How to Create a scrolling lyric and chord video

For more information on creating your first song using Band-in-a-Box and RealBand check out my online video course First Song with Band-in-a-Box for Windows

I recently asked the PG Music forum community for blog post ideas and the one suggestion from Pghboemike was to explain how I make videos like this one.


1. Make MP3 for the song or backing track you want to make a lyric video for

Make your own song using a tool such as Garage Band or  Band-in-a-Box. I covered how to make a backing track in these two blog posts Creating a backing track from a MIDI file using Band in a Box and here How to make cool backing tracks using Band in a Box

2. Get free videos from Pixabay

Have a look at the lyrics and try to find some free video footage that suits the song from Pixabay

3. Download Youtube Movie Maker

Here is the site Youtube Move Maker Home Page

Incredibly, this product is totally free for the basic package. I have found the basic package to be completely sufficient for my needs. However, if you end up using the tool extensively, it would be good to support the developers and buy the Gold ($29.99) or Platinum ($49.99) packages.

4. Make a basic video with your soundtrack and your video clips

Open up Youtube Movie Maker and import the MP3 audio of the song.

Now drag the audio file to the audio track

Now import all your clips and add them to the "Video" track.

if you want to you can crop videos that are too long by clicking on the clip in the Video track and then picking up the arrow on the right hand side of the clip and sliding it across towards the left. I sometime mess about with the speed of the clip to make it the right length. To change the speed of the clip, right click on the clip in the Video track and select "Change Playback speed" 

Hit the "Preview" button to see your basic video

5. Add your scrolling lyrics (and optional chords)

Type up or import your lyrics into Notepad. If you want to add chords, type these into the lyrics, in the right places, as shown below. Play the song through, while reading the lyrics to make sure you have everything in the right place.

You obviously need to spell the lyrics out in can't use things like "repeat chorus"!

Tip: Make sure your lines are not too long. Split long lines into two.

Now go into Youtube Movie Maker's "Lyric" tool. Select your Notepad file with lyrics in the "Text" box and select the MP3 file of the song in the "Music" box.

Now is the time to line up the lyrics and chords with the audio track. Hit "the Play" button. Push the space bar down at the beginning of each line and release it at the end of each line, while listening to the song.

When you are done, change the font so that the text fits nicely on the screen (I think the default is 60. I like to use between 25 and 40, depending on how much text is in each line). Press the "Font" button and then enter the amount required in the Font Options box. Now press OK. Press the little "Play button on the bottom left hand side to preview your scrolling lyrics and chords. If you are happy press the "Save as" button on the bottom left hand side and save your lyrics file.

Now, in the main screen,you will notice you have a "song name.rzlrc file. This file contains the scrolling lyrics, matched up the the music that you made in the previous step. Drag and drop this lyric file into the "Text 0" track. Press the "Preview" button to see what it looks like.

6. Add your title and chord diagrams (Optional)

I usually add a title as well as static chord diagrams. To add the title, double click on the the "Text 1" track and type in your title. To add chord diagrams, use the add "Image" function and then add them to the "Overlay" track. Move them around and resize the chord images as appropriate,

7. Publish your video

After you have checked everything thoroughly using the "Review" button, publish your video and name it "Song title lyric video". Make sure to save your Youtube Movie Maker file as well.

Upload the video to your Youtube channel.

I hope you enjoyed learning this very neat way of making lyric and chord videos   Your comments and input are always most welcome

Yours in music
Joanne Cooper