Dj Tips And Tricks For Beginners – If you’re new, YouTube is a great place to start. For example, you can find videos about the controller. Whether you have the new Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 or the OG Pioneer DDJ-400, most major DJ brands like Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ and Numark have tutorials on YouTube.
YouTube is also a great place to learn how different DJs approach their mixing styles with transitions and effects. Here are some video links to get you started:
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The beauty of music is that there are genres for everyone! Find a song or track you like? Check out the DJ or producer’s music library. You may find yourself deeply connected to their music! Being inspired is a great reminder that if they can do it, so can you! (In his own way anyway 😉)
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As a female DJ, I’m naturally drawn to female DJ artists like CloZee and Alison Wonderland. CloZee inspired me to buy my first controller.
Another way to find DJs that inspire you is to go to shows and become part of the environment. It also helps you give your audience an idea of what the scene is like. You can also research venues in your area to see if they have DJs in the style of music you like.
I regularly go to local shows and at least one festival a year (even by myself). If you can’t make it, you can watch videos of shows or performances at festivals on YouTube. It’s better in person, though, because you can soak up the atmosphere and see what the crowd responds to. Or just relax and be inspired by dance!
You don’t need to learn all the key combinations to get a DJ degree or even a harmonic mix. A few basics would be great!
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Song structure: We unconsciously adapt to the song structure that most musicians apply to their songs. Songs usually have 8-bar phrases (4 beats in 1 bar) that make up intros, verses, choruses and outros.
“The introduction is usually 8 bars, with a new instrument or sound introduced every 8 bars. The verse sets the theme of the song and creates a natural progression to the chorus. The chorus contains the main message or theme of the song . It is built around a melodic ‘hook’ and “is the most catchy and energetic part of the song. The breakdown carries the chorus into the next part of the song and leads into the outro to close the track.”
Knowing the structure of a song will help you through your transition by staying in the flow. For example, let’s say the chorus ends in the currently playing song, and then you play the verse of the next song to stay within the song.
How to count keys: Learning how to count phrase beats will help you keep track of the measure to the end of the current track’s phrase (ie the end of the chorus). a new phrase (ie verse) of the current song. This will help you match the lines of each song as closely as possible. If you don’t level the bars on the first try, don’t panic! That’s why beatmatching is here! (see V)
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| 1…2..3..4… | 2..2..3..4.. | 3…2..3..4… | 4…2..3..4… | 5…2..3..4… | 6…2..3..4… | 7..2..3..4… | 8…2..3..4… | 1…2..3..4… | and so on
Ideally, you’ll get to the point where you don’t need to count strokes. Instead, you may hear the phrase change.
Relying on streaming services like Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music is convenient while saving you time and money. However, if you want to start DJing in clubs or events, it is important to consider the nature of the equipment provided and the internet cannot be 100% reliable.
Most club DJ equipment will require a USB list of your music files. While there are ways (probably not legal) to spin streaming service files, it’s best to support the artist by buying music through DJ pools like Beatport, DJ City, or BPM Supreme.
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DJ pools provide commercial music with longer intros and outros (ideal for mixing, especially for beginners). Buying a song from the DJ pool also gives you access to the song file for the rest of your DJ career! No internet required.
Beatmatching is setting up two songs to play by ear at the same tempo (BPM) and time (beat or beat). For beatmatch you use tempo off and jogging wheels.
You’ll know your songs don’t fit together when you hear the rhythms drifting apart. It may sound like galloping horses. Beatmatching can seem like a daunting task, especially with updated technology. For example, you may have seen a beat sync button on your software or controller. Yes, it will automatically change the BPM (beats per minute) of the song and align the beat grid at the same time. However, it is not always reliable.
Beatmatching is a tool that saves you from equipment failure, helps you know your songs better, and looks great while doing it! It’s also important to keep in mind that some clubs may have older equipment that lacks the ability to synchronize shots or collect waveforms to visually align shots.
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The best way to practice beatmatching is to close your screens. As tempting as it is… don’t look.
Bonus tip: Make sure your Master Tempo (MT) is enabled to ensure the song’s key doesn’t change when you change BPMs in your software (eg Rekordbox, Serato, etc.) or controller. Try changing the tempo of the song with MT off, then turn it on to hear the difference. Much smoother, am I right? 😉
Click the link below to watch a comprehensive beatmatching tutorial. If you watch to the end, there’s a sweet trick that will help you get through it more clearly!
The rule of thumb is that people usually don’t notice that songs have changed within 5 BPM of the original tempo. Mixing songs in similar BPMs will help build your confidence and lay the foundation for your mixing process before jumping to 10 or even 20 BPM!
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Commercial, pop, hip-hop, R&B and heavier dance styles (eg dubstep) can be difficult to navigate as a beginner, and that’s totally normal! You train your ear to count and listen to the beat (1..2..3..4..). Any house music will provide you with longer intros, outros and verses, giving you time to play and create beautiful transitions! Once you feel comfortable, try your favorite style of music.
Once you feel comfortable practicing the transitions, make a playlist of your favorite music (about 20 songs). Imagine the mood you want to create.
Use songs of the same genre (ie progressive house) that have a similar BPM. When putting together your playlist, try to find a flow by finding songs that sound good together.
As you practice each week, you can learn new songs and keep adding them to your playlist. Check out the top 100 lists of your favorite genre and see what’s coming!
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I recommend copying the original playlist so you can have it as a backup if you don’t like the next one.
If you have 20 songs, use DJ software like Rekordbox to import the songs and set cue points. Not all DJs use reverse spots and freestyle mixing can be fun. However, as a beginner DJ, it’s important to build your confidence first until you’ve fully mastered song structure and phrasing.
It’s a great confidence booster! You can listen to your transitions to see where you did well and where you can improve. It’s easier to hear it back at you. You may find yourself wanting to dance to your own mix!
Find a place where you can set up your equipment to play. Set the scene as if you are in a club or bar. Be creative!
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I like my galaxy light projector on low and have some funky glasses nearby to add to the fun! 😎
We look forward to hearing from you! Let us know any questions or topics you’d like to see covered in our articles.
Want a more structured approach to learning to DJ? Check out the Club DJ ready-made courses! You can change the way you DJ in a week. You also have the opportunity to join the Club Ready tribe and play on Club Ready Radio, Club Ready Live Streams and Club Ready Events.
The process of researching and building your music collection is an important task for all DJs, and it can be overwhelming as more and more options become available.
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Have you ever gone for a bass shift and when you do, the clip drops off dramatically and the transition comes out a little empty?
I get a lot of questions from people who get club shows or want to get club shows and they really
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