We’re psyched to introduce you to our new feature – Video of the Week!
Every Monday we will select a clip that displays many of the essential qualities for success that we focus on here at CBC.
We’re looking for good musicianship, a professional performance, quality recording, and a unique, interesting or excellent song selection.
Videos can be live or studio/concept. The only major criteria is that your clip is of only ONE song (and it has to be the WHOLE song.)
Why are we doing this?
From the very beginning, one of the goals of Cover Band Central was to provide a platform for musicians and bands to reach an audience that they would otherwise not have access to.
There are hundreds – no – thousands of killer bands out there. Here at CBC we are musicians – but first and foremost we are music fans. We enjoy listening to music and discovering new talent just as much as we love playing.
The ultimate goal is to help artists that need a little boost, and to build a library of clips that we feel are some of the best undiscovered talent from around the world.
Cover Band Central is the industry leader in promoting cover bands and musicians, and we want to be a vehicle for your continued success.
What makes a good video?
Glad you asked.
There are several criteria that go into a quality clip that will get viewed, liked, and shared…and maybe even go viral.
Here are your bullet points:
- Song selection
- Audio quality
- Camera angle(s)
- Fun factor
- Song Selection
Pick a good song. Preferably one that people know.
We’ve discussed at length the “play it like the original or make it your own” debate. Read that article and take it for what it’s worth, but ultimately you need to be authentic to you. There’s no hiding who you really are in video…especially when it’s recorded live.
But before people judge you on your performance, your talent, your clothes, your gear, etc….they will consider the song you are playing.
If it’s a song that they like, they are more likely to give your version a listen. If it’s a song they at least know, there’s also a decent chance that they will press play.
But if your video is the Rockin’ XYZ Band playing “Obscure Song Nobody’s Ever Heard Of,” your chances for getting views are seriously limited.
Pick a good song. Make sure it’s a popular song. Feel free to put your own twist on it if that’s your thing. Just make sure you’ll have an audience that will appreciate it before you put in any of the work.
Are you a good player? Can everyone in your band hold their own?
If you can confidently answer “Yes,” then that’s good enough.
You don’t have to be the best. Nobody is the best. If you think you’re good, and other people have told you that you’re good, then you’re good.
But be aware that your performance captured on video lends itself to deep scrutiny. People can pause and rewind with ease and listen back to confirm whether or not you did that solo justice, or if you played the correct kick drum pattern, or if your bass player is locked in, etc.
Nothing will get people clicking on that x quicker than a shitty band.
This might be the most important aspect of your video.
People tune into vocals. People like to sing along. The lead vocals are always the spotlight of a video. As soon as the singer starts singing, people will form an opinion.
- Are the vocals in tune? They better be.
- Is the singer singing the right words? I hope so.
- Are harmonies there and in tune? That helps quite a bit.
As evidenced by all of the reality show singing competitions over the last fifteen plus years, people zero in on the singer. The band can get away with simply playing the parts correctly, but more of the weight falls on the singer’s shoulders.
If your video is a studio recording, then you have ample opportunity to get it right. But if your clip is recorded live, the vocals should be well rehearsed and spot on. Sometimes the energy of a live performance can pull the tuning one way or another—and sometimes that’s okay—as long as the spirit of the song remains intact.
- Audio Quality
If your video is a studio recording, then you should have this down.
For live performances, there are basically two options:
- Use the sound board mix
- Use the camera or phone’s mic
One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Even phones these days can capture some really good audio. Placement is the most important factor when recording with only one source live. It needs to be positioned somewhere where the audience will hear all of the instruments and vocals just as equally as they would if they were there in the venue.
Standing too far stage left or stage right and too close to the stage will emphasize what’s coming off of the stage in that location and drown out the other instruments. If you can, get a good board mix and synch it with the video. If you’re just using one video source with an internal mic, be sure it’s placed where people will be able to hear everyone on stage.
- Camera Angle(s)
For a one camera live shoot, it’s important that the whole stage is visible throughout the performance. If the person who is filming knows what they’re doing, they will know how to frame the stage for optimum results.
For multiple camera shoots, you’ll want to focus in on the person that is being featured on stage. In other words…when the singer is singing, we should be able to see him or her. When the guitar player is soloing, we should be able to see them shred.
You want the video to show what people would be looking at if they were there live.
Sometimes this is out of your control when being filmed, but a good rule of thumb for the people on stage is to be aware of where the lights are, and to stand in those spots to make sure you’re seen.
With controlled video shoots, get a lighting pro to work with you, or experiment and test shoot with various lighting options. It will make a big difference in the finished product.
- Fun Factor
Are you having a good time on stage? That will be glaringly obvious in your finished product.
People like to watch other people having fun. So whether it’s a conceptual interpretation of a cover, or a stellar live clip of your show, make sure the audience will see you having a good time.
Sometimes that overrides all of the other tips. No video is ever perfect, but if it’s entertaining and enjoyable, then you’ll end up getting lots of views.
Do you want to have you video featured?
Send a link to your video (YouTube clips ONLY) and a short explanation as to why you should be featured to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions will be considered.
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