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How to Make a Lyric Video for YouTube? 7 Easy Steps

Help everyone you know learn the lyrics to your songs (and earn money at the same time) by making lyric videos and posting them to your YouTube channel! Read on to learn how to create a lyric video for YouTube, step by step.
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How to make lyric videos
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Have you ever listened to a song and couldn’t make out all the lyrics? If so, then you may have searched for it on YouTube and found a lyric video to go along with the music. 

If you didn’t, then you may be wondering what a lyric video is! It’s simply a video that plays a song and displays the lyrics to it on the screen. Typically, the text is overlaid across the front of a still image or stock footage that matches the theme or atmosphere of the music.

This type of content is not only useful for discovering or recalling the words to a song, but it can also be a great way for YouTubers to make money! Lyric videos are easy to make and don’t take much time, so you can pump them out and rack up views to increase your earnings from video monetization.

Plus, if you’re a musician, lyric videos are an excellent way to promote your songs and help your fans sing along!

Let’s go over how to create a lyric video for YouTube in the following step-by-step guide.

Step-By-Step Guide To Creating a Lyric Video for YouTube

Below are the steps for making a lyric video and then posting it to YouTube once it’s complete.

Step #1: Choose a Song

Before you can write any lyrics, you must first choose a song!

This is not a decision to make lightly. If you want to make a lyric video of a song by another artist, then you’ll have to get permission from them or their licensing company beforehand. Otherwise, your lyric video might get taken down for copyright violations, and all the effort you put into it will be wasted. 

Of course, if you’re making a lyric video for your own song that you recorded and released, then you don’t have to worry about getting permission from anyone (except yourself!).

Step #2: Choose a Video Maker Tool

Next, you must choose a video maker tool. 

This can be a hard decision to make – even harder than selecting a song – because there are a lot of different options out there. 

That’s why we recommend considering one important factor when choosing a video maker tool: your budget and your skill level. 

Let’s say you’re not looking to spend much, if any money on your lyric video creations. No problem! You’ll find no shortage of free websites that will give you access to basic video and text editing tools, and sometimes even free stock images and footage.

But what if budget is of no concern? In that case, you may want to pay for a subscription to a video editor that comes with more tools, more features, more stock images, and more exports per month.

When it comes to skill level, you should think about how good you are at using a video editor and how much effort you want to put into making a lyric video. 

With a paid program like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can customize your lyric video and make something truly professional and unique to your brand – providing you know what you’re doing! 

If you don’t know what you’re doing, though, you can still make amazing-looking lyric videos! Some video editor tools come with templates and features that are specifically designed to help you make a lyric video in a matter of minutes. They’re so easy to use that anyone can do it!

Here are some of our recommendations for video maker tools to try based on whether they’re paid, professional software or free, beginner websites.

Paid Professional Video Makers

Free Beginner Video Makers

Step #3: Upload Your Song into the Video Maker

Once you’ve selected your song (and gotten permission to use it!), upload it into your chosen video maker tool.

Depending on which video maker you’re using, you might be able to upload the song later in the process. But if you’re using one that automatically generates the lyrics for you, like Clipchamp, then this should be one of your first steps.

Step #4: Add Background Footage or Images

Next, choose footage or images to serve as the background of your lyrics text. 

Here’s where you can have a lot of fun! Most video makers come pre-loaded with a library of stock, royalty-free images and video footage, and all you have to do is pick the ones you want to use and add them to your lyric video. But if you already have images or footage that you want to use, you can always upload those, instead. 

When choosing a background for the lyrics, remember that your viewers’ focus should always be on the lyrics themselves. So, if you use footage, you may want to blur it, so that your viewers don’t get too distracted by it.

However, you shouldn’t leave your backgrounds blank and boring, either! They’re actually a powerful tool that can set the mood for the song. With the right background, your lyric video can come alive without taking the spotlight off the text.

Step #5: Add Text Lyrics

Now for the most important step: adding the text for the song lyrics. 

This process can be as simple or complex as you want (or as your video maker allows). For example, you can add the lyrics and set them to fade in and out as they’re sung in the track. But you can also make it more interesting by animating the text to move across the background.

Font style and size are also important considerations to make here. Again, you want the lyrics to take center stage in your video. That means that the text has to be 1) easy to read and 2) sized to fit comfortably in the aspect ratio. 

It’s all up to you, though, so play around and see what looks best for your lyric video.

Step #6: Export Your Lyric Video

Next, export your completed lyric video in a quality and file format that YouTube will support. 

Here are the basics that you need to keep in mind when exporting. First, YouTube’s preferred video file formats are MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, so try to export your lyric videos in one of those to make uploading them to your channel smoother. And second, YouTube recommends a resolution and aspect ratio of 1280×720 pixels (full HD) and 16:9, respectively.

One thing you’ll need to pay attention to on your video maker – especially if it’s free – is how many exports it will allow you to do per month. Check the limit (if there is one) ahead of time, so that you can plan how many lyric videos you want to make and export at a time.

You may also want to make sure that your video maker lets you export in full HD. If not, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan to get that as a feature.

Step #7: Upload Lyric Video To Your YouTube Channel

The last step is to upload your lyric video to your YouTube channel. We already have an entire article dedicated to that process, so be sure to check out How To Upload a Video to YouTube in 2023!

3 Tips To Make the Best Lyric Video

And now, here are our top tips for you to make the best lyric video topic. 

1. Get Permission To Use a Copyrighted Song

We know we already told you that you need to get permission to make a lyric video for a copyrighted song. But we want to explain how to do this because it’s really important!

There are actually a couple of different ways to get permission to use a copyrighted song in your lyric video. 

First, you could reach out to the artist if they’re independent, or their licensing company if they’re signed. Keep in mind, though, that there’s no guarantee you’ll get approved for a license to use the song.

The second way is to go through the Creator Music library in YouTube Studio. This is a platform where YouTubers can purchase licenses for songs from popular labels, like Empire, Believe, Downtown, and Merlin. Some of the songs in Creator Music are also free to use, so you may consider that as an option if you have an extremely low budget. 

Free or not, you’ll still need to get the license for it, though! Never skip that step because you could get in serious trouble with YouTube if you receive more than three copyright claims in a 90-day period. (By serious trouble, we mean that your channel could be terminated. Not good!)

2. Choose a Mood-Setting Background

When you’re in the process of choosing a background for your lyric video, you may be tempted to choose a blank one for the sake of time. 

Instead, we urge you to consider the mood of the song and choose a background accordingly. This will help your viewers connect with and appreciate the track’s inherent message.

For example, if the song is dark and moody, find stock images in black and white or grayscale stock footage of clouds or raindrops. If it’s bright and fun, pick vivid colors and images that make the text pop off the screen and give your audience the feeling of joy.

3. Avoid Using Cursive Font

To make your lyrics as legible as possible, we suggest that you avoid using cursive font. Cursive can be difficult to read, particularly for people with dyslexia or vision problems. Instead, use a font like Helvetica, Arial, Open Sans, or any other easy-to-read text.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make a Lyric Video For Free? 

You can make a lyric video for free, starting with your own song or a free licensed song from YouTube Studio Creator Studio. Then, find a free video maker, like Canva or Clipchamp, edit your video together, and export it. Finally, upload it to a video sharing platform like YouTube.


Once your lyric video is uploaded to YouTube, remember to promote it among your friends, family, and industry connections, and also to share it on your social media accounts. That way, everyone will see your amazing creation and grow your brand through music!

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