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.
Anyway proud Dad moment aside... I have noticed when listening to fairly new DJs or perhaps even DJs that haven't done my course, that they often tend to play it safe in the way they mix and instead of keeping their mixes punchy and exciting they have these really long drawn out transitions, usually mixing the intro over the outro and I often feel like I am waiting around for something to happen.
So in this video I will show you 3 ways that you can approach your transitions with the goal that you can take creative control of the way you mix, always playing the best parts of each track and hence giving you greater control of the energy at the events you play. Now sure I have done this using Nu disco, but in truth genre is less important than you think and you could take these concepts and apply them to most types of house. So let's jump in.
1. Firstly I want to give you an example of a drawn out transition. This is what I mean about creating space and sure if your intro is really interesting and you are introducing a very popular track this method is unreal as people hear the track coming and they anticipate it and then when it kicks in, it's like YES!!! however if you are mixing like this all the time it almost feels like you are in a void waiting for something to happen and this can effect the energy on a dance floor big time or even make listeners of your mixes bored. let me show you.
2. so to make the transition more exciting you could try mixing in earlier with the goal that, AS your exiting track starts to pull back your new track kicks in almost instantly and by doing so you get rid of a lot of the down time between your transitions which helps to maintain energy on your floor, personally I love mixing like this, let me show you.
3. BTW both of those methods have there place but if it was me, to perhaps mix things up even further, sometimes I may use the down parts of the track to tease in vocals and familiar patterns or even to tease in something that you may even plan to play in full in a few tracks time, but to do this I may need a third deck or, if you are using a controller with only 2 channels I may even use the sampler in the same way I would use a 3rd deck, and by doing so I can make the transition more exciting which keeps my audience even more engaged - let me show you.
You can instantly see, that by building on techniques we can turn a standard mix into something really creative and by doing so it keeps the audience and even myself entertained and you can go from being considered a good DJ with great track selection which mind you is the most important thing, to a DJ that people love to hear and turn up to events especially to see and hear.
Now sure this video was only touching on some ideas but if you're keen and want to see it all in action, I would love to do a nu disco showcase set for you, so if this is something you'd like, please let me know in the comments below and also let me know if you'd prefer me to do it using dual players on the DDJ1000 or on the DDJ400.
Watch here: https://youtu.be/-JWV2i_1tbM
I guess the advantage of the DDJ1000 is I get more control over my 3rd and 4th channels than using the sampler on the DDJ400 but either way I'm sure I can have fun and craft something cool, so just let me know your preference in the comments below.
I cannot say this enough but learning and making progress is all about building on your skill level, which not only makes you a killer DJ but it also keeps you motivated as you continue to challenge yourself. I've been trying to reframe from pushing my courses but the fact is, I am super proud of what I've created and what my students are accomplishing post course and I know, given the chance I can transform the way you play and even the way you look at DJIng within a week, so if you're keen to take the next step or perhaps even the first step, I can open up a whole other world for you and you'll soon realise, gear and genre isn't as important as you think and after some time spent following the sequence in my course, metaphorically speaking you'll be able to paint masterpieces regardless of the brush or canvas's available to you.
I find one of the biggest obstacles when teaching beginners is getting them to a point where they are thinking less and feeling more, but the only way to achieve that level is to condition certain aspects of DJIng so instead of thinking what should you do now you can instinctively move with the music and know what to do at the right time every time and make everything sound good wether you know the tracks or not.
Thanks again for tuning in, as usual the link to my course is in the description below and let me know in the comments below if you want a nu disco showcase set and I'll put something together for you.
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.
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 always say to my students what tracks you play and how much of each track you play is completely up to you and even though there are lots of things to consider when mixing tracks and building incredible playlists that make an impact, all of which is taught in full detail in my course which I'll link in below, but when it comes to playing live, being able to read a crowd and even the ability to observe, sense and direct the energy in the room with a goal of uniting everyone there and creating world class atmospheres is arguably one of the most importing things when it comes to having success as a DJ.
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Not sure where to start? In this mini series I answer many of the questions beginners have about learning to DJ.