Video Tips for BUMS Online

Here’s some tips from our Media Manager Jo Kunde for creating a great looking video!

We encourage all of our members to share a song, a technique or even a lesson with our community in BUMS Online group. Maybe you’d like to lead a set in our Big Uke Jams Online? You’ve got a smart phone and you’re ready to go.

Before you post, whether you’re an experienced video poster or wanting to share for the first time, try some (or all of these ideas) to make your video look more professional.

Achieving a great look is more about your technique than your tools, you can make great videos with whatever you’ve got right now, just by paying attention to a few key details.

Using your phone

If you’ve got a smart phone you have everything you need to shoot a good video.

  • Use the camera on the back of your phone if you have someone who can film for you. The front camera’s quality is not as good on most phones.
  • Record in landscape mode (that is, horizontally instead of vertically). This will give you footage that looks good on larger devices, not just phone screens.
  • If your phone has a feature that allows you to overlay a grid on your screen, use it. This will help you keep your phone level and position yourself in frame.


We want to see you and what you’re playing.

  • Through the day, face or stand adjacent to a window. Natural light is very flattering!
  • If you don’t have a window or it’s at night try to use a couple of lamps. Position a lamp on either side of you. With light coming from these three spots you can avoid strange shadows.
  • One thing to avoid is just using overhead lighting – it can cast very unflattering (spooky) shadows on face.

Filming outdoors? Position the camera with the sun behind,  you don’t want shadows across your face.  A word of caution filming outside can mess with your sound.

Consider where you are filming.

Have a look at what’s behind you- Is it very distracting or showing something you’d rather keep private?

  • A good choice is to stand in front of a  wall or door. It doesn’t have to be plain behind you but consider what’s there.
  • Of course you can also use your background creatively e.g. showing off your fav poster, that photo of you with Jake or your fave houseplant!
  • Don’t have a good spot? Consider hanging a sheet or using a screen.
  • Try to stand out from your backdrop to avoid casting shadows on it …unless you are going for a more dramatic effect.
  • Be careful not to film with a window, mirror or glass in the background. You could inadvertently catch the camera and your set up in the reflection. Besides that, having a light source like a window behind you can make you look dark and shadowy.

Getting as Good Sound as possible.

I’m not suggesting you go out an buy a microphone, if you have sound equipment you’ll know how to use it. That’s more technical than these simple tips.

Just be aware of any background noise- TV in the next room, traffic, birds, and even the noise of the wind, all of these sounds will be very obvious on your recording.

Avoid the Shakes

It’s hard to hold a camera completely steady, if you are lucky enough to have a helper, so try not to hold it all. Instead, use a tripod, or prop your camera on a sturdy surface.

If you are doing it all yourself try putting your music on a music stand at about chin level and prop the phone up next to it.

Your Position

Feedback from our uke community is they like to see your hands as well as your face.

  • Just to confirm you are filming in landscape (see using your phone above) gives you extra space
  • Try standing slightly sideways to get both hands in.
  • Have your fretting hand closer to the camera.
  • We like to see your face, but if you are shy, we want to see what you are playing.

Extra Tips for Set Leaders 

  • Leave space (about 10 secs) on the front and end of your video for editing. Gives you time to get in position and your smile going.
  • You do not have to film at full HD which makes for a smaller file size when uploading video to share. HD 1280 x 720 is fine. When streamed your video is shown smaller next to the song sheets. You can usually set your video quality in the camera settings.
  • Share video by iCloud link, Google Drive Shared folder or link, or shared Dropbox folder.

If you have any questions please send to Jo via .

I can’t wait to see your videos!



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