So, you are a musician, and you want to Record Professional Guitar Videos for YouTube?
With a computer, a few pieces of software, hardware, a video recorder, and a little bit of know-how, you will be able to record.
Being a good Musician Is Not Enough
If you’re a musician who just started making guitar videos on YouTube, you’ve probably noticed that it can be difficult to gain any traction on the platform.
Have you ever wondered why your videos just never seem to take off? No views, shares, subscribers, etc.
You are not the only one….
Unfortunately, YouTube is saturated, whether you’re making original music, guitar covers, or instructional videos. Having skills with the instrument simply isn’t enough these days. With the growth of YouTube over the years, people have come to expect very high-quality productions.
So, if your goal is to be successful on YouTube, you’re going to have to elevate your guitar videos to the next level.
You are in luck! To Record Professional Guitar Videos isn’t as difficult as you might think. And it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money either. Home studio recording has improved drastically over the years, so it’s completely possible to create professional-quality videos on a budget.
I have learned a lot from making my own guitar cover videos. Here is an example of one I made recently:
To Record Professional Guitar Videos
I will show you 14 easy tips for making professional guitar videos for YouTube.
1. It Must Sound Good (Sound Quality)
If someone is watching a guitar video on YouTube, the main reason is to listen to music.
So obviously, the audio quality is important.
It doesn’t matter how stunning your video looks. If the audio quality is bad, then no one will watch your video.
2. Use an External Microphone
Do not use your camera microphone to record your guitar.
Nothing is worse than watching a guitar cover video where the player has their guitar plugged into an amp, and has the song that they’re playing along to on their computer speakers trying to capture both at one time with their camera microphone
The audio quality coming directly from your camera is not good, trust me.
These microphones are not meant to capture music. They’re typically positioned too far away from your guitar to capture a professional sound.
They also pick up a lot of background noise. This will cause a lot of problems when you go to mix your guitar tracks with the backing track. The white noise will especially be noticeable if you are recording multiple guitar tracks. Use a Dynamic or Condenser Microphone Instead.
It is specifically made for recording music. These microphones don’t pick up any background noise. You can position it right on your amplifier or next to the guitar if it’s an acoustic guitar. I use an APEX S375 Condenser Microphone
The price for these microphones can vary greatly based on the quality, but there are some good options to choose from. The one I use listed above only cost $80. It is just as good as a SHURE S57. The audio quality is very good and for the price you really can’t beat it. Look on Amazon.
3. Use an Audio Interface for Recording
To Record Professional Guitar Videos and if you’re recording an electric guitar, I would highly suggest investing in an audio interface.
An audio interface is basically a device that lets you plug your electric guitar directly into your computer for recording. This eliminates the need for fancy microphones.
And since you’re capturing the direct input signal from your electric guitar right into your computer, the audio quality is as clear as it gets and the recording process is a breeze.
The M-Track Solo by M-Audio is one of the best audio interfaces for beginners who want to get started recording music from home. It has excellent build quality and a plug and play setup.
There are hundreds of different audio interfaces to choose from, and their prices can range from $50 all the way up to $1000. Mine cost $50. The audio interface that I would recommend for any beginner is M-Track Solo by M-Audio. It’s dead simple to use (plugs into your computer with USB), sounds great, has amazing build quality, a most importantly, is affordable. Check it out on Amazon.
You can use Amp Simulator VST Plugins with Your Audio Interface if you want. I use them rarely. My guitar amp is a Vox sampling amp where I can get multiple guitar effects. I also I used effects with plugins through my DAW sparingly which did the trick (More on DAW in point # 5).
Using an audio interface also eliminates the need of using amplifiers and effects pedals but like i mentioed above, if you are an experiences guitar player you can use both.
4. Play Along to a High-Quality Backing Track
If you want to Record Professional Guitar Videos to be professional, it needs to be a full song that someone would listen to.
Remember, people watch guitar cover videos on YouTube to listen to the music. No one wants to listen to just the lead guitar.
You need to create a full musical experience with drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitars, and vocals.
If you can’t or don’t want to play all the tracks on the album, you can use a service like Voice Remover. It uses AI to remove the tracks you don’t want (the guitar tracks) and leaves the rest of the song intact. You upload the song you want to use as a backing track and then it does its magic. Afterwards, you can download the song and use it by importing it into your DAW (see next step).
5. Use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
Use a digital Audio Workstation because it allows you to record and mix multiple different audio tracks into a professional song.
In this case, you’ll probably just be dropping your backing track into your DAW, and recording one, or more guitar tracks over it.
In your DAW, you’ll be able to adjust audio levels for each track, fix any sync issues, and apply different types of effects.
Digital Audio Workstations may seem intimidating at first due to the overwhelming number of features and configurations, but in the case that you’re just playing over a backing track, it’s really not that bad.
If you’re just getting started making guitar videos, this is a perfect DAW to get started with. You could try ProTools or QBase but these are really meant for professionals and can be quite overwhelming with features that you’ll never even use. They also cost a fortune, so I’d avoid these unless you’re an experienced music creator.
