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Back To The Tube

Aug 24, 2021

After spending the last half of 2020 and first few months of 2021 focusing on Art and getting The Painted Banana set up (, I switched gears temporarily, to work on youtube videos. Funny enough, this wasn't something I had planned on doing, at least not for another couple months. While I had been busy painting and drawing, a couple of my youtube videos started growing in popularity! People had been subscribing to my youtube channel! Wow! I'm Famous! Just kidding. I had suddenly reached 49% of the required subscriber count, and over 60% of the required watch time (in hours) needed to monetize a youtube channel. Cool. And get this... the increase in stats were mainly from ONE video. A simple guitar lesson, "How to play: It Runs Through Me, By Tom Misch". Two other videos contributed to this increase in watch time, a video showing people how to fix keys on a Yamaha piano, and a video showing the process of soldering and testing an inexpensive reverb unit.

After realizing that I was pretty much at the half-way point to generating income from youtube, I decided to switch my focus in an attempt to boost the subscriber count and watch-time, before returning to painting, drawing, writing music etc.

So, I used my most successful video as a model. If I could create at least two more guitar lessons of a similar style and quality, then I would be able to (theoretically) hit the required threshold to begin monetizing my videos. There are, of course, several factors to consider when thinking about how to increase youtube stats. The first is that growth on youtube is exponential. The more subscribers you have, the more quickly the subscriber count increases. So, for example, I was just below 500 subscribers after 2 years, now I have accumulated another 100 in only 2 months. The opposing force as far as numbers are concerned is the decrease in views as content becomes less relevant over time. So It's great to upload content and know that the numbers will just keep growing, but the numbers will only keep growing so long as the subject is interesting to viewers. This difference in this longevity of viewer interest divides video content into what youtube calls "Ever-green" (long lasting) content, and Trending content. So, if I planned on generating revenue from guitar lessons on current (trending) music, I would need to accept the fact that people may not want to learn trending songs after they are no longer "trendy". So I tweaked my plan accordingly.

For that original guitar lesson that was showing signs of success, I had produced a backing track, which is used through the lesson, and also set up as a seperate video. As an aside, the backing tracks that I do aren't "release" quality productions, they are used mainly for demonstrating the guitar parts in context (within the lesson video), and intended for use by a student while practicing the guitar parts after going through the lesson. Forunately, the accompanying backing track for this lesson was being used a fair amount, and had several comments thanking me for posting the track. So the new plan was to create Lessons, and accompanying backing-track videos, for at least 2 more songs by the same guitarist (Tom Misch), and create at least 2 more lesson videos for songs that might be considered a little more "Ever-green", which is a little more like guess work.

I ended up producing 17+ videos over the past 4 months. An exhausting process to say the least. This requires learning each song, producing a backing track (roughly learning all parts), coming up with the lesson, filming the actual video, editing the video, creating all neccessary graphics and uploading.

The results were as follows:

How To Play: Movie (Tom Misch) and The Backing Track

How To Play: I Wish (Tom Misch) and The Backing Track

The Solo for this song was presented in it's own video.
Sweet Solos: I Wish (Tom Misch)

How To Play: Rebel Rebel (David Bowie) and The Backing Track

How To Play: Sex Machine (James Brown) and The Backing Track

How To Play: Snow (RHCP) and The Backing Track

Chromatic Scale Shapes on the Guitar

How To Play: Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder) and The Backing Track

How To Play: 不可幸力 Fukakouryoku (Vaundy) and The Backing Track

The great thing about doing all this work over a short period of time, is that it forced me to streamline my process. Though, of course, there is always more to learn with this kind of production. And, while it is a ridiculous amount of work, it is still enjoyable... well... not always; but, at least I get to laugh at myself. :) "Done is better than none." That pretty much sums up the process of putting together these videos. As other youtube creators have pointed out: ...this is an ongoing process of trying to eliminate cringe. Yes, these videos are filled with cringey moments. But they're getting better (I hope) and they just might generate some residual income. Actually, fairly soon, if the numbers are correct!

Check out all of the Cringey Goodness on my youtube Channel.


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Cory (Daniel) Todd is a Canadian Artist and Musician. | Listen: Spotify and iTunes. | Watch: youTube | Visit for more info.
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