#1
I really enjoy playing my guitar. Recording yourself playing and earning money for that sounds awesome. I know that a lot of people have guitar cover channels on Youtube and they earn money with them (even though they don't have the permission from a song's record label). The thing is, most of those youtubers make their own arrangements.

My question is: Would I still be able to earn from my cover video if I didn't make the guitar arrangement but instead played the song according to a tab I found on ultimate-guitar?
#2
So violating not only the artists' and labels' copyrights but also the tab creators' and UG's?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#3
if you're gonna do it, gotta go big amirite
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#4
Quote by theogonia777
So violating not only the artists' and labels' copyrights but also the tab creators' and UG's?


After doing some research it turns out you only need the permission from the label if you are doing a cover video. Do you really think someone pays thousands for a single label just so he can put a cover of his video on youtube? Nope, it's rarely done, and yet people are still fine. I made this thread because I was unsure if I need the permission from the tab creator and the site.
#5
Quote by blackomen52
I made this thread because I was unsure if I need the permission from the tab creator and the site.

Or you could, you know, not be that lameass who does Youtube covers...
#6
Quote by blackomen52


My question is: Would I still be able to earn from my cover video if I didn't make the guitar arrangement but instead played the song according to a tab I found on ultimate-guitar?


I sure as hell hope not. That's the last thing the music industry needs. More money going into the hands of people who don't have any real talent, and aren't creating anything.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#7
Just go ahead and post your cover videos if you want. Nothing will happen to you. At worst the video may get taken down, and you may get banned (if you continue breaking the rules). But I wouldn't really expect to get paid. You need to be pretty popular to make money, and that's really not going to happen by playing basic covers. There are already a lot of guitar covers on Youtube, so it will be hard to stand out by doing exactly the same thing as the 100 other users that post guitar covers.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 17, 2015,
#8
You're not going to make any money playing covers on YouTube unless you become partner to a network like FullScreen or networks similar to it who have licensed a library of songs that you're allowed to use for covers and monetize them. Unfortunately, it's a pretty limited library and usually only includes the most popular songs out there. FullScreen also takes a percentage of your revenue earned from your videos. Also, some labels/artists allow revenue sharing for covers, but this is also pretty limited so unless you're getting tens of thousands of views per video, you'll be making pocket change from doing covers or nothing at all. If you do your own arrangements of the songs (ie. Rob Scallon's banjo covers), it won't be picked up by YouTube's copyright filter and you'll be allowed to monetize them without permission. But, I'm not totally sure how those guys do it and get away with it, I'm assuming they're partnered with a network that allows them to use copyrighted songs for their own material.

As for playing along to tabs and making money from it, I'm not sure if that's infringing on copyrights of the tab creator or not, I'm assuming it doesn't though as tabs themselves can be considered copyright infringement and taken down if they're not approved/licensed by the original artist and label (which 99% of tabs on UG aren't). There are other loopholes you'll have to jump through before worrying about that though.
#9
Quote by theogonia777
So violating not only the artists' and labels' copyrights but also the tab creators' and UG's?


Better tell that to all the cover bands in the world then!
#10
Quote by gurg06
Better tell that to all the cover bands in the world then!


I'm guessing you don't know much about copyright. When a band performs a cover song with the intent of monetary gain, the copyright holder is entitled to receive payment. Because this would obviously be very troublesome to monitor, bands are registered with licensing companies, with BMI, ASCAP, AND SESAC being the biggest.

The venues are required to pay the licensing companies fees based on how much they earn. Anywhere that plays music, both live or recorded, does this as well. That includes radio stations, schools, sports arenas, dance clubs, etc. So in this way, the artist might ultimately receive something, though probably not much.

