July 7, 2016

Steps To Prepare and Post Your Guitar Music Video – Part I


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Are you thinking about doing a video of your guitar work and want to get it produced and then posted to any one or more video hosting sites like Youtube or Vimeo and not sure how to go about it? If so, I want to share my experiences in doing exactly that.

So, what is involved to get your personal guitar work produced and getting it posted online?

Let’s start right at the beginning. Phase one, select the tune you want to produce. Yes this is obvious, but I want to include it as a step. You may already have a number of your tunes polished and ready to go into recording and production or you want to start from scratch where you select the tune, prep it, practice, shoot it and then post it. If you are in the former case, you need not read further (post Parts 1 to 4) and skip to Part 5 regarding recording and video production.

The first step, the way I see it is to do some homework upfront. You may want to do a tune you love or not sure about your first music video. If it’s your first tune, researching what tune you want to play and determining its viability goes long way before you discover you just wasted a ton of time because you didn’t do some preliminary critiquing.

My first filter (not in any order or priority); does the candidate song sound great? Is it playable? Is it melodic? Does the song fit within your genre? Does it lend itself to a solo guitar (after all your videos are to reflect your playing solo with a back track)? Does it have compelling hooks? Does it feel good to play? Of course not all of these questions need to be a ‘yes’, but the more positives the better.

In the end of this filtering exercise, your final question to ask yourself is; are you confident that you can get the results you expect within your skill set and still feel great about the process and the work you will invest? It’s not much point doing all of the coming pre-production work it implies just to find out there were too many compromises along the way, followed by losing your zing to play it all; that really sucks. So, take some time up front and ask yourself some fundamental questions when selecting your songs and save yourself some grief down the line.

When I’m ready for my next tune, I review all of my favourite songs and failing that, I go to video hosting sites and listen to what other guitar solo amateurs are playing. Then as you listen, apply those simple rules to each tune you are considering. What is your confidence level in having a positive outcome when all is said and done? I had that epiphany with the Manalili song catalogue.

Once you have your tune selected, you have to imagine how it will fit with a back track. Does one already exist? (Karaoke sites, free works by others etc) If not, are you willing to buy the back track or write and compose it yourself or contract out the work to a professional composer? This step can make or break your selection. Of course you don’t need a backing track and can play your tune dry, but what’s the fun in that.

In many cases for released tunes a back track may already be available. However, you will have to accept the arrangement and instrumentation for those off the shelf back tracks. Alternatively, if you don’t like that compromise and you feel strongly that a custom back track of some kind is worth pursuing, then either your expertise in music composition and software tools is a choice or having the tune professionally composed and produced. I’ll have an upcoming post regarding the options of self music composition and contracting out. Make a preliminary choice on your back track access method and move on to the next step. Your choice may change based on the results of the next step.

When you are past the back track option gate, the next step is acquiring or generating the guitar tabs. If you do find any tabs online, be aware that it may be in the wrong key your comfortable with and/or be rife with errors. Either way you will have to fix it.

What’s next?. Part II, The Mighty Guitar Tab


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