17 Essential Trailer Music Tips Composing a Movie Trailer

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Wednesday, 20 April 2022
  • Time to read: 13 min.

17 Essential Trailer Music Tips for Composing a Movie trailer

The music industry for movie trailers is definitely a smaller community than most others, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less frightening. You could be creating music for some of the biggest blockbusters and games of all time!

The potential to have your work seen – or heard, rather – by millions of people is definitely daunting. But it’s also incredibly exciting. Just imagine hearing your music playing over the trailer for the latest Marvel movie. Or seeing your name in the credits for the next Call of Duty game.

It’s definitely a small industry, but it’s one with a lot of potentials. So if you’re looking to get into the music industry, don’t discount the movie trailers industry just because it’s not as big as some of the other markets.

And if you are already in the industry and are just looking for some tips on how to compose a great trailer track, then look no further. We’ve compiled a list of 17 essential tips to help you create a killer trailer track that will leave audiences wanting more.

17 Essential Trailer Music Tips for Composing a Movie trailer

Let’s talk about the best tips for making good movie trailer songs. The movie trailers music industry is relatively small, although frightening – you’re creating music for movie trailers, for the biggest blockbusters and games of all time.

And when it comes to producing trailer videos it can prove very rewarding. So for anyone looking into the art of film music, writing music and writing trailer music, keep reading.

Listening to Existing Trailer Tracks

One of the best ways to get a sense for what works in trailer music is to listen to existing tracks. This will give you an idea of the feel and style that is often associated with trailer music. It can also help to get inspired and find ideas for your own compositions.

Tip #1. how To Get Licensed in The Trailer Music Industry?

This is the first and most important tip on our list of 10 essential tips for movie music composers. I’d like to see a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter who say “Congratulation John! X-track x just got a place on X-men 19. That’s $7000 for you, buddy”. Movie trailer music is everywhere, every movie you watch every commercial on the TV. Movie trailer production houses are always looking for good producers to get their tracks in trailers.

Who should think about this? If you’re passionate, write great music, and have mastered FL studio or other DAWS, Movie trailer music may be right for you! Although it’s not an easy way to start your career as a musician, composing Movie Trailer Background Music can be profitable if done right!

You just need to keep in mind that by definition, Movie trailer music needs to grab the attention of viewers within less than 1 minute. It also tends to cover many genres – Epic Metal Guitar riffs can work well with Sci-Fi action movies while more classical Movie trailer background music can be great for adventure films. Movie trailer music is not just about making a tune but telling a story as well.

Tip #2. in Trailer Music, Quantity Matters

Is that a mistake? It’s important to concentrate on quality and quantity and not on subjective perfection. It has to be clearly stated: You shouldn’t compromise quality over speed or quantity. It’s important to improve quality. Movie trailer music is one of the most popular genres on Audiojungle and part of the success comes from making a good track in a short time.

Movie trailers are using more and more Movie trailer music, so it’s important to be able to produce good tracks rapidly and publish them quickly.

10-15 new songs every month. If this is not possible, you must think about switching to another type of production. Movie trailer music is becoming very popular nowadays and users expect high-quality Movie trailer songs fast! Don’t underestimate quantity – it’s just as important as quality.

professional producer composer designing sound for trailer
professional producer, composer designing sound for trailer

Tip #3. Rip Off – Yes, Rip Off – Trailer Music Structures

Using other successful trailer cues is not simply plagiarising songs or sounds if possible, however, it’s possible to do so by combining the structure of similar cues with the structure of other cues. This will help with the start of generating a good film trailer soundtrack.

Your idea is to use already established structures used in the composers’ industry for a profitable track, using a melody or an idea that is unique. Put everything on a track just try and have structure sensible within the context in which actual trailers were constructed.

Tip #4. Use Powerful Source Sounds

Trailers is a music steroid. When it comes to sound you should always remember that the trailer music should always be extremely exciting, powerful, and energetic and that when it is big and building slowly it should end up quite brave and powerful. You can choose a sound that is the strongest sound you can get. Get started with effective source sound. This applies to everything in your track. Brass, hits, percussion, strings synthesizers, etc.

Tip #5. Limit Yourself to Achieve Greater Things

Limiting yourself seems impossible, right? This is logical. Is there a way to hear me? But he was busy. Does the cue have any legal validity for a license or not? There will be a fee here. So instead imagine you limit your use to only a small number of the elements used in the music. You’ve got to use them to your advantage to be able to make everything shine together.

Tip #6. Start with Chord Progressions, Not Melodies

A good structure will assist you immensely in reaching the final cue very quickly. In a fast-paced world, speed can be very important for many industries as a whole. While the melody is important to you it might be even more captivating and catchy than just chords. The chords are what determine your song feel, the melodies however are more important and less vital.

