Got your guitar skills up to a decent level? Ready to start showcasing your music to the masses? Then if you haven't already, you might want to consider using YouTube in your overall marketing campaign.
Now I'm sure I don't have to mention how power a tool this can be in getting your music out there. Not only can you get a ton of traffic by dipping into YouTube's existing audience, but the visual nature of it can also help form a deeper connection between you and your potential fans.
That said, what kind of videos should you be making as a guitarist? While there are a load you can try out into (Live shows, interviews, music videos etc), the below are three I've seen to be particularly effective for various reasons:
1. Live Jamming Sessions
Main Aim: Effectively Showcasing Your Talent To Potential Collaborators And Business Partners.
Secondary Aim: Footage For Your Current Fanbase.
The first type of video I'm going to suggest is a live jamming session. In this video you'll be showcasing your guitar playing abilities, usually in one take and with minimum interruptions. If you do any type of vocals you can also add these in there, basically the aim is to show off your core talent.
The reason why this kind of video is a worthy addition to your arsenal is that it allows people to really focus on what you can do as a guitarist. While your fans will be able to appreciate this, the real benefit comes in when you're looking for work or potential collaborators.
Looking for a singer to do live gigs with? Maybe you're looking for a band or to get more solo shows on your own? These jamming videos are great bundled with your CV, and can help you better give people an idea of what you have to offer.
Below is an example of this kind of video in action:
There are a number of ways you can run your own live jamming sessions:
Solo, or with other guitarists.
Freestyling what you're going to play, or pre-planning it and recording.
Over a backing track, or just have the guitar doing all the work (the second one is recommended).
However you decide to do them, make sure you record something that's epic! Something that is near near the top level of what you can do, something that even you may not be able to top for a good while. Achieve that, and hopefully others will dig what you've recorded too.
2. Videos Of You Performing Cover Songs
Main Aim: To Reach New Potential New Fans.
Secondary Aim: Footage For Your Current Fanbase.
The next type of video you should be making is cover songs. Covering other people's already popular song is becoming increasingly popular, and for one good reason:
It opens you up to an audience that most likely wouldn't have found you otherwise.
When you're a new musician, or if you've been around for a while but haven't marketed yourself that much, people aren't generally going to be searching your name. They will however be searching for already established musicians, so the below mentioned tactic will take full advantage of that.
First though, here's an example of a cover song which got quite popular:
If you optimize your videos correctly, it's possible to get your video in front of people who are searching for currently popular songs. That means when they search for a new song in the charts for example, if you're early enough to do a cover for it and get it up on YouTube (using terms that people would search for), your video may show up alongside the original. Not only in the initial search results, but it may also be recommended in the "related videos" section after viewers finish watching the original. Fans of the song will often watch multiple versions of their favorite songs.
Once you get people viewing your cover songs, you will of course need to take steps to get them to subscribe to your channel and sign up to your list. After all, them hearing you once won't make them a die hard fan of your music. Get them to subscribe to you in some way, and you'll have a much better chance of building up a relationship with them and turning them into a long-term fan.
3. Teaching Beginner Guitarists How To Make YOUR Songs
Main Aim: Building Influence, Making Money.
Not many people are currently doing this third kind of video, so you've got a big opportunity here. Do it well and this could help open a load of new doors for you.
While making money directly as a musician playing gigs / collecting royalties / selling digital downloads etc is all good, there is another way to make money from your talent. Have you ever considered teaching other people how to play guitar?
I've personally set up a course which teaches musicians how to market their music because that's what I am very good at. If you're good at playing guitar, why not set up a video course teaching people how to do the same?
Now I'm not saying this is going to be easy for everyone to do. Even if you can play the guitar well, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be good at teaching it. That said, you never know unless you try. I guarantee at least a few of you who are reading this has the ability to set up a successful beginner guitar video course, so you may want to look into it as an additional way to make money from your talent. The best part? Once it's made that's it, you then just need to promote it alongside promoting your music.
As guitarists tend to pick up fans who also play guitar themselves, you'll find that a percentage of your fanbase could be the ideal customers for your course. After all, who better to learn from than someone they already know and admire?
My advice is to put out a few of these teaching videos on YouTube for free to gauge the reaction, and if good, set up a paid membership course for people to get the rest of your videos. Use the videos to feed people back to your sign up page, and really push the course in the same way you'd push your music. This could be great for an addition income from your music, so give it a try.
What Kind Of YouTube Videos Should I Make As A Guitarist Conclusion
So there you go, three types of YouTube video you should be making as a guitarist. I hope you found it useful, and will try at least a couple if you aren't already. You can see more music business, music marketing, and general music industry guides on my website Music Industry How To. Thanks for reading. :)
By Shaun Letang
So what kind of videos do you find are useful for promoting your music? Let us know in the comments below.