When you’re creating a  video where your pastor or communications director or children’s pastor is letting people know important information, remember that WHAT THEY ARE SAYING needs to be the focus. So try to avoid these common music mistakes. For starters, don’t use:

  • Music with words – I know that new Bethel Music track is GREAT but that’s exactly why you don’t want it underneath your pastor trying to give your congregation important information! (Also…good chance your CCLI license doesn’t cover this usage…more later on that.) It will compete with and distract from the message. Find a track with a similar feel that doesn’t have words so that your message comes across loud and clear. Speaking of “loud”, make sure it isn’t:
  • Too loud – Even music without words can overpower the person speaking in the video if you’re not careful. You can read more about these types of issues here, but for now, let’s just say be SURE that the music is soft enough for every word to be heard clearly. At the same time, make sure it isn’t:
  • Too soft – This is NOT as bad as too loud…but it can actually be DISTRACTING when the music is barely audible. Your audience will wonder if it’s supposed to be there or not! And while they are pondering that important question, they are not hearing the message you’re trying to convey. Now to really make it perfect, don’t use music that gives the:
  • Wrong emotion – This is definitely a “feel” thing so you need to make the call, but make sure the music sets the right emotion. If the message leans to the serious side, that fun, “happy clappy” track is going to feel out of place and also confuse your audience. On a similar but distinct note, don’t get the:
  • Wrong vibe – Vibe, to me, is different than emotion. Vibe is about the overall energy of the track. So you could have 2 happy tracks, one with a simple pad and a lightly strummed acoustic guitar and the other with high-energy electric guitars and driving bass and drums. If your Youth Pastor is hyping a summer camp coming up, the latter might work better than the former. And if you need to use more than one track or loop a track, don’t make:
  • Bad edits – Bad edits are when it is OBVIOUS that you have “cut” the track. This could be an audible pop or silence, or it could be a non-musical change in the meter or tempo. Any of these will distract from your message. And lastly, since almost everything we do these days can end up on social media, make sure you don’t wind up with an:
  • Illegal usage – copyright/piracy software is becoming more and more advanced. If you use music in a video that you don’t have a specific license to use in that way, it’s likely you will find it flagged or taken down. You’ll have less headaches using properly licensed music (and it’s the right thing to do).


Carry on.

Kerry off.

Kerry “James” Cox