Part of being a good DJ is keeping abreast of the latest music. Naturally, there’s nothing wrong with playing tried-and-true classics, but it is imperative that your DJ music library is constantly refreshed. Even if your specialty is golden oldies, there are still loads of remixes of older tracks being released on a regular basis.
1. Music podcasts
Some of the big advantages that EDM podcasts have over analogue radio include the fact that podcasting is a medium that is on-demand, high-quality, and specific to your needs. Many big EDM artists—such as Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Tommy Trash, Fedde Le Grand, plus many more—have their own podcasts. Find one that matches your style, and remember to take note of tracks that really grab you, so that you can incorporate your personal favourites into your sets.
2. Regularly check up on dance music websites
In a previous article, we discussed a list of great sites for acquiring new music. Try to have a healthy cross-section of sites to help you pad out your music, rather than just harvesting all of your tunes from a single source. This will ensure that you aren’t just regurgitating more of the same with each track.
3. Watch the charts
We understand that some DJs will just want to forge their own paths—and not care about what’s hot or not—but the fact is that the Beatport chart is a pretty good indicator of what dance tracks are getting a lot of paid downloads. What we would advise against, of course, is turning your set into the top-40 countdown; however, ensuring you’re on top of what’s popular is an important part of being a well-rounded DJ.
We’re making this its own category because Reddit is technically a link aggregation site, not a dance music site per se. We’d particularly like to give a shout out to /r/mashups for being a great source of bootleg mashups. Part of what has made the dance music industry thrive over the years is the underground community that looks to build and change existing music to create something new. There are also a bunch of other music-based subreddits, including /r/dubstep, which will help keep you in touch with the latest and greatest releases.
5. Other DJs
Another great mechanism for keeping your DJ music library fresh is to share your collection with other DJs. Whether that means sharing one of your recorded sets, a Spotify playlist, or just a good old-fashioned flash drive, music sharing is something that harks back to the golden days of mixtapes. Of course, if you like what your buddy is showing you, be sure to the support the artist financially.
6. Use Shazam… a lot
We’re sure that a lot of you know and love this great music-finding app. For those who have been living under a rock for the last few years, Shazam is a free mobile app that allows the user to hold the phone up to any pre-recorded music source and obtain its song information. This is especially handy for tracking down instrumental tracks.