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HarderFaster Forums >> DJing >> After learning all the basics how did you learn how to dj?

 
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Bansisingh

Registered: Oct 2018
Posts: 0 - Threads: 1
Location: India

[Edited by Bansisingh on 29-10-2018 17:14 PM]

pologies on if this sounds dumb but I've read the books like How to DJ right and watched videos to learn about the mechanics like beatmatching, phrasing w/e, but when I go to mix, sure I can get beats to line up, and get the phrasing right but the mix just sounds ABCya Adam4Adam POF ok and I don't know how to improve further.

For any of you that feel accomplished, how did you get feedback on your sets and/or continued to improve? Or are some of you all just naturals and had it from the get go?

I have no other way of explaining this than, when I listen to other DJ sets they sound awesome, and then I listen to mine and even aside from all the mistakes it's missing something. I totally get that this gap is the skill and experience I'm lacking, but at this point I'm not sure how to figure out what to do next

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Old Post27-10-2018 09:49 AM
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ceekay
venomous fairy

Registered: Feb 2010
Posts: 39935 - Threads: 1064
Location: In a wide open space



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Post a mix on apublic mix forum and you will get no end of advice - some good, some bad. Ignore the inevitable douchebags who will only say it's shit without giving a reason and take on board the constructive criticism.

"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?"
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." (Calvin & Hobbes)

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Old Post29-10-2018 13:22 PM
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voodoobass
a table, mes enfants...

Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 33875 - Threads: 985
Location: somewhere else

[Edited by voodoobass on 04-11-2018 17:30 PM]

I was playing out before I'd ever learned to mix properly (some might argue that I never did LOL). Before I got into electronic/dance I was into my indie rock, metal and punk and used to play some tunes in the local Indie club. Then I started collecting vinyl, but just had one single belt drive turntable at home. Got asked to play a few house parties since I had quite a nice selection of records, started off just doing sharp cuts from one track to the other, but the main thing was that I was round other DJs so able to watch what they were doing. When I eventually got a pair of decks just copied what I'd seen. The hardest thing for me was learning to hear the two separate tracks in my head and work out which one was faster or slower.
However, I approached the whole thing from a point of view of 'play the right tunes and everything else will fall into place'. Eventually when it came to the more technical side of doing things and developing my own style on the mixer, most of what I know I picked up from spending hours beside the DJ booth watching different DJs play and seeing what they did. Some DJs would have very aggressive styles, constantly physically manipulating the records, sharp cuts and flicks on the mixer, other DJs would just have two tracks playing on top of each other almost constantly, be incredibly seamless but never really touch the mixer apart from really long fades, never really touch the records etc resulting in mixes that were very clean but also a little boring to me. I was always way more excited by the DJs that were chopping, cutting, backspinning and generally mashing things up.
The best venue bar none for this was The End. That horseshoe shaped booth in the middle of the main room was ideal for watching the big names mix, I remember being particularly inspired by Laurent Garnier, DJ Marky and Roni Size amongst others.
I was gutted when that place closed. The connection between DJ and dancefloor was something else. I mean I was gutted when Turnmills went, and Fabric nearly went... but The End... arrgh.

Anyway, if you've got a copy of 'How to DJ Properly' already, basically that book has everything in it that you need to know. I think the best thing you can do as an aspiring DJ is keep an open mind to all genres. Learn to mix seamlessly between genres and how tempo and energy level are often independent of each other. You should be able to change BPM all over the place but keep energy high (or low). Learn to read the crowd. And get good at doing warmup sets as if you're good at doing that then you will get a foot in the door a lot easier.


soundcloud.com/voodoobass
mixcloud.com/voodoobass

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Old Post04-11-2018 17:30 PM
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Latex Zebra
Brixton Trance Underword - 28/09/18 @ Club 414

Registered: Feb 2003
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Took six months to learn and understand phrasing. Took about 4-5 years to learn consistent beat mixing.

Now, I don't even have to think about it. But I probably should now and then. Wink

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Old Post05-11-2018 11:28 AM
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kerb

Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 24328 - Threads: 1616
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I dj in my head every day

which is why you should vote yes for dj kerb to attend and play at the xmas party 2018

stay safe out there.

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Old Post05-11-2018 12:01 PM
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Coops

Registered: Jul 2003
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Same as voodoobass, I played out before mixing, I used to play old soul, some indie, Jamaican Ska, funk.

I started mixing by roughly matching the BPM and doing brief changeovers. Maybe dropping a bit of the vocal over the top, but it was all very brief mainly as the records did not easily lend themselves to longer transitions and I didn't