At any rate, the majority of cover bands tend to play classic rock songs from very well known artists that are either dead or making tons of money anyway.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#11
Good luck with that, making money on Youtube is incredibly difficult by music alone. Revenue is calculated by minutes watched, and most songs (unless you play exclusively prog) will be around 3-4 minutes, which really isn't that long. Not to mention you need A LOT of views per video in order to make any sort of noticeable income, and if you want it to be sustainable you'd need to do at least 1-2 per week. Most musicians on youtube use it as a platform for sharing and getting a bit of popularity, and they make their real money from playing live or selling their own music. And let's be real, if all you're going to do is play songs tabbed out by other people that have been done a million times before, unless your production quality is through the roof, don't expect to be that popular. You need to be original, otherwise expect this to be a low pay hobby.
Last edited by Jimjambanx at Jun 17, 2015,
#12
Sure. Get permission from the one holding publishing rights to the songs you want to cover and go for it! What have you got to lose? Youtube is part of the Tommy Emmanuel income stream and he does mostly covers. Serious talent though.

Let us know how it goes.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jun 17, 2015,
#13
Quote by Jimjambanx
Good luck with that, making money on Youtube is incredibly difficult by music alone. Revenue is calculated by minutes watched, and most songs (unless you play exclusively prog) will be around 3-4 minutes, which really isn't that long. Not to mention you need A LOT of views per video in order to make any sort of noticeable income, and if you want it to be sustainable you'd need to do at least 1-2 per week. Most musicians on youtube use it as a platform for sharing and getting a bit of popularity, and they make their real money from playing live or selling their own music. And let's be real, if all you're going to do is play songs tabbed out by other people that have been done a million times before, unless your production quality is through the roof, don't expect to be that popular. You need to be original, otherwise expect this to be a low pay hobby.


More like a "no pay" hobby.

You need to have a certain number of channel subscribers, not just views, in order to qualify for youtube's profit sharing program. And you will NEVER get even close to that number if all you're doing is amateur covers of songs that you learn from tabs on this site. You'd be insanely lucky to reach even a small fraction of that.

Seriously. Not trying to be mean, just realistic. If all you want to do is learn your favorite songs from reading tabs, and play them the same way they've been played a billion times, give up now, on ever making money from it. Keep your day job. The music industry is not designed to support people who aren't even trying to make anything new. Nor should it be.

If you want even a chance of making money off of youtube, you need to offer something original, and it needs to be GOOD. Even then, you've probably got a better chance winning the lottery. You know how many other amateurs are out there trying to do the exact same thing? And most of them are probably better at it than you. And they're probably never going to make a living off of it, either.

If you want to make money playing other people's music, join a cover band. Get extremely good at playing those songs. Try to book gigs at medium-large bars, or even casinos if you're in the right area.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
Last edited by the_bi99man at Jun 17, 2015,
#14
if you're still using tabs you're probably not good enough to do covers
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#16
Some people do make money. Walk off the Earth is an example of a group that has been invited by youtube to be a partner. They also tour regularly and their youtube income is only one stream.

But...they have some real talent, creativity, and originality going for them as well as excellent production. They do mostly covers but the way they do them really makes them stand out from the crowd. The Gotye cover of five players one guitar is still pretty awesome to watch, but it exploded when it came out and although they were youtube partners before that I would imagine that their income grew significantly after that video.

Another guy that does well on youtube playing covers is Sungha Jung. He was on youtube when he was quite young and has been on there for what must be at least 6 years. He is incredibly talented and dedicated. He records a ton of songs and has earned himself over three million subscribers. He has also gone on tour with guys like Tommy Immanuel etc. He didn't set out to make money on youtube though he just wanted to share his songs. The talent/dedication this kid has though is really quite rare. He does mostly his own arrangements of popular songs. A big part of his appeal initially was that he looked very young and seemed to be absurdly talented for his apparent age. Initially it was almost a gimmick.

If you really want to make some money on youtube then you better be exceptional, have great production, original, and creative. Memorizing some tabs and playing them on youtube...doesn't work. The tabs are usually an attempt at playing like the studio versions of the song. Most of the time a viewer can just get the actual version of that song on youtube. They won't want to listen to you play it. It is very few people outside of your family and friends that would even want to watch such a video. Possibly some other guitar players. But half of them will be wanting to learn how to play it and will be looking or ideas and or instructional videos. Then you'll have people that are interested in seeing what else is out there and many of them may have their own videos and visit your's just long enough to comment asking you to watch their video.

It's definitely worth doing so that you can put yourself out there. But don't expect to make money off it and don't look at it like a job option.
Si
#17
Quote by Hail
if you're still using tabs you're probably not good enough to do covers

And why is that?
#18
^ I agree with Hail.

