Who doesn't know of the existence of lyric videos? Not only are they great for singing along with the song, but they are also a great substitute for a whole music video. But the question remains: how do I make a lyric video that will catch the viewers' eye, stand out and won't look cheap?
If that is what you want to know, you are in luck! Read on to get to know all the tips and tricks on how to create a lyric video.
3 reasons why you should create a lyric video
As mentioned above, lyric videos are not meant to be seen only as an alternative to music videos. Therefore, they have a validation to exist.
- Strengthening the relationship with the fans: Lyric videos bring the proper lyrics to the fans, creating a great opportunity to sing along, building the connection between musician and fan.
- It's a great way to grow traffic on the artist's YouTube channel or social media account. Many artists post the lyric video and publish a music video anyways after a certain amount of time - all in the name of strengthening engagement and bringing more people to their music.
- Enhancing the song's mood and feel: On top of font and lyrics, lyric videos have an interesting background. Whether it's stock footage, a video loop of the artist or similar, these images are supposed to deliver the song's feeling, so don't underestimate the importance of creative lyric videos.
The first thing you need to take a closer look at is the music itself. If you are not hired by the artist or their management to deliver a great lyric video, and you choose a song for lyric video as a hobby, you need to have the rights to do so. Almost every song is set under the law of copywriting, which means that the people involved in the song's creative process have all the rights reserved for themselves. If you are hired directly by the artist, they only give you certain rights to use the song's original version for making the lyric video. So if you want to upload your amazing lyric video for your favorite song, check if the song is copyrighted and be sure to clear the rights.
What happens if I use a copyrighted song without permission?
There are 3 possible outcomes here, and none of them are good:
- Your video will be muted, which takes away the whole point of a lyric video.
- Your video will be blocked and your channel penalized: You will get a copyright strike. 3 strikes, and your channel will be deleted.
- You will not be able to monetize your video. The copyright owner will make money off the ads in your video.
To avoid that, look for contact details of the label where the artist is signed, drop them an email and explain what you want to do and what you need permission for.
How to make a lyric video
If you've been in contact with the artist, I highly recommend asking them to explain their vision for the song and what they wish for in a music video. If you are on your own, go ahead and listen to the song a few times and let yourself be inspired by its mood and feel. When you feel that you got the vibe for the song, you need to decide on the different options for the lyric video's background. The most common options are:
- Using a simple photo.
- Playing a short video loop.
- Using stock footage. This option will make your video a lot more interesting and eye-catching.
- Make an animated background.
The first 2 options are self-explanatory and don't require as much effort, while the 4th choice requires advanced animation skills. Stock footage is probably the best option for beginners because you can be creative and make an attention-grabbing video without advanced editing skills. So let's focus on this option.
How to make a lyric video with stock footage
Before you get to making your lyric video, ask yourself whether you want it to simply catch the song's vibe or tell a whole story. You can use stock footage to make an entire narrative music video; just look at the winners of this year's Edit Challenge for inspiration. While these are not lyric videos, they can give you an idea of what you can achieve with stock footage.
You can find clips for every genre at Artgrid. For example, suppose you're looking for something fitting for an uplifting techno track. In that case, you could use either stunning landscape drone shots of beaches and mountains or party clips and scenarios. On the other hand, for a romantic pop song, you could use clips with couples in them. You can even create a story based on 1 or more couples in different settings.
In any case, put a little bit of thought into it, browse the footage catalog until you settle on what you want to do.
How to add lyrics to your lyric video
To add lyrics to your video, you can choose between 2 options. The 1st and most time-effective choice would be downloading already animated lyric presets. The lyrics are already animated, so you just switch them for your lyrics and make small adjustments.
An excellent place to find animated lyric templates is Motion Array, an all-in-one marketplace that offers video templates, presets, motion graphics and much more for video creators.
Check out this post with recommended awesome, easy-to-use lyric video templates for your next music video.
If you go for the 2nd option and want to animate your lyrics yourself, you need to use editing software. You can choose to do it in free NLEs like HitFilm or in paid ones like Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects. But of course, any video editing software will work as well.
Describing the process in an article would be beyond the scope of this post, but there are plenty of video tutorials online that will give you a basic and advanced understanding of how to animate your lyrics. Here's one:
As you see, making a lyric video is a great creative way to build engaging visuals for the fans. It's also an easy way to work on the engagement rate and drive more traffic to your or the artist's website.
If you are not familiar with designing lyric videos, I would highly recommend experimenting by creating some videos for yourself to grow your lyrics video skills. Then, after that, go ahead and go into the world of fun and creative lyrics videos. I'm looking forward to seeing you trending on YouTube.
John Richter is a directing DP and editor based in Berlin. His main work focuses on music videos and commercials. He has worked with many well-known artists and brands all over the world. Whenever he travels, he brings along his camera to film stock footage for Artgrid.