Musicians on Youtube & NicoNico

Originally posted Dec. 5, 2013.

I used to play piano and violin in my pre-college days, and I often find myself longing to play/perform again. Since my playing abilities are quite rusty, I watch/listen to other musicians perform instead. It makes me feel quite nostalgic, especially when you pair that with anime and video game music.

So, here are my favorite internet musicians! If you know of any others, let me know, and I will list them (if they’re actually good). I’m quite picky, so don’t be disappointed if I choose not to list them.

The majority cover anime and/or video game music. A few are composers of original music.

I’ve sorted them alphabetically by their Youtube username. Categories are as follows: instrumentalists (piano, strings, wind, etc.), singers (a cappella, utaite), and musicians who don’t fit into any category (et cetera).

* Personal favorites you shouldn’t miss out on, though they’re all great.

Piano / Synthesizer

  • Kanal von 1236piano (YT: 1236piano)
    He makes his own arrangements of various songs from TV, pop songs, video games, etc. Updates: occasional.
  • *Animenzzz (YT: Animenzzz)
    He makes his own arrangements of anime opening and ending songs and provides sheet music. Updates: somewhat regular.
  • Thomas Unger (YT: Arkton)
    Mostly slow, peaceful songs from Final Fantasy VII-XIII. Updates: rare.
  • *BitSymphony (YT: BitSymphony)
    Video game music remixes. Mainly Final Fantasy, though there are some Xenogears, Kingdom Hearts, and Sonic the Hedgehog remixes. Updates: regular.
  • Piano Squall (YT: Cactrot)
    It’s Piano Squall! (He used to perform at US anime conventions.) He covers video game music. Updates: never.
  • ic3zz86 (YT: ic3zz86)
    Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and classical music covers/arrangements at 50% and 100% speed. The videos are of a program that shows what piano keys to play and how long to hold the notes. I don’t think this program is useful for learning how to play a song (personal opinion), but the piano arrangements are pretty nice. Updates: regular.
  • *Josh Agarrado (YT: joshagarrado)
    Anyone who’s looked up sheet music for anime or video games will recognize this name. He’s also an incredible pianist with fingers that glide effortlessly across the piano keys. Updates: rare.
  • Casey Ormond (YT: Kiamet)
    Random covers of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Little Big Planet, Professor Layton, Seiken Densetsu 3, and Zelda. Updates: rare.
  • Kyle Landry (YT: kylelandry)
    Anime and video game covers. I think he’s the most well-known pianist on Youtube, though not necessarily the best. I would describe his style as an endless string of arpeggios; it’s his trademark. Takes requests once in a while. Updates: occasional.
  • Ron O’Dell (YT: Keeper1st)
    Have you ever listened to your favorite tunes interpreted as ragtime pieces? Well, Ron O’Dell’s friend Tom Brier has lightning fast sightreading and improvisation skills that will leave you stunned with amazement and wonder. O’Dell himself is a composer, arranger, and transcriber. Updates: occasional.
  • *Marasy (YT: marasy8)
    Mostly Touhou, Beatmania IIDX, and Vocaloid arrangements/covers. Marasy is definitely one of the best pianists on Youtube. Updates: somewhat occasional.
  • *Martin Leung (YT: MMLeung)
    Martin Leung made a name for himself on the internet as “The Blindfolded Pianist” and went on to perform with Video Games Live. I’ve always been amazed by his perfect pitch. His arrangements of songs that have no official piano sheet music sound exactly the way they should on the piano (much like the late Reuben Kee). Actively takes requests. Updates: regular.
  • Pascal van Stekelenburg (YT: NightShader1)
    Various video game music arrangements/covers. Updates: rare.
  • *Reuben Kee (YT: ReubenKee)
    My favorite composer/arranger from OCRemix. Reuben was a talented composer/arranger who was taken from this world too soon. He had just started his Youtube channel in 2007, but now, the videos he left behind will forever be treasured by everyone who loved his work. Final Fantasy VII and Shenmue arrangements/covers. No further updates. 🙁
  • Ninja Pumped (YT: RigorMortis999)
    Arranger of video game sheet music. He’s made some amazingly complicated arrangements like “Liberi Fatali” from Final Fantasy VIII. Updates: occasional.
  • *Ronald Jenkees (YT: ronaldjenkees)
    Amazing composer. If you’ve never heard of him or his work, you’re missing out. Updates: never. (You have to keep up with him through his main site.)
  • *Ishter (YT: TehIshter)
    Pianist and arranger. He covers a lot of anime openings and endings. He and Animenzzz sometimes cover the same songs at the same time. Very interesting to see the same song interpreted in different ways. Updates: somewhat regular.
  • TamaThps (YT: TamaThps)
    Pianist and arranger. Covers video game and anime songs. Updates: rare.
  • *Verdegrand (YT: Verdegrand)
    Great pianist, mostly video game covers. He was afflicted with some kind of condition that affected his ability to play the piano about 3 years ago, so he doesn’t really update anymore. Updates: on extended hiatus?
  • *Aivi Tran (YT: waltzforluma)
    Indie video game composer. Aivi covers music from Final Fantasy, Zelda, Katamari, and many other classics. Not only that, she composes original music. Her style is bubbly and lighthearted and will brighten your day. While it’s clear she is very inspired by the great composers of the VG industry, her compositions stand on their own. Updates: occasional.
  • Vincent Lo (YT: zeryx28)
    Arranger of video game and anime music. Provides sheet music. Most of the videos are computer-generated music as sort of a demonstration as to how the sheet music would sound when played. Updates: occasional.
  • Yattuke (YT: Yattuken)
    Anime and video game themes in 8-bit chiptunes. Very Mega Man. Updates: occasional.
  • Zohar002 (YT: zohar002)
    A Japanese guy who makes beautiful arrangements of video game music on the piano. His sheet music is floating on the internet somewhere. If anyone knows him, please remind him that he has an account on Youtube! Updates: never.
  • Zorsy (YT: Zorsy)
    Anime and video game covers arranged by Zorsy. Collabs with other Youtube musicians. Recently, he’s been posting up tutorials on improvisation (read: music theory). Cool stuff. Updates: regular.

