7 Easy Steps to Finding a Music Video by Describing it

The days of waiting for MTV to play your favorite music video so you can press record are a thing of the past. Yet, even with all the new options, sometimes you still can’t remember the song’s title or artist.

Even though it can be frustrating, there are several ways to find a music video by describing it.

Start By Identifying What You Already Know

Before you proceed it’s best to start with what you know.

A little brainstorming may save you some time.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is memorable about the music video? Is there any small details that stood out?
  • Do you remember any song lyrics?
  • What genre is the music?
  • How might someone posting the video describe it. Think about the keywords they might use when adding the video.

Try Searching for the Lyrics!

If you happen to remember some of the lyrics to the song, you can try typing them into Google or your favorite search engine.

Try putting quote marks around the search query if you’re sure you know the lyrics. This will give you a more specialized google search.

Searching with quotes will only find results that include all of those words.

Try to make sure your search term isn’t too broad. Searching for something like “a girl” or “money” is way too broad and is going to yield thousands of results.

If it is a song’s video you remember and not the song, a lyric search is undoubtedly not going to work. However, even if you can only remember “girl in the subway” or “money exchanging hands”, chances are you can still find the video you want to watch.

Advanced Google Search

Aside from a standard Google search, you can try something more advanced, allowing you more room to search and giving you more options.

Here are several different ideas to get you started.

The asterisk is Google’s answer to a wildcard. So, if you know several words in the song but are unsure of the others, you could use the *.

Google search Example

If you add ‘or’ to your search, Google will give you broader results, looking for each of your keywords.

Similar to or you can use the keyword ‘AND’ which will pull up all the terms together.

Another option is to use a combination search.

Advanced Search

If you want to streamline your search, you can click on the Settings gear icon on the right-hand side of the main Google page.

Then, click on Advanced Search. That search has a you’ll see a collection of fields to help you narrow down your search.

Advance google search


If you know several words, you can put them in the space for “all these words.”

Since you probably have some words of the song and you’re sure about can be put in “this exact word or phrase.”


Although you can do a Google search that will give you many different locations for watching your song, Youtube has its own set of search parameters.

Additionally, with all the different types of content, the site has, chances are someone’s posted the song even if it is underground and b-list.

  • If you’re looking for a music video, unsure of the title, try searching Youtube using some of these techniques.
  • Once you search for something, you can use the filters under the song to cut down on the number of hits. For example, if you know it’s a long song, you could choose “4-20 minutes.” Additionally, you can select “this year” to narrow down the results if it is a newer song.
  • Youtube also uses the asterisk (*) as a wildcard so that you could use a similar search to one on Google.
  • If, by chance, you remember the song from a hashtag you saw on your social media, you can also try that as a search. For example, #90ssongs.
  • Humming

Have you ever heard someone say, if you don’t know the lyrics, just hum? Soundhound allows you to do just that and potentially find the mysterious video you want to watch.

Although this isn’t a fool-proof method, so if the song you’re looking for doesn’t work with humming, it may help you remember more lyrics, and you can try a different search option.

To try Soundhound’s humming search, follow these steps.

• Click on the “search a song button.” Wait until given the prompt listening.
• Hum the song for about 10-15 seconds. Sound hound doesn’t judge singing, so that you may try that as well.

If you don’t have Soundhound or feel like adding another app to your phone, you can also try Google Assistant. Say, “hey Google, what’s this song?” Then, hum for a few seconds.

  • Link for iPhone and IOS Devices
  • Link for Android Devices

Search By Artist

If you have an excellent description of the video and know who sang the song, you may want to try several different searches for a narrower search.

  • You can try the artist and a brief description of the song like “Martina McBride and fireworks.”
  • When you only have a vague idea of what the video looks like but you know the artist, you can search something like “list Melissa Etheridge music videos.”
  • Another thing to try is you only remember a memorable detail. Was the video shot in black and white, or was it in a famous location? You can search Google with that detail and the artist like “black and white video GooGoo Dolls.”

Ask a Fan

One of the best things about technology is numerous forums for people who want to connect and talk about their favorite artists.

Not only does it help you connect with people who love the same type of music, but it can also be helpful if you know a little of the song but not enough to find the video yourself so, if you have a solid description of the song, you may want to post it on one or more of these forums.

Playing Detective

If none of these options worked and you still want to see the music video, you can try several other options that will be more time-consuming.

  • You may remember where you first saw the music video; a family, friend, or celebrities social media page.

Although it may be a way down on their feed, you may find it again by scrolling through their information. They may also have other clues to help you identify more details like favorite bands or something that will jar your memory.

  • Another thing you might try is looking up decades playlists on Youtube.

If the song was popular during the 90s, chances are it will be part of the playlist.

Even if it wasn’t, you might try a search like “lesser known artists from the early 00s” It may require a lot of scrolling, but you will undoubtedly find others that are enjoyable you forgot you loved.

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