How to Get Free Music for YouTube Videos

We are influencers and brand affiliates.  This post contains affiliate links, most which go to Amazon and are Geo-Affiliate links to nearest Amazon store.

The copyright nuances of YouTube can seem like a really scary thing to an amateur filmmaker.  Those just starting out may fear losing the video they worked so hard on due to using a copyrighted soundtrack as the backing music.  What can be done to remedy this though when the filmmaker in question does not have any musical experience whatsoever?  Does one have to start looking for things that sound practically like elevator music?  Is all hope lost?  The answer to all these questions is a fantastic media license called Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

There are several websites that embrace the use of Creative Commons music.  Creative Commons is a license that requires you to simply credit the creator of the music in your video credits or description.  For YouTube, the version of the license you are searching for is Creative Commons Commercial and Remix Approved.  The other versions of the license are not ideal for YouTube because several sources consider YouTube as commercial broadcasting.  The remixing part is more of an optional bonus but I recommend finding music that can be remixed. That way if you wish to alter the track, such as speeding it up or slowing it down, you will be allowed to do so.  Music that is approved for commercial/remix usage is usually denoted by the logo to the left.

The quality of Creative Commons music is far from elevator music!  I have heard a plethora of Creative Commons music that I believe easily surpasses most of the mainstream pop you hear on the radio today.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the stop motion animation below that uses a lovely Creative Commons song.

Sources for Creative Commons Music
The first source I am going to mention here is the one I believe is truly the best of all the Creative Commons indexes I have tried.  Kevin MacLeod’s is a free music resource that has all genres of music.  The video shared above actually features his popular piano piece “Harlequin.”  MacLeod has no restrictions as to how his music can be used when he is credited.  He does however charge you if you have a situation where it is impossible to provide credit (ex. radio ad, TV ad, corporate presentation, commercial short, on-hold music, etc.)  If you wish to employ MacLeod’s talent for scoring a personal song for your project, he also charges a relatively low fee compared to his competitors.
If you require an even larger collection or need more tracks featuring vocals, the next best source for you is a website called  This website features all genres of music by thousands of artists.  I particularly like the library of trance, dubstep, club, techno, and contemporary that the website has.  The only major drawbacks of is that not all the tracks are downloadable and some are remixes of copyrighted songs.  If a track is unavailable for download, simply contact the artist and ask permission to use their music.  Most of the time they are more than willing to let you feature their songs.  Remember to pay close attention to the licenses when using, as some of the music is not licensed for commercial use.
Another source with plenty of vocal tracks is the popular  This website is utilized by musical artists worldwide and has a very diverse selection.  Perhaps you are making a film geared toward a more global audience.  Perhaps a French club song suits your fancy or a Korean pop mix may better fit the bill.  I do notice that is very vocal heavy though and you may not find that many instrumental tracks.  The quality is a little more uneven than the other sites too.  You will find yourself wading through more songs before you find the perfect match.  Licenses also vary on this site, so once again, keep on the lookout for the line or logo that shows commercial approved usage.
A site that is very well known among filmmakers is embraces the remix approach to its music.  Users often incorporate each other’s tracks and loops to create a new song entirely.  For example, one of my favorite songs on the site, “I dunno” by grapes, uses tracks from J.Lang’s “It’s Time { Bootleg Remix }” and Morusque’s “260808 loops pins 01.”  Much of the music on the site goes through this long history of remixes and you can find so many cool variants of the same song.  The wonderful thing about is that many of the tracks possess commercial approved licenses, making it an indispensable source for YouTube video makers.
Last but not least is a site for those of you who want to take the DIY route with your music. lets you create your own music with an incredibly easy to use interface.  You do not need to have any musical knowledge whatsoever and you will rarely make anything that sounds terribly bad.  Here’s an example of a percussion heavy track I put together that sounds quite good: Uncertainty II.  This particular resource is not exactly free however.  While you can make and listen to tracks for free, if you wish to use them commercially, you need to pay a fee of $20.  You can make some of that investment back however if people like your track and want to buy it from you.  Regardless, the tiny cost makes it an excellent option and one that I highly recommend if you need a track that is even more customized for your production.

Any Questions?

There you have it, 5 sources of music for any YouTube video you produce in the future.  Still need help obtaining music or media for your production?  Leave a comment below and I will be glad to answer.  Best of luck on your future films and don’t forget to subscribe to the Dragonblogger YouTube Channel to catch our own videos and reviews.

We are influencers and brand affiliates.  This post contains affiliate links, most which go to Amazon and are Geo-Affiliate links to nearest Amazon store.