Tonje Lilleås

How to find music for your Reels

2022 is here. It’s a new year, and you’re going to make more Reels. You and me both. So in this post I share a few tips on how to find music for your Reels.

Want to make more cinematic edits for your Reels, check out my post on the subject!

Music sets the mood

When working with photography you rely on the visuals to set the mood. In videography however, the mood can be totally different depending on the audio. And for Reels there’s no doubt that music sets the mood.

You can choose to build up expectations, add drama, tone things down or make a scene more serene. The same footage can give the viewer a totally different vibe depending on the music you choose. Yeah, yeah, I know right? But where do you find music for your reels?

Instagram Audio library – great but not for everyone

The Instagram Audio tab in the explore page is great for finding music. You can easily find your favorite track for your video by searching a vast library of popular music. Searching for a song on the Explore page using keywords is a great way to figure out if a song works for your Reel, as you’ll be able to see what other Reels are using that song.

Through Instagram Audio library, you’ll be able to choose from popular artists and hits you’ve listened to on the radio. However great this may sound, it’s not for everyone. If you’re using a business account on Instagram, music from recording artists generally won’t be available to you. This is due to copyright issues. I have to mention that there is a hack for this:

  • Select “Edit profile”
  • Scroll down and select “Category”
  • Write Entrepreneur and click the green check mark

You can now create Reels with the music of your choice using the full Instagram Audio library. But  what’s your options if you for some reason can’t or don’t want to use the Instagram Audio library?

Original music

Well, you can record your own music. That’s original, right? However I do think it’s a bit overkill for a simple Reel, however stunning the footage may be. And it probably won’t help you with views, even if you’re a great musician.

Another way to use original music is by finding it at a site like Epidemic Sound, Musicbed or Artlist. I’ve been using both Epidemic Sound and Musicbed over the last few years, for both Reels and YouTube videos. I really love how they offer high quality music that doesn’t give me a copyright strike when I post online. You should really check them out and find the one that suits your need and style best.

But how do you know a song will help your Reel perform well?

Just like with any other social media, there are trends on Instagram Reels. And a lot of the trends are closely tied to music. Now I’m going to be 100% honest and say that I’m not into the Reels trends. I make cinematic Reels to share moods from nature, and the music I pick I choose based on how it helps me tell the story I want to tell. However I do have a few tips on how to find trending music for your Reels;

  1. The explore page is your friend – the Reels rising on the explore page can often offer you a great starting point for finding trending music for your Reels.
  2. Search and scroll – Search for Reels using keywords that suit the Reel you are making. Scroll through the results to see what songs are popular in your niche.
  3. The arrow gives a hint – If a song is on the rise, you’ll see an arrow next to the song name if you’re watching Reels on mobile devices.

I know some people search TikTok and Spotify and stuff as well, but I’m no expert on that area and will leave tips on that for others that are.

Be authentic

Ok, so how to find music for your Reels was the topic of this post. And to end it off I want to say; remember that it’s YOUR Reel. Yes, I understand the importance of choosing a song that will help your Reel perform well. But ultimately you have to be authentic to be able to make good Reels. The music you choose for your Reels is no exception. If a trending song suits your style and the Reel you’re making, choose the trending song. If not, choose the song that suits your vision. Be authentic, it always pays off.

I hope you found this post useful. If you did, and you’d like to see more of what I create; please consider following me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog. It really makes a difference. And remember; as you’re making your next Reel – there’s always more to explore locally.



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