I've been getting some questions lately about how to make a video for IG of yourself playing guitar and I love that question because I really want more people to feel comfortable posting guitar videos! I think IG videos are great because 1) they are an awesome way to connect with people because you are sharing a little glimpse of the vulnerable ideas in your head and melodies you just like for no apparent reason 2) it's a cool way to contribute to helping other guitarists grow by giving back licks for the community. There have been so many cool things I've learned or been challenged by when watching other people's videos and it's really stretched my creativity as a guitarist! 3) participating in community is a way to connect and make IG friends which is the best! I've actually heard scrolling through without liking/commenting/ posting can sometimes make people feel more isolated, so if you are in this boat it's not too late to start engaging!
Here's my Insta!
How I started my guitar insta
When I first started my guitar business/ Instagram last year, I honesty was really scared! Like I literally called it my year of anxiety to my husband because I just reached a point where everything I did was new and scared me! It wasn't because I was doing something that was clearly a bad idea, but rather because it was new and I had zero experience. I also had a lot of fears like I'm not good enough/ qualified to do this. Guitar had always been something I have loved so incredibly much and I hadn't really ever connected with a ton of people on Instagram that weren't already my friends in real life. It's easy when you are starting something to wonder if you are ready yet, but the truth is that jumping right in is really the only way to grow and get ready (like learning on the job)! So if you're reading this blog wondering if you are qualified to do something like this, the answer is yes yes you are!
Obviously a guitar, gear, etc… Also these two pieces are what I use now for my tripod (ps, these are associate links so you should use them! Woo!)! When I was first starting, I would try to balance my phone against books, my succulents, and chairs etc and it worked fine but got super annoying the amount my phone would slide down. I did this for like a year before getting these and they made a huge difference! If you are going to be doing a lot of these, it may be worth just getting these in the beginning! Use my amazon links here!!
Let's start with planning!
*this is all based on how I do my videos, but you may want to make them totally different depending on the vibe of your IG and style. Stay true to your own style first!
So there's two ways you can make your instagram video:
1) Straight to your phone:
Pros- Easier, takes less time, less expensive if you don't already have recording equipment, can be a bit more organic feeling.
Cons- Not great sound quality (the bass is usually lost)and you're limited to tones you can get through your amp/pedal board.
2) Separating the audio and video and then combining it for the IG video:
Pros: You can get your tone exactly as a want it and clean everything up through your recording software.
Cons: It takes a bit of time and can be tricky if you don't have a ton of experience editing tracks. You also will have to match the audio and video so everything is cohesive.
I do a mixture just depending!
Here's two examples so you can see the difference:
In this post, I will only be covering how to make the video with your phone. Here'e my VLOG showing you how to do an Instagram guitar video with separate audio and video (using a digital audio workstation and an iPhone).
Making an Instagram Video through your Phone
What you need:
-I use my iPhone 7 ( i used to use a 6 and it works fine too!).
- VSCO app with video (optional)
- Video crop app
This is pretty straight forward, but here are the details!
1) Turn your amp up to a normal level you would use to practice.
If it's too loud, the tone will obviously sound better to you, but the iPhone sound can't handle it and it will end up sounding muddy. This has definitely happened in some of my videos (boo!).
2) Find your light!
If you don't want a super grainy video, get the light shining on you and not behind you. You also may want to think about making whatever is behind you look clean (or not depending on your feel!). I love design-y stuff so I like clean videos!
3) Prop your phone up and flip your camera toward you.
I always put my phone like maybe 5-6 feet from my amp so the phone sound doesn't overdrive. Then just start your video and play your piece!
4) Choose to post or edit.
Once you have a video you are happy with (which can be annoying if you are OCD about it. I have my days for sure that nothing I come up with is interesting or the exact sound I want! Think of it like having guitar practice time though!), you can either post it right then or edit it!
5) Edit your video.
I like having a cohesive look to my IG, so I also edit them through VSCO video. This is a paid feature of the app, but has been worth it to me. However, when I first started I just used the Clarendon filter on Instagram and turned down the intensity a little.
When using VSCO's video feature, I try to use the same-ish filter I use for my photos to create the feel I like for my feed. I used to always use the A6 filter and usually just had to turn up the brightness and contrast a little. Now I have been into the KE1 effects that are created to mimic old Kodak film! I will also use the Video Crop app to cut out anything that looks distracting in my background.
6) Post your instagram video
When posting, I usually crop out the beginning and end of the video and try to choose a good cover shot that is clear what I will be doing.
7) After you gram your gram
IG will rank your post based on overall momentum to your account. It used to be just comments and likes, but I've heard recently it's changed to activity in comments, stories, messages, highlights etc. I also always post a comment with hashtags after like #guitar #guitarplayer #fender #effectpedals etc.
8) Be real and interactive!
Don't worry about your stats, but rather your real human connections. It's WAY better to have 50 followers who you actually relate to and have a real IG community with than 10K randos! When I started, I remember going from 272 followers and then it would drop to 270 a few days later and then go back up again! That's super normal! A lot of those people though I met when I started earlier, are now still awesome friends and I have even met a few in real life (you know who you are people!). Really think about what you want to say and give back to your followers. Your post is going to be like .05 seconds of someone's day, so use it to make a difference!
Having a lot of followers will not somehow make your life any better, but having real friendships that you can make through an app definitely will!
I hope this was helpful and please email me with any questions you have! Thanks so much for reading!