Skip to main content

Welcome to the Musician’s Guide to TikTok! This guide is the first in a three-part content series where we share with you the best way to leverage one of the world’s most popular social media platforms to build and amplify your brand as a student musician.

In part one of the series, we introduce you to the platform and some of most important tips to starting off on TikTok.

1. Keep it Light

  • First things first: keep it light. No one wants to watch overly serious content on TikTok. People go on TikTok to enjoy themselves and de-stress, so making sure you keep your content light and positive ensures that your audience stays engaged.
  • You can do this by getting outside of your comfort zone (maybe try learning a TikTok dance), performing to upbeat, lighthearted music, or adding a joke or funny line/moment to your videos.
  • Here is an example of a fun dance trend that you could try learning for your own TikTok channel:

    just giving the people what they want. Nothing more, nothing less. @stephh_ #dance #hoodiedance #funny #fyp

    ♬ Freakumdresschallenge – user45277087304

2. Captures Eyes Instantly

  • This tip is so important! Everyone will just scroll past your videos if you don’t grab their attention in the first three seconds. Start your video off with a bang, instead of beginning your video with a long, winding introduction. Entice your viewer with a funny, enthusiastic, or dramatic intro. Do or say something that will make them keep watching the rest of the video.
  • You can even say something as simple as “stop scrolling” like this user did:


    ♬ original sound – KC

3. Don’t forget hashtags

  • Adding hashtags is a simple but effective strategy to boost your following on TikTok. You can include hashtags that relate to the content in your video. But you can also add hashtags that aren’t related to the video— there may be trending hashtags going around on TikTok that you can use to get more eyes on your post.
  • Hashtags are key to building your TikTok platform because they make it easier for people to find your posts in the search bar. For example, if you’re a country singer that includes the hashtag “#countrymusic” in your post, people who search that tag will more likely be able to see your post.

4. Explore TikTok’s Built-in collaboration tools

  • Look into the collaboration tools on TikTok— there are many great tools you can use on TikTok to elevate your videos.
    • Duets: Try out the duet feature on TikTok! You can duet a past video of yours or you can duet someone else’s video. Many musicians use this feature to combine two sounds together at the same time.
    • Stitches: Stitches are another popular collaboration tool on TikTok. They allow you to react to a video made by another TikToker or respond to a prompt a TikToker has given.
    • Here is an example of two artists using the duet feature for a musical duet:

      #duet with @abigailbarlowww @emilythebear yet again amazed by these two geniuses #brigertonetflix #brigertonmusical #brigerton #fyp

      ♬ original sound – Abigail Barlow

    • If you wanted, for example, to duet or stitch this particular video, click the arrow at the bottom right of the screen. A tab like this will show up at the bottom of your screen with the duet and stitch options:

5. Collaborate with other artists

  • Collaborating with other artists is a great way to diversify your content and bring more people to your page. Take some time to look into artists on TikTok who produce similar content to you and reach out to them! You can even reach out to people who create different content than you, there may be a way to combine your two styles/genres into one video.