Chord Progressions
Chord Progressions

Tip #7. When Out of Ideas – Simply Listen

Have you ever been in a situation where you were completely out of ideas? Maybe you were supposed to be working on a project, but no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t come up with anything. If this sounds familiar, then you might want to try listening to other trailer music scores. This can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Hearing how others have tackled similar projects can give you some new ideas for your own work.

Additionally, listening to trailer music can help to improve your understanding of musical structure and composition. As a result, you may find that listening to other trailer music scores is an essential part of your creative process.

When I find that I am not able to write what I want to write and something is not clicking at my first effort I take another step away from the writing and just stop writing. Doing so will help you feel renewed, it releases the pressure on yourself to come up with great ideas without real inspiration. When we are listening to some good new or old music, it can give us fresh thoughts about something.

Tip #8. Listen to Proper Feedback – Not Any Feedback

Getting good feedback is vital for success in the sector. Sure, you can write music and make it public if your connection is good. However, most likely some aspects of your music are important to you to be addressed so they can maximize licensure.

When it comes to trailer music, the people who should be listening to it are the trailer producers and managers of a trailer music publisher. After all, they are the ones who are responsible for finding and licensing the music that will be used in trailers. And while it may be tempting to just go with whatever is popular at the moment, that is not always the best idea.

Instead, it is important to consider what kind of mood or feeling the trailer is trying to evoke and then select music that will complement that. For instance, if a trailer is for a horror movie, then using an upbeat pop song would not make sense. But if the goal is to create a sense of suspense or tension, then a more dark and eerie piece of music would be more appropriate.

The best way to get feedback from these professionals is to attend one of the many trailer music conferences that are held throughout the year. These events provide an excellent opportunity to network with other composers and trailer music publishers. Additionally, many of the keynote speakers at these conferences are trailer music supervisors, so it is a great chance to hear directly from the people who are responsible for selecting the music that is used in trailers.

17 Essential Trailer Music Tips Composing a Movie Trailer
17 Essential Trailer Music Tips Composing a Movie Trailer

Tip #9. Write Trailer Music – Not Soundtrack Music

Music has the ability to set the tone of a film and create an emotional response in the viewer. For trailers, this is especially important as the music needs to be engaging and build excitement for the movie.

Soundtrack music, on the other hand, is designed to support the action on screen and provide background ambiance. As a result, trailer music and soundtrack music are two very different genres. When writing music for a trailer, it is important to keep this distinction in mind.

Trailer music should be propulsive and dramatic, with a strong sense of dynamics. It should also be self-contained and able to stand on its own, without relying on visuals to support it. By contrast, soundtrack music should be more subdued and work in conjunction with the images on screen.

So, when it comes to writing trailer music, the best approach is to think of it as its own distinct genre. This will help to ensure that your music is properly tailored to the needs of a trailer and will maximize its impact.

A common problem movie composers have when they use trailer music are the ones where the music is beautiful. Film soundtracks and trailers share several similar properties. The difference is that the soundtracks are not tailored for a specific scene.

Movie composers who sometimes write their own scores will often use more melodic and harmonic arrangements, while some film music has a strong focus on percussive instruments to make a more dramatic experience.

Tip #10. Composing Movie Trailer Background Music that Will Sell

A well-composed movie trailer background score can make the difference between a potential customer hitting the “play” button and continuing to scroll. In order to create music that will sell, it is important to understand the following: what emotions the movie trailer is trying to evoke, what type of music would compliment the visuals, and how to make the music memorable. 

A lot of Movie Trailer Production companies contact us asking for Movie trailer songs that will sell, something amazing and unique – Movie Trailer Background Music needs to be catchy enough to make people go looking for the tune after watching it in a short preview or commercial.

The job involves a lot of magic and creative thinking – Movie trailer production companies need to create trailers with striking visuals and Movie trailer background music, creating an emotional bond between viewer and movie! It’s up to you as the composer to find that certain musical formula that will glue it all together.

Bonus Tip #1: There’s No Such Thing as Luck!

However, you define “luck” it doesn’t exist in this industry. A trailer composer does not have magic powers of luck or something else.

If you want to be just another professional trailer writer then go ahead with your work and do it seriously, with dedication and conscientious thinking about the written material every time. Creating decent tracks requires just that: decent thinking about everything that affects them in any way. 

Bonus Tip #2: Movie Trailer Background Music Describes the Emotions

Do you ever listen to what John Williams is saying? It sounds like nonsense, but don’t forget he always makes Movie trailer music which is selling like crazy. Movie Trailer Music doesn’t need lyrics, it needs to describe the emotions – whether they are sadness or happiness – make sure you tell a story.

Movie Trailer Background Music Describes the Emotions
Movie Trailer Background Music Describes the Emotions

Music interpretation skills are important for Movie trailer production houses and Movie trailers editors alike. Be prepared to understand how a director sees a scene and what he/she wants to express through Movie trailer music!

It’s also important that your Movie Trailer Background Music takes the viewer on an emotional journey – Does your track convey sadness? Happiness? Even if you don’t have any lyrics or powerful vocals, Movie trailer songs can still send strong messages by describing feelings with just notes, chords, and beats.

Emotions play a key role in moving audiences, Movie trailer production companies should make sure they are portrayed properly.

Bonus Tip #3: Movie Trailer Music – Be Interactive

The common mistake Movie composer make is writing background music to scene without first understanding the context of the scene.

To avoid this, Movie composers must write with an interactive approach between particular notes and chords that help convey a feeling or emotion associated with it. Your tracks need to have specific structures that are used in film scoring for example, something that makes them unique!

Movie composers aren’t just writing ‘random’ music, but actually composing pieces aimed at painting pictures for Movie trailers editors and Movie Trailers Producers about feelings and emotions to elicit an emotional response from viewers.

Bonus Tip #4: Start by Making Movie Trailer Songs (Write Music)

If you’re going to start composing Movie tracks or even Movie Trailer Background Music, it’s important that you get familiarized with the tools used in this industry. In fact, without knowing what instruments are usually involved in Movie trailer music productions, Movie composers often end up making the same mistakes!

If you want to be a Movie trailer composer then start by composing Movie tracks in different styles and genres, not Movie Trailers. Only after you have done that will you get better at writing Movie trailers.

Bonus Tip #5: Don’t Limit Yourself to Movie Trailer Music

I understand that it might be hard for you to believe, but I don’t like Movie trailers’ music. Movie trailer composers should change their mindset and try writing in different styles rather than limiting themselves to Movie trailer music all the time.

You must avoid copying someone else style or sound – Composing a Movie trailer song that sounds too similar to someone else’s will make people think of that person instead of you!

Bonus Tip #6: Don’t Waste Your Money on Movie Trailer Music Composition Software!

Composition software is an important part of modern Movie trailer scoring production processes. It gives lots of opportunities for Movie composers who want to create their own trailers without hiring a studio – Before buying a copy make sure it’s integrated with other programs such as DAWs or Digital Audio Workstations used for recording instruments and adding sound effects.

Many composition software out there is limited and Movie composers might find themselves wasting money on something they won’t be able to use.

Music used in Movie Trailers can really make or break the trailer itself, giving more power to Movie trailers editors than any other person involved in the Movie Trailer production process. Movie Trailer Music (Background music) is often one of the most important factors that help create a lasting first impression of the film on people who watch it!

Bonus Tip #7: Movie trailer formula – Know it well

Movie trailers are usually following a certain structure which you should know very well to create your own trailer music or to follow existing ones closely.

It’s not easy at all actually, especially when the footage has an epic hero moment, because this moment often turns into seconds (which means you’ll need some really good skills to make something catchy out of it).

And if you don’t want to copy existing music tracks, but want to create unique trailer songs – get ready for some heavy thinking! Fast-paced orchestral scores with strong basslines can help you achieve

Composing a Trailer Score Conclusion

Composing Movie soundtracks or Movie soundtrack songs, as well as writing Movie trailer background music, doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what you’re doing – but it does require your full attention! Learn from these professionals and take advantage of their knowledge for yourself by reading these tips about Movie trailer music and Movie trailer background music – and remember: Movie trailers’ producers and editors who need Movie Trailer Background Music composers often go beyond the film industry; they can even find themselves working on Movie television show trailers or Movie Advertisement Trailers!

Emotion of sound music 1
Emotion of sound music

Movie Composers must know Movie Trailer Music, Movie Trailer Background Music, and the differences between them before focusing on Movie trailers. Movie trailer music can be a great way to become established as a composer and yet many people do not know where to start, so we’ve created this post to help you. We hope that you will find these useful!

Movie trailer music composers can be found in any country worldwide – Are you ready to become one?

Trailer Music Course

Alex Pfeffer offers a Trailer Music Course. In this course TRAILER MUSIC COURSE, you will learn all the essentials on how to write trailer music – from the first note to the first feature. Take a look at this online Trailer Music School. You may be invited to participate in a trailer house project to create film trailers, Hollywood trailers, TV trailers, YouTube channel tailers, or viral ads.

Listening to Existing Trailer Tracks

One of the best ways to get a sense for what works in trailer music is to listen to existing tracks. This will give you an idea of the feel and style that is often associated with trailer music. It can also help to get inspired and find ideas for your own compositions.

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