These days video producers just can’t get enough happy background music for videos. I’ve noticed a shift in the world of video production over the last ten to fifteen years. Maybe it stems from a shift in advertising and marketing. Or maybe the video producers have influenced the advertisers – I don’t know, it’s a chicken and egg scenario.
But the shift I’m referring to, is that where promotional videos used to be full of authorative jargon, always talking down to you with messages such as ‘you need our services’, ‘you will fail without this product’, ‘you will die if you don’t eat our food’ etc etc. Well this all changed to a more approachable tone.
These days, promotional videos want to be your friend. You’re more likely to see a promotional video saying ‘hey, this is our product, we like it, and maybe you will like it too. But if you don’t then that’s ok. Have a nice day.’
Emphasise the tone
Now this kind of message will not work the same if you apply a serious intense soundtrack, or a rock track or pumping house track. To emphasise the friendly tone in the message you need to use a friendly kind of soundtrack.
So what constitutes a happy sounding piece of music? Well, it’s partly the sounds that are used, partly the song structure and partly the mix. To start with, let’s see what sounds can work together…
- Acoustic guitar – gives that loose, easy going feel
- Ukulele – small and vulnerable, so not threatening at all
- Music boxes / small bells – adds a touch of innocence
- Soft bass – not cutting, nice and woolly
- Hand claps – adds a sense of communal appreciation
- Whistling – blatant happiness – people whistle when they’re happy
- Finger Snaps – again adding the human touch and a sense of community
Other instruments that can add a bit of happy dust
- Flutes – if played lyrically
- Clarinet – can lighten up any music
- Piano – when played rhythmically can add a lot of motivation
- Kick Drum – boost the motivation with a constant kick drum
- Tambourine – adds some energy in the high frequencies
- Shakers – also adds energy, but also makes the track more intimate
- Brass section – to really add some spirit, add some brass swells
An example of some happy background music for videos
Happy Upbeat Flute Folk
This track has a really friendly tone, major chords, intimate instruments such as the bells, flute and acoustic guitar. But it also contains some sections where the mood is lifted higher through the brass swells. You can download this track to use in your videos here.
Happy Clapping Whistler
A really laid back piece of music, made friendly with the casual whistling and close mic’d acoustic guitar. A bouncy rhythm emphasises the carefree approachable feel through piano and drums. A brass section gives it all some oomph and the hand claps add the essential human touch. You can download this track to use in your videos here.
Happy Upbeat Music
For a real feelgood soundtrack full of energy and optimism, Happy Upbeat Music is a great choice. This has a higher tempo than Happy Clapping Whistler and a bolder riff. So this isn’t as laidback and casual, but more energetic and motivating. Download a copy here.
What if you want more control of the music ?
While these soundtracks are great if you’re producing a video the same length as the music, or if you’re going to fade the music out at the appropriate point, there will be times when you need more control. You may want everything to stop after 25 seconds, or you may want to loop a certain section of the music a few times before you play the hook line. In these kinds of situations you’d be better using a construction kit.
A construction kit is a collection of loopable parts, that when arranged in the right order, will make up the song. But you can rearrange the parts to make your own version. If you wanted to, you could loop parts to make a 50 minute music track. Or you could just use a couple of parts to make a really short version of the music.
The parts themselves are typically a couple of bars from the track. So you may have a intro part, a verse part, a bridge part and a chorus part. Then there may be variations of the parts, such as intro without bass or verse with no drums.
To complete the track you would have ending parts. This is the icing on the cake and enables you to make your arrangement sound like it was intentionally produced to be the length that you have chosen.
For example, let’s look at construction kit for the track above Happy Upbeat Music.
The kit contains 11 different parts which can be looped seamlessly. It also contains 11 more parts which don’t cut off suddenly, instead they have natural sustains at the end (also called tails). So that’s 22 parts in total. This particular track includes these parts:
01_Intro_WithGuitarRiff (0:11) Introduction with the lead guitar riff (note this begins half a bar early)
01_Intro_WithGuitarRiff_T (0:13) Introduction with the lead guitar riff – with tail
02_Intro_NoGuitarRiff (0:10) Introduction without the lead guitar riff
02_Intro_NoGuitarRiff_T (0:13) Introduction without the lead guitar riff – with tail
03_Verse_WithGuitarRiff (0:10) The main verse with the guitar riff
03_Verse_WithGuitarRiff_T (0:13) The main verse with the guitar riff – with tail
04_Verse_NoGuitarRiff (0:10) The main verse without the guitar riff
04_Verse_NoGuitarRiff_T (0:13) The main verse without the guitar riff – with tail
05_Verse_WithBrassWithGuitarRiff (0:10) The main verse with brass section and guitar riff
05_Verse_WithBrassWithGuitarRiff_T (0:13) The main verse with brass section and guitar riff – with tail
06_Verse_WithBrassNoGuitarRiff (0:10) The main verse with brass section, but no guitar riff
06_Verse_WithBrassNoGuitarRiff_T (0:13) The main verse with brass section, but no guitar riff – with tail
07_StringsNoBass (0:10) The quiet section with strings melody and no bass
07_StringsNoBass_T (0:13) The quiet section with strings melody and no bass – with tail
08_BassAndClicks (0:10) The quiet section with just bass and clicks
08_BassAndClicks_T (0:13) The quiet section with just bass and clicks – with tail
09_BassAndClicksBuild (0:10) The quiet section with just bass and clicks, building up at the end
09_BassAndClicksBuild_T (0:13) The quiet section with just bass and clicks, building up – with tail
10_End (0:05) The end
10_End_T (0:05) The end – with tail
11_End_NoBrass (0:05) The end without brass section
11_End_NoBrass_T (0:05) The end without brass section – with tail
Rearrange the parts to make your own song
Here are some demos that show different arrangements that you make with this particular kit…
A mix which is pretty close to thew original track
A shorter arrangement which doesn’t have the guitar riff
A much shorter arrangement
So as you can see, a music kit offers all kinds of scope for creativity and gives you precise control to make the music fit your video exactly.
Happy Upbeat Music Kit is available here.