You + YouTube = Stardom
|By Ben BlakesleyGeorges Music|
Ok, so it's not that
simple...But you must have noticed the deluge of YouTube videos that have taken everyday musicians like you and me and put them in the national spotlight, however briefly.So just how do you make a video and put it up on YouTube for the world to see? Simple. Just follow these instructions.
Learn the Song
Duh! But don't forget this important step! Make sure you're comfortable and confident playing the song you choose. Especially with video, any uncertainty or insecurity will come through on the recording. So practice before you hit record.
This is where we need to talk equipment...The quality of your video and audio does
matter. You don't need a[caption id="" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Zoom Q3 - An easy way to get great audio with your video"]
[/caption]professional camera, but an old webcam from 8 years ago probably isn't going to provide enough quality that anyone would want to watch.Fortunately, there is a great solution from Zoom: The Zoom Q3 Video Recorder.The reason I so highly recommend this particular camera is that it's built for musicians. It takes the concept and the stereo condenser microphones from the Zoom H2 and adds video capabilities. That means that you can get a studio quality recording, simply and inexpensively.Beyond that, you can get a decent recording from the video function of your point and shoot camera, or even a decent quality webcam.Important Recording Tips:
1. Make sure you are well lit. Use an extra lamp stationed behind the camera, pointing toward you. Alternately, place the camera in front of a window and position yourself facing the window to use the natural light. DO NOT sit with a window behind you. Back lighting leaves you looking more like a shadow than a person!2. Adjust your audio levels. Make sure you are not clipping or overloading your recorder and getting distorted sound. Conversely, you want your recording to be loud enough to be heard as well.3. Check your frame. Make sure your shot includes important things like: your face, your whole head (no cut off heads!), and preferably your instrument. There's nothing worse than doing the perfect take and finding your head is missing.
If you want to get creative, now is the time to do it. You can record multiple takes of your song and splice them together, or shoot from multiple camera angles.Although you don't have to get into advanced stuff like that, at least clip the start and end so that you're not walking into the frame, getting situated, playing your song, then exiting to turn off the camera. It's really easy to do in all editing software.What? You don't have editing software? Yes you do!Windows computers come with Windows Movie Maker included. If for some reason it's not on your system, you can download it for free from the Microsoft website. For those of you on a Mac, you're covered with iMovie.A note about exporting/rendering:
When you're finished editing your movie, you'll need to export it or render it to a new movie file. Make sure you choose the highest quality you can within reason. The video will be dumbed down in terms of quality when it goes online, so the higher quality you can start with, the better.
Now you're ready to upload to the world! YouTube is the obvious choice. Hey, it's the #2 search engine (behind Google) in the world, so your reach is phenomenal. There are other options (Vimeo, Facebook, etc) that will all have a similar process.Simply go to YouTube and create/login to your account. And click the Upload Video link. Choose your file and off it goes! It will likely take a long time depending on the size of your video and the speed of your connection, so be patient. Don't forget to give your video a good title and description as well as linking to your website so that people can find you and contact you to sign your multimillion dollar record contract. :-)
Now that you've got the tools, go forth and create video! Enjoy yourself and have fun doing it so that becoming a star is just an added benefit. ;-)
Ben Blakesley is in charge of Marketing and Technology at George's Music and has made countless YouTube videos garnering tens of thousands of views. But still not a star. He might be too old...