6. Learn How to Mix and Master Your Music
Learning how to mix and master when you Record Professional Guitar Videos is what will give your music that professional studio quality. However, for our purposes, what we are using will do the trick.
You should at least research basic compression and EQ techniques. Having a good mix will allow your guitar playing to stand out in the backing track. Mastering your mix will give your song the maximum level of loudness, without any clipping.
The good news is you will probably be working with only a few tracks (The most I have used has been about four tracks).
If you don’t want to invest the time learning how to mix and master pay someone on a work -for-hire site like Fivevrr. It could cost you as high as $30 per song. Vet them first through their reviews.
7. Create Your Guitar Videos with High Production Value
If you want to increase the chances of your guitar video being successful on YouTube, the production value is important. YouTube viewers expect high quality!
Your video needs to be interesting, visually appealing, and create a pleasurable experience that enhances the music. The next set of tips explain more.
8. Use a High-Quality Video Camera
It does not have to be expensive.
When you Record Professional Guitar Videos, it’s easy to find a camera with amazing video quality that fits practically any budget. You can find amazing DSLR cameras on the market at very affordable prices.
You can even look to save a few bucks by purchasing used or looking for older camera models. For DSLR cameras, new models are released basically every year, but the upgrades each year are minimal. For example, you can save a few hundred bucks by purchasing a Nikon CoolPix P500 and you won’t even notice the difference.
Smartphones can do the trick too. They can render 4K without any problem but you have to make sure you have good lighting.
My camera of choice that I use is the Nikon CoolPix P500. It does the job for its price range. The video quality is amazing!
If you’re interested, you can check out the Nikon CoolPix P500 on amazon.
9. Proper Video Lighting is Key
Having a well-lit scene is often overlooked when you Record Professional Guitar Videos, but even more important than your video camera itself. Cameras these days are decent, assuming there is proper lighting.
It doesn’t matter how good your video camera is if you don’t have sufficient lighting. Even a n expensive DSLR will look terrible in poor lighting conditions.
Invest in a studio lighting kit. These will emit soft light that doesn’t produce harsh shadows.
They are very affordable and you can get online or even a Walmart.
10. Make Sure Your Background Scenery is Interesting
If you want you could use a green screen with a background when you Record Professional Guitar Videos but if you have an interesting, clean background you will be fine. I like to keep it simple and go with a clean background that is very simple.
If you have limited space, simple is better.
11. Use a Tripod
Using a tripod will give you control over your camera and its angles. This allows you to make sure you have everything you want in the frame.
You don’t need anything fancy. I got a $20 tripod that I bought at Wal-Mart and it works great!
It should be evident but if you use a smart phone a tripod works just as well too.
If you already have a tripod, you can purchase a cheap phone mount that works with any standard tripod.
12. Film Multiple Camera Angles
The songs I cover usually have multiple guitar parts, so I video multiple parts at slightly different angles. And just so you don’t think I am just copying and pasting parts, I wear different colored shorts and fedoras!
The goal is basically to replicate this in your guitar video to make it more visually appealing, and to keep the audience’s attention.
The best way to approach this when you when you Record Professional Guitar Videos is to create your “studio audio recording” of your song first.
Then, when you go to film, “lip-sync” to the audio by filming yourself playing along to the song exactly as you would as if you were performing it live.
Film multiple takes of yourself playing through the full song at different camera angles. I give a good example below:
You can then import all the different takes into your video editing software, sync them together in multiple tracks, and then simply cut the videos in your timeline to show all the different camera angles.
13. Make Sure Video and Audio Are in Sync
It is extremely important when you when you Record Professional Guitar Videos to get the sync right, but it is truly worth it.
I use Filmora by Wondershare. It is a great piece of software where you can add multiple streams of audio and video to sync nicely.
Since you’ll likely be recording your video and audio separately, they MUST be in sync with your final creation.
A great way to make sure video and audio are in sync is to play the song out loud through speakers while you’re filming. You can then capture that audio through your video camera microphone to help sync it to your “studio recording” in the video editing process.
Just remember to mute the camera audio in your editing software before you export your final project so only your “studio recording” is audible.
14. Rock out like You’re Giving a Performance
If you want your video to be interesting, you must have energy. Just think about it as if you were at a live concert. People don’t just come to watch music, but see you enjoy giving the performance.
If you want people to watch your guitar videos, you need to entertain them.
If you don’t look like you’re interested in your own video, then how can you possibly expect your audience to be interested?
While you’re performing your song in your video, move your body to the rhythm of the song. You really need to feel every single note you’re playing and express that to the audience.
I hope you all enjoyed this article. This how you Record Professional Guitar Videos. I have learned a few things over the years. I’ve been making guitar videos on YouTube. Hopefully, you picked pointers that you can apply to your own guitar videos. Check out some of my guitar covers I also have a website that showcasing the cover work projects I do.
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