If you need to use tabs to figure out how to play something, the thought of making money by posting cover versions on Youtube is pretty unrealistic.

Of course you can play covers and use tabs. There's nothing wrong with that. But it should tell something about your skill level. And at that skill level it is pretty unrealistic to expect to get so many views/subscribes that you would get paid.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#19
Quote by Jimjambanx
Good luck with that, making money on Youtube is incredibly difficult by music alone. Revenue is calculated by minutes watched, and most songs (unless you play exclusively prog) will be around 3-4 minutes, which really isn't that long. Not to mention you need A LOT of views per video in order to make any sort of noticeable income, and if you want it to be sustainable you'd need to do at least 1-2 per week. Most musicians on youtube use it as a platform for sharing and getting a bit of popularity, and they make their real money from playing live or selling their own music. And let's be real, if all you're going to do is play songs tabbed out by other people that have been done a million times before, unless your production quality is through the roof, don't expect to be that popular. You need to be original, otherwise expect this to be a low pay hobby.


I'm not really wanting to start the channel for money, I love playing my guitar and recording videos and I was just wondering if I'll be able to make some extra pocket money from the channel. The songs I want to play are mostly from anime. I know how to get my videos really popular so I could definitely get people to notice me. I have a channel (not related to covers) that has 2 videos, one 600k and one 800k views even though the genre has a lot of competition.
Well, I'll try to get the channel going, let people know about my videos and see how it turns out
#20
Quote by blackomen52
I'm not really wanting to start the channel for money, I love playing my guitar and recording videos and I was just wondering if I'll be able to make some extra pocket money from the channel. The songs I want to play are mostly from anime. I know how to get my videos really popular so I could definitely get people to notice me. I have a channel (not related to covers) that has 2 videos, one 600k and one 800k views even though the genre has a lot of competition.
Well, I'll try to get the channel going, let people know about my videos and see how it turns out


I'm actually good friends with a youtuber who does anime covers, she's been doing it for a long time, has great production quality as of late, and is quick to get covers of new anime done because she learns them by ear, this way she can make the most of anime seasonal popularity. And she still doesn't make any money off of her videos (though she has recently been endorsed by two companies). I'm sorry man but it's a lost cause, if you want to do it just for fun then by all means it's a lot of fun and I recommend doing it, but you can pretty much guarantee you won't make any revenue, or at least anything outside of single digit figures. The way anime covers work is that people don't really sub to guys who do it, when a show they like comes out they usually look up covers of it then, so it's pretty difficult to get any notoriety either.
#21
I have about 20 videos on YouTube that are "monetized" meaning they are possible revenue sources if I get enough views and subscribers. I have had them set up that way since October of 2014. I currently have about 250 subscribers and approximately 150,00 views combined. In all that time my earnings are currently about $82.00 for everything since October 2014 till today. I haven't received any checks yet from YouTube because your revenue must be a minimum of $100.00 for them to issue a check. Unless you are constantly making and posting videos weekly that get a lot of views and subscribers, you won't make anything approaching a constant income. Also what is said about copywrite infringement is true. You need to insure that you either have clearance to use someone else's material, use copywrite free material or do video's with no music at all in order to qualify for payment. YouTube will ban or delete a video that contains material that is copywrite protected if the owner of the video has "monetized" that video for possible revenue and not been able to confirm clearance of the songs used in the video. YouTube/Google doesn't want to be a partner to any copywrite infringement. A lot of band videos on YouTube that use covers songs are videos that are posted for viewing purposes only and the video uploader/poster is not asking for money.

Since I have only been at this a short time someone else may have a more detailed and better explanation of how to generate revenue on YouTube. When you post a video you have to check a box when uploading that says "Monetize". That means you are requesting that the video you are posting should be eligible for possible revenue under terms of your agreement with YouTube. I understand that all "Monetized" videos are scanned for copywrite material.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jun 18, 2015,
#22
If you like playing covers and want to make money, join a cover band dude!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#23
[quote="Rickholly74. I currently have about 250 subscribers and approximately 150,00 views combined. In all that time my earnings are currently about $82.00 for everything since October 2014 till today. [/QUOTE"]

That's actually way more than I thought they paid, I heard one guy had 3 million views and2k subscribers getting only $40?
#24
I'm hoping to break that $100.00 limit to at least see one check. I'm thinking maybe in August if I'm lucky.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jun 18, 2015,
#25
not bad, even a hundred. Keep at it I say.

