How To Start a Popular YouTube Channel as a Musician?
All musician understand the importance of being heard and that is exactly what YouTube provides - an audience. Even though it is important, it is not easy. Creating consistent high quality videos is challenging. Read more to learn about achieving growth on YouTube.
Without any doubt, YouTube is the best platform for sharing video content.
Over the years, it has gained popularity. Talented people express their creativity and make some extra moolah.
As a musician, having a YouTube channel is of paramount importance.
All musician understand the importance of being heard and that is exactly what YouTube provides – an audience.
Even though it is important, it is not easy. Creating consistent high quality videos isn’t as easy as it looks.
The task that requires your requires your maximum attention is your music.
You can’t become a famous YouTuber with shit music. Period.
Assuming that the music you create is good, there are still a few things you should know before you become a YouTuber.
Here’s a step by step guide to help musicians start their channel on YouTube.
Stage I – Planning
Your YouTube plan should tackle the following questions:
- What kind of videos do you plan on posting?
- What will be the duration of each video?
- How often do you plan on posting?
- How much time will it take to ready each video?
- Do you want to record audio and video together or separately?
Before you devise your plan, make sure to understand why YouTube is popular.
YouTube is popular because it is more communicative and expressive than other platforms and people feel more emotionally connected to the artist.
On YouTube, people don’t just listen to your music, they associate with you on a deeper level.
This is the reason you’re more likely to acquire true fans on YouTube than on Spotify.
The next question that arises is what can you do to establish this deep emotional connection with your viewers?
Don’t Treat YouTube as Spotify
What I mean by this is don’t just post your audio, and put a static thumbnail on it to pass it as a video.
Take advantage of the video. Show yourself in the video or make a video that resonates with the audience.
If you show your own face in the video, it will help people to form a bond with you.
If you’re not comfortable filming yourself, you can make a relatable music video (featuring others or objects rather than humans) at home or you can hire a graphic designer to make an animated music video.
Share More Than Just Music
Video is a great way to interact with your fans.
Take this opportunity and share behind the scene videos, show your audience what went into making your music.
You can also share a few practice sessions.
If you’re performing a stage show, you can record a sound check session and upload it to let your audience know the hardwork that goes into each show.
Share content that will make your audience come closer to you.
This will help you to acquire true fans from YouTube.
Help Others In The Music Community
Create content which would be helpful for fellow musicians.
These videos could vary depending on the type of musician and person you are.
If you can get other musicians in the industry to vouch for you, your success is bound to skyrocket.
Now that you know the different kinds of videos you could be producing, you can continue to devise your plan.
Don’t forget to answer each question I asked above.
Stage II – Setting Up Your Home Studio
Decide The Recording Order
How you set up your home studio depends on whether you plan to record your audio and video separately at different times or you plan to record them together at the same time.
You can either record your audio first and then work on the video
You can record both in one go (this would be more like a live performance)
Here’s a list of pros and cons for both scenarios, you can decide for yourself.
Recording audio and video separately
- You can record your audio multiple times and choose the best version.
- You can do multiple takes when recording the video.
- You can record your audio and video at separate locations.
- You can divide the video in multiple parts and record each part separately.
- You can get more creative with your videos
- The audio and video combo can turn out to be difficult to edit.
- You have to synchronize your audio and video after it is recorded.
- This process can be time consuming
Recording audio and video together
- It is easier to edit such a video. Even if you use separate devices to record the audio and video, the synchronization process is fairly simple.
- The editing takes little time and you can roll out new videos quickly.
- You have to record the video in one go.
- If you’re unhappy with either the audio or video, you’ll have to re-shoot the whole video.
- You are forced to shoot your video in the same room in which you’re recording your audio.
- The video will be linear and not creative.
My suggestion: Record audio separately and then work on the video.
You are a musician and recording high quality audio should be your priority. If you try to record the video along with the audio, your brain would be working in two directions and this would affect the overall quality of your music.
Choosing The Right Room
For audio recording, try choosing a room that is at least bigger than 3×3 meters. To get good quality audio, you will need a room big enough to avoid reverberation.
Although it is not necessary, your recordings would turn out to be great if you apply acoustic treatment to your room.
You can go through this post to know more about acoustic treatment – sample link.
For recording the video, you can choose any place in the world.
Gather The Equipment
Starting with the obvious: you’ll need a computer/laptop to mix and master your audio, and to edit your videos.
The equipment you need for recording your audio will vary depending on which instrument you are recording but here’s a general list of items you would (most probably) need:
- Microphone: Since you would be recording music, a proper condenser microphone is a must. Rode microphones are perfect for recording audio at home. My suggestion is to get the Rode NT1-A.
- Audio Interface: You need the audio interface to connect your microphone to a computer/laptop.
For the video part, you’ll need:
- Camera: If you want good quality videos, you should purchase a DSLR. A smartphone camera would do in the beginning if funds are tight.
- Tripod Stand: A tripod stand will help you record stable and precise videos. These stands are available for DSLRs as well as smartphones.
- Backdrop Lighting: The key to a good video is good lighting. Although not necessary, you can purchase a combination of different types of lights to give your videos an aesthetic look.
- Green Screen: This is only recommended if you are shooting the video inside a room which isn’t attractive. Also, use this only if you know how to edit videos on a software like adobe premiere pro.
Stage III – Execution
Once everything is set, start recording!
It would seem tough in the beginning, you would have to record multiple times to get everything right.
Keep at it and with time you’ll start getting more comfortable with recording both audio and video.
Once you’ve recorded the raw audio, you can mix the whole music with the help of a software like Audacity or FL Studio.
For editing the video, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’re looking for a free alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro, you can use HitFilm Express.
Once the video is ready, upload it to YouTube!
Stage IV – Staying Consistent
To be successful on YouTube, you have to be consistent.
You should upload at least one video every two weeks.
You can upload different kinds of videos, you need not post new music everytime.
You can upload videos showcasing behind the scene work, practice sessions etc.
If you’re performing on stage, you can turn that into a proper video for YouTube.
Apart from uploading new content, also focus on interacting with your fans. Try to like and reply to all positive comments.
Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel and share your videos. Word of mouth is the best marketing move.
I hope this post helps you to kick start your YouTube channel.
If you feel stuck at any stage, feel free to contact me.
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