Percussion (Xylophone)

  • Mart0zz (YT: Mart0zz)
    Zelda covers on the xylophone. Updates: never.

Strings: Violin / Viola / Cello

  • Ben Chan (YT: BenChanViolin)
    Ben Chan provides sheet music for anime, film, video game, and contemporary classical music. He’s an accomplished violinist. Updates: rarely.
  • Josh Chiu (YT: joshi3joshi)
    Straight from the horse’s mouth: “Video Game, Anime, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Joe Hisaishi, Naruto, classical music and more performed on violin and piano.” (I’ve put him under this section, because his videos are mostly violin solos.) Updates: rare…?
  • *TAMusic (YT: violinpiano2)
    TAM is a composer, arranger, and an incredible violinist. He’s probably the best violinist I’ve ever seen on the internet. (That speed, that precision… Yeah, the ability to shift so effortlessly is the envy of all violinists.) He does a lot of covers of anime and video game music. He also plays the piano, but he’s mostly a violinist. Oh, and did I mention he’s composer? Yeah, his compositions for Touhou are great. He’s a professional-level musician AND composer. Updates: occasional.
  • Screamer (YT: Tuengxx — Note that this is not Screamer’s actual account. Just someone who uploads for the convenience of non-NicoNico users.)
    Screamer covers a lot of anime, Touhou, and Vocaloid music. Updates: rare (maybe because it’s not actually Screamer).

Strings: Guitar / Bass / Ukelele / Mandolin

  • Eric Calderone (YT: 331Erock)
    Electric guitarist who makes metal remixes of popular songs (memes, video games, films, pop songs, etc.). Updates: occasional.
  • Bob Fresco (YT: bobfresco)
    Random video game covers (mostly Monkey Island) and classical music on the electric guitar, bass, and mandolin. Badass Sonic the Hedgehog 2 cover. Updates: never.
  • Caleb Elijah (YT: CalebElijah)
    Mostly Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, and Zelda covers on the guitar. Random covers like Breath of Fire, Lufia 2, Seiken Densetsu 3, Star Ocean, and Tetris. Updates: occasionally.
  • H.J.Freaks (YT: hjfreaks)
    NSFW! (Possibly NSFL.) H.J.Freaks likes to wear mini-skirts and be kawaii, but he’s a monster on the electric bass guitar. Updates: rare. (He does a lot of collaborations with other Japanese musicians.)
  • *Kurikinton Fox (YT: kurikintonfox)
    Composer and one of my favorite electric guitarists. I don’t think his Youtube channel has all of his anime & video game covers, but I’m not sure. It seems he’s no longer active on the internet… Sad. Updates: never.
  • *Lonlonjp (YT: lonlonjp)
    Acoustic guitarist who plays his own arrangements of anime and video game music. Lots of Final Fantasy covers. He’s a wonderful guitarist. Updates: occasional.
  • *Daniel Tidwell (YT: metaldaniel03)
    Rock remixes/covers of various video game music — Castlevania, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., Zelda — let’s just say he covers a lot of titles. Updates: occasional.
  • *SongeLeReveur (YT: SongeLeReveur)
    Mainly plays on the guitar, but he plays many other instruments, too! He’s really creative with his arrangements and arranges songs into a different genre sometimes. Collaborates with Marc Papeghin (see below) from time to time. Updates: occasional.
  • DaVynci (YT: watercolour)
    Anime, J-pop, and video game covers on the acoustic guitar. Some collaborations. Updates: rare?
  • *With Ether (YT: WithEther)
    With Ether is made up of two friends, Simon Leong and Alasdair Poon. These guys are probably my absolute favorite in the guitar category (although it’s actually really hard for me to choose a favorite, since everyone is really good at what they do). You can really feel how much fun they have playing the guitar, and they’ve become incredibly creative with their videos lately. I like them a lot! I think they take requests? Updates: regular.

Wind / Brass / Reed / Horn

  • *Marc Papeghin (YT: Marcpapeghin)
    French horn player. Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, and IX medleys and collaborations with SongeLeReveur. He also has film music medleys. Updates: rare.

Various Instruments / Band / Orchestra / Collaborations

  • AnimeSongCollabo (YT: AnimeSongCollabo)
    Reposts of collaborations by NicoNico artists; mainly of anime opening and ending songs. Updates: rarely, in spurts.
  • Eiko Ishiwata (YT: aycomusic)
    Multi-instrumentalist and one-woman band. Acoustic renditions of Final Fantasy songs and original compositions by Eiko Ishiwata. Updates: occasional.
  • FreddeGredde (YT: Freddie25)
    Singer and guitarist. Fredde is known for his medleys of TV and video game songs. He’s also done a few video game covers. Updates: rare.
  • *Yumeduo (YT: Furyxx)
    Various anime and video game covers on the piano and violin by two brothers. (Both are excellent musicians.) Updates: rare.
  • VisionClassicJP (YT: visionclassicjp)
    Various musicians playing classical music. Updates: very rare.
  • Moonbowmusicmovie (YT: moonbowmusicmovie)
    A band that covers video game music (Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy) and plays original songs. Personal opinion: I wish the bass player would stick to pizzicato; he always sounds flat when he plays with the bow. Updates: occasional.
  • Vanilla Mood from VISION FACTORY (YT: VISIONFACTORYch)
    A trio of lovely, talented ladies (signed under Avex) covering video game music, pop songs, and original songs. (Supposedly, they’re a quartet, but the 4th member isn’t in any of these videos.) I wish they had better recording equipment, because their music sounds very flat. Updates: occasional.

Singers / Utaite (Covers only)

  • Geeky Fandubs (YT: geekyfandubs)
    English fandub of anime opening/ending. Updates: rare.
  • Erutan (YT: katethegreat19)
    Singer, composer, lyricist, and multi-instrumentalist. Covers video game songs and adds original lyrics to songs that were instrumental. She also plays multiple instruments at a highly competent level. (Very rare!) She’s known more for her singing, so I’ve put her under this category. Updates: occasional.
  • Smooth McGroove (YT: SmoothMcGroove)
    A cappella singer. He covers video game music from titles such as Final Fantasy, Mario, Mega Man, Sonic, Zelda, and Tetris. His cat helps out sometimes, too. Updates: regular.
  • Sapphire (YT: StrawberryCreme26)
    Sapphire collaborates with other online voice actors to create very professional-sounding fandubbed versions of anime opening/endings. She’s a great audio editor/mixer. Updates: occasional.
  • YChang (YT: YChangVAA)
    Great singer and lyricist. Covers anime OP/EDs. Updates: occasional.

Et Cetera

  • Brentalfloss (YT: brentalfloss)
    Lyricist and remixer of video game tunes. He’s rather popular on Youtube and in the gaming world. Updates: occasional.
  • Heita3 (YT: heita3)
    Vegetable & fruit instruments! Updates: occasional.
  • Hyadain (YT: hyadain2525)
    Kenichi Maeyamada a.k.a. Hyadain is a composer, lyricist, musician, and singer. He was initially known for his Super Mario Bros. and Final Fantasy song remixes where he’d create lyrics and sing to the famous tunes. These days, he composes and sings music for anime and J-pop. In Japanese only. Updates: rare.
  • Kefka In Game Paradise (YT: kefkasdomain)
    Not a musician. Just a collector who records his video game music boxes (official merchandise). Updates: never.
  • MrSolidSnake745 (YT: MrSolidSnake745)
    Did you know that you can make music with floppy disk drives? MrSolidSnake745 doesn’t take credit for coming up with this, but he sure is dedicated for arranging the MIDI files to sound just right on the drives. Takes requests. Updates: rare.
  • OCRemix (YT: ocremix)
    No music list would be complete without them. OCR’s channel features a lot of video game remixes by talented arrangers/musicians. Updates: occasional.
  • Duane and BrandO (YT: TheAdventuresOfDnB)
    Duane and BrandO do remixes/parodies/covers. They play various instruments and rap. Updates: never?
  • TomBobBlender (YT: TomBobBlender)
    Tom arranges various video game tunes in Mario Paint. Updates: rarely these days.

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