I may put up some sweep lessons or something that tons of noobs will watch, just dedicate 1 hr of my time,who knows in 10 years how many hits it has...yep, I se early retirement for me.
#26
Most of mine are mostly gear and guitar review videos. If you buy a new guitar, pedal, amp etc., do a quick review video and post it. I use a GoPro or my old Cisco Flip camera and quality is decent. I just bought a BBE Bohemian pedal and a BOSS PS-5 Harmonist pedal. As soon as I work with them a little I'll shoot a quick video and post it.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jun 18, 2015,
#27
Quote by Jimjambanx
I'm actually good friends with a youtuber who does anime covers, she's been doing it for a long time, has great production quality as of late, and is quick to get covers of new anime done because she learns them by ear, this way she can make the most of anime seasonal popularity. And she still doesn't make any money off of her videos (though she has recently been endorsed by two companies). I'm sorry man but it's a lost cause, if you want to do it just for fun then by all means it's a lot of fun and I recommend doing it, but you can pretty much guarantee you won't make any revenue, or at least anything outside of single digit figures. The way anime covers work is that people don't really sub to guys who do it, when a show they like comes out they usually look up covers of it then, so it's pretty difficult to get any notoriety either.


I'm aware of that but I could still try. Even if it doesn't work I'll continue doing it for fun. Thank you all for the informative posts so far
#28
By all means do it. It's a lot of fun. Like this forum you end up corresponding with others who share your interests. Don't set out do it for any financial return (though if that happens great) but do it for the experience. I did it to give myself projects so I could learn how to edit video in Sony Vegas Movie maker and now Adobe Premiere. I wanted to learn how to record separate audio and video and sync the two (still a work in progress). When I started doing it I didn't even know you could generate revenue, I was just having fun doing it.

Last October I mentioned to my son that one of my videos had almost 40,000 views and he asked me if my videos were "monetized"? That was the first I heard that your videos could make money (very little but...).
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#29
Quote by Rickholly74
I'm hoping to break that $100.00 limit to at least see one check. I'm thinking maybe in August if I'm lucky.


That is the minimum amount you would personally get paid per gig in a cover band. With the better bands you'll walk away with $200-$300 per gig.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#30
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ I agree with Hail.

If you need to use tabs to figure out how to play something, the thought of making money by posting cover versions on Youtube is pretty unrealistic.

Of course you can play covers and use tabs. There's nothing wrong with that. But it should tell something about your skill level. And at that skill level it is pretty unrealistic to expect to get so many views/subscribes that you would get paid.

So what would you suggest? To learn the songs completely by ear?
#31
eventually yeah, that would be the goal. Tabs are not bad. They are pretty useful as is sheet music. But the goal should be to be able to play what you hear.
Si
#32
Quote by J23L
So what would you suggest? To learn the songs completely by ear?

How you learn songs doesn't really matter. The question is if you need tabs to figure out songs, and can't do it without them. There's nothing wrong with using tabs or notation or whatever.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#33
I do "make money" with my youtube covers. You will have to check a box that says something along "this is a cover of a song I didn't write". That way the writers involved get a part of the ad cut. But trust me, you will have to stand out. In the 3 years I ran adsense and with top videos reaching 1,5k views, I made 6 euros.

Covers are just the type of thing people generally aren't interested in at all. I'm ****ing proud of 1 vid having 1,5k views and 24 likes.

Money on youtube is all about acting like an idiot, or telling people that you just did grocery shopping and now you are going to watch some TV. Want to make money? Be an idiotic vlogger.

In the Netherlands there is one kid that quit school and makes videos about how he talks about ****ing nothing. Stuff you could do at that right moment. Why do I know of this kid? Because he makes the newspaper all the ****ing time, or national TV. All there while kids with talent get nothing (I do not include myself in that, and this is most certainly no rant about how I should be making money because I'm good)

I do not mean to offend people that actually generate money from guitar lessons or some other usefull stuff.