If you know little or nothing about DJing, at first it may seem a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a DJ who plays at private parties or massive festivals, the fundamentals of how to mix music perfectly are exactly the same. Mastering these fundamentals is easier than you may think.
Here are some DJ tips to help you get started and show you that anyone with a passion for music can work to become a professional DJ.
DJ Mixing is the art of blending two separate tracks together whilst having them play perfectly synchronised. The idea is to transition from one track to another without having to stop and start the tracks, which allows the music to play continuously, keeping the momentum building on the dance floor. To keep the tempo of both tracks in line with each other, you’ll need to first master Beat Matching.
Beat Matching is simply matching the beats of two tracks. You can do this by using the technique of pitch shifting, time stretching or by using two tracks with the same tempo or beats per minute (bpm).
How do you mix from one track to another?
These days when learning how to mix music most DJ’s use CD players as opposed to turntables. Amazing technological advances have made it possible for CD players to replicate all the functions of DJing with vinyl records without the hassle of having to collect your music in such a heavy format. DJ music can be easily digitally stored on CD’s, Sound Cards and USB’s giving you a selection of thousands of tracks in a compact space instead of having to carry around heavy records every time you play. This is just one of the many reasons why digital DJIng rules over vinyl.
What equipment do I need to learn how to mix music?
You’ll need two CD players and a DJ mixer. The DJ mixer needs to have at least two separate channels, one for each of the CD players. Each channel is used to send a music signal from your CD player through to the sound system. By controlling these channels with what’s called channel faders, you can blend from one track to another.
The key to blending from one track to another is mastering smooth transitions. Whatever genre or combination of genres you decide on playing, smoothness should be the goal as it's the responsibility of the DJ who's mixing the music to keep the dance floor going at all times. Messy, incomplete or imperfect mixes will disrupt the flow and clear the dance floor in no time.
Where do I start when learning how to mix music?
The best place to start is by learning about song structure. Not only will understanding song structure teach you the best way to blend your music together, it also becomes crucial when the time comes to move into advanced DJing.
All music is written adhering to a general formula involving beats, bars and phrases, regardless of how alternative or experimental the style of music may be.
The beat is the basic unit of time or the pulse of a song whereas a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats, each of which are assigned a particular note value. A phrase is a short section or succession of notes, forming a distinctive sequence.
Learning how to match bars and phrases is as equally important as beat matching. This may sound confusing at first but once you master how to match the beats, learning how to match the bars and phrases is just a matter of investing the time to understand these basic principles.
Can anyone learn how to mix music?
Yes! Absolutely anyone can learn how to mix music and become a DJ with the right information. All you need is a passion for music, a desire to learn and the right advice along the way. How fast you learn is really up to you, but hard work and practice is everything.
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