Top Ten: things to avoid when posting your guitar video on YouTube

As I've watched millions of videos I thought I would give you my top ten things I noticed on YouTube videos... agree or disagree with my thoughts, just post a comment in reply!

1. Not posting a video
Well if you want to get noticed and want to get feedback you have to post a video. You don't have to put up every video you record, just the ones you might be proud of. My preference is to allow comments, but you can review all that are submitted or ban comments completely. If you allow comment be prepared for YouTube trolls who post nasty comments... simple thing... delete them and block the poster... problem solved. Typical YouTube trolls won't actually have any videos posted on their channel.

2. Who turned the lights out?!
Forgetting to light the video correctly... This happens so often, "The black cat in the coal cellar" scenario. It might be possible to post process the video to make it lighter, but it's much easier to have the light on in FRONT of you so that people can see what your playing.

3. The "Too close shot"
Come on people... I know I like guitar playing... but I don't want to sit in your lap! Move the camera further back!! I'm not a big fan of the headless torso video... you are human beings... be proud of who you are! There are cases where a close up video is OK, to show how the technique is performed for example. However, if it's performance... get you head in the video!

4. The 20 second video phenomenon.
Really? come on people... if you want to people to know you can play guitar then a 20 second video clip won't cut it! Try and get to at least 60 seconds... one exception to that is Todd Duane.. Todd keep putting those video clips up... 30 seconds of your top notch legato playing on super modded amps is enough to satisfy anyone :)

5. Who?
This is a crime against yourself... you spend hours burning up that fretboard... you capture the shot of a life time, you post it! Then that's it... no more... no retitling the video... no description text, no links to your own web site or thing you are trying to promote... no meta information?!!

My suggestion here:
  1. upload the video
  2. set the video to private as it uploads.
  3. when the video is loaded  add the meta data
  4. Add a title, with you name at the start!
  5. If it's a cover add the text (cover)
  6. Add a description with suitable links
  7. Always start links with http:// this way they are automatically links!
  8. Add meta information, add your name, key words like guitar, fusion but don't spam it with nonsense.
  9. Set your comment rules... see my tip - point 1
  10. Add the date, time, location as well... this may not interest you... but these videos could be here well after you're gone!
  11. Once you have done all that..
  12. Check the video, sync and sound OK?
  13. Look at the video as users would!
  14. Good to go?... press the public button!
  15. Sit back and admire the positive comments
  16. Plan your next video!

6. Hey where did my video go??!?!
Don't post your video as a response to more than one video!! You can only post it in response to one YouTube video... for obvious anti spamming reasons.

7. I don't like my video anymore
I am with Tim Berners Lee here... don't destroy history! When the video is posted that's history... you might ebb and flow about your love of the video... but once it's posted there really is no guarantee that you can remove it, others will have taken a copy. Any links to it will be broken. IMO it is much better to leave it there for posterity... Here's a classic example why you should leave the video: We have to thank god Shawn Lane left a huge legacy of video of him playing live... imagine if he'd destroyed the tapes!

8. I really am a VJ
I don't know how many times I have seen people waffle on about nothing for 20/30 seconds before they do anything with guitar... Remember the pain threshold for most human beings is around 8 seconds for a single cut... you can thank TV for that. Much better to keep the chat short and to the point. A couple of exceptions here... super players like Marshall Harrison often provide very useful tips that are worth the wait... or people like Rob Chappers...he's the Monkeylord he can say what he wants... note he obeys the 8 second rule!

9. Tonight I'm going to be a famous guitar player syndrome
Try to avoid too many guitar covers, particularly if the covers are from a single player. e.g. avoid all Malmsteen covers or all Vai covers or all Satriani covers... People will just think you are a clone and not original! If you do post them... they have to be good! [plus you might be breaking copyright!]

10. The box brownie effect.
Do all you can to get the video as good as you can. A reasonable camera will get you more views... I know this is a question of expense... so if you don't have one, see if you can borrow one. Try and edit the video to. The better the quality, the more likely you are to get views.

OK that's it for now... Good Luck!


  1. Also, another pet peeve of mine occurs when the video takes 30 seconds for the guitar playing to actually start. I hate it when you have to go through someone hitting the record button, sitting down, turning the amp on, THEN begin to play...Edit that stuff out.

  2. Very good advice. It was about time that someone put it out. Thank you.

  3. Those are some really nice advices -- I'm taking note of them for my next video!


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