Pop). We’re sure you’re familiar with many of them and have favorites of your own, for mood’s sake we’ve listed some classic genres and the feelings they can evoke:
Country: great for creating a sense of nostalgia
Easy listening: as the name suggests—makes for great background, elevator and lounge music. Smooth, gentle and unobtrusive.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM): High energy with intense beats.
Funk: hypnotic and danceable
Hip-hop: Amp up the mood! It’s all in the name: hip (cool) hop (movement)
Indie Rock: tendency to be emotional and personal
Jazz: produces brain waves which can be stimulating or relaxing—listening to jazz can help you focus
Metal: typically makes hairs stand on end, though can make some feel at ease
Oldies: you know the phrase “golden oldies” it’s music from generations before you. Right now, it’s Beach Boys and Elvis, in 50 years time it might be Drake...
Pop: ‘popular music’ has a catchy melody with good rhythm that’s easy to sing along to. Great for advertising jingles!
Reggae: relaxing music, can also give off a nice energy boost
Rhythm & Blues (R&B): the sound of R&B has evolved over the years, but at its essence it’s soulful, moving and uplifting
Rock: many iconic anthems are rock music—familiar, striking and emotive
Lastly, make sure the music track speaks to your audience...
Considering your demographic is essential. So you’re marketing a new line of swimwear? You’re probably not going to want to choose something from the ‘Weather the Storm’ collection of tracks—but even more nuanced, think of the kind of things you’re audience is into—make sure it’s age appropriate and lines up with their interests… you know, like maybe surf culture over country and western in this instance?
Oh, and don’t get caught out using music that is copyrighted!
Uh-oh! Read on for how to avoid getting into trouble for using music you’re not supposed to.
Royalty free music for videos
What does royalty free music mean? Royalty free music (aka copyright free music, free to use music or stock music) is music that can be freely used without paying additional royalties. It doesn’t always mean it’s totally free, though.
For more info on royalties, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Royalty Free Music.
Free background music for videos
Luckily, with Clipchamp it’s easy to add music to your videos, by simply using our extensive audio stock library. Just upload your video (or choose from our stock video library), select the music to match then export and share! It really is that simple.
Let’s break down some of the most popular background music categories for video editing:
Background music for YouTube videos
If you want to go straight to the horse’s mouth, did you know YouTube has its own Audio Library? Rest assured you won’t get into any copyright hotwater here—YouTube allows you to check copyright status of songs in your videos to make sure you’re all good.
Plus, check out our handy YouTube Background Music options too!
Background music educational video
Music that helps to focus, inspire, hold attention and incite trust all at once? Remember, if someone is talking, you want background music that compliments not competes with the narrator.
May we suggest: Bubblegum Alley 30
Background music corporate video
Suit up, look sharp! Here’s some keywords to inspire those corporate vibes: Engaging, inviting, unassuming.
May we suggest: search ‘corporate’ in our audio library for some responsibly uplifting bangers!
Background music for video resume
Or, A Person of Many Talents, like this:
Let’s say you're someone creative... you’re going to want music that is: laidback, reassuring, creative and human.
May we suggest: Ambient, Acoustic, or our custom Creator to Creator collection with 200 tracks that reflect community and creativity.
Background music for business video
Less corporate, more business? Sure, we get the brief. You’re serious about your product or service—but it’s allowed to be a little fun too, right?
Like this: Hanging in there and building momentum with Nike
May we suggest: our Empowering Music collection for upbeat inspiration.
Now, just for fun, let’s ad-lib…
This = That
How to make a latte instructional video = Morning Coffee Full Mix (what a tune!)
Attempting to create a viral dog video for social media = Music For The Gram
Your latest rollerblading footage = Stock Music That Isn’t “Stock-y”
Roadtrippin’ = Road Trip Tunes
Workout video = Hype Music
By now you’ve been down the rabbit-hole of tune seeking and come out the other end knowing how to use the Clipchamp Finder technique to reach those ‘that’s the track’ feels…
What’s your message?
What’s the role of the music?
What’s the mood?
Is this genre on brand for my audience?
Is it legal? (Or, nevermind ‘I can use this track ‘cause it got it on Clipchamp and it’s all G!’)
What are you waiting for? Get the background music pumping!