As DJs, music is an essential part of our lives, and for many people, nothing compares to the feeling of a well-crafted DJ mix. Not only is it an amazing promotional tool to create or boost your current DJ career, it is also a means to form your identity and brand.
Give yourself the best chance of success when you step up to the decks with these tips for selecting and preparing your USB stick for use with CDJs and media players.
The process of researching and building up your music collection is an essential job for all DJs and one which can be overwhelming with more and more options becoming available.
YouTube is a great place to start if you are brand-spanking new. For instance, you can find videos about your controller. Whether you have the new Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 or the OG Pioneer DDJ-400, most big DJ brands like Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ, and Numark have tutorials on YouTube.
Let me paint a picture. I was once out at a club and the music was getting repetitive and some people were leaving and more people were sitting down than dancing and all of a sudden the DJ teased in the vocal: hey boy hey girl, by chemical brothers.
The key to killer psy trance sets, and TBH, any DJ set for that matter, is killer track selection and arrangement, which usually comes down to how well you know your tracks or how much research and prep you do before crafting a set. In this video I'll breakdown the things I consider when building a set and putting together a playlist.
Firstly, thank you for the people that suggested that I do a Psy Trance Set. personally until now, although being a fan of psy trance and going to many a doof in the old days, I've never actually played it before and I can see now that was a big mistake.
Have you ever gone for a bass swap and when you do the exiting track drops out dramatically making your transition sound a little empty?
Now that clubs are starting to take off post covid I am receiving more and more enquires about drinking and DJing , for instance, some people want to know if drinking's ok and if so how much is ok, whilst other people don't want to drink but because they're surrounded by alcohol everywhere they look, they're not sure how it's actually possible especially when they want to fit in and get opportunities.
OK let's face it, anyone can do a standard transition between tracks but if you're looking for a way to mix things up a bit and wow the crowd then look no further as the acappela bridge is one of the coolest, easy and fun transitions I know and it's a great way to create dynamics and energy on your dance floor.
The best way to know how to mix specific genres is to find an artist that specialises in a particular genre and then listen to some of their live sets on soundcloud and notice how much of each track they are playing and how they do their transitions.
The other day I was at the gym doing some thai boxing and I was listening to a Fisher set and I noticed the majority of the time he was playing the full track and simply mixing over the outro, but these days when watching DJs on YT it seems popular to do really quick transitions and use a lot of FX, so which way's better.
In my experience there's different ways to mix most genres and it usually comes down to prep vs no prep. Personally I feel both have their advantages but today, off the back of last weeks video, I want to take the concept of no prep to the next level and go one step further and cover the screens which means I have no visuals cues.
In recent weeks Ive had a lot of people reach out to me, saying that they jumped on club gear and noticed the beats kept drifting apart and because they didn't have any visual reference, they doubted wether or not the beats were in sync and it really effected their confidence...
Firstly for those new to DJIng, the EQ controls the different frequencies within each track. Straight up is how the song comes recorded, so if you're playing a track on its own, I'd leave all the EQ straight up, it's only when you're playing both tracks together that you need to adjust the EQ's to help the tracks compliment each other.
I am receiving so many questions from people getting club shows or wanting to get club shows and they are really nervous about making the jump from controller to club gear and some are even expressing concerns about what genres to play, saying there local clubs focus on more party and commercial music.
With covid restrictions easing a tonne of my students are now getting shows in clubs and some of them have been asked to do a back to back DJ set. So in this article (video above) I will explain what is a back to back set, the different ways you can approach your back to back set, why the promoter would even ask you to do a back to back set, how to prepare for it and how to assure that when you both play you stand out and make an impact assuring repeat shows.
A tonne of students have reached out to me in recent weeks letting me know they have scored sets at venues and some of the venues have requested that the DJs play all night, so in this video I will talk about the difference between preparing shorter vs longer sets, the different types of longer sets you may encounter and how to prepare for them so you can potentially make marathon sets a huge success.
Have you ever used USBS in clubs and experienced problems? Or perhaps you haven't used club gear yet but you're open to it but not 100% sure how it works or maybe you've already jumped on club gear only to find the gear is not reading your USB properly and every time you load a track you can't see the waveform or BPM?
As many of you know I often take the positive thinking outlook side of things and I've actually done a whole heap of mindset for success videos that were really popular yet I wanted to share something I read recently that I think could really help you manage your expectations and feel victorious no matter what happens. The concept: negative thinking for positive results haha.
I love my job so much and one of my favourite things is listening to student mixes and giving them feedback. The majority of the time, I am blown away by how talented they are, and lots of the time I feel it's kind of like that grasshopper analogy, where the students have surpassed the skills of their teacher, which to be honest makes me really happy and to see so many of my students now landing residencies in clubs and getting really good gigs, it blows my mind.
Not sure where to start? In this mini series I answer many of the questions beginners have about learning to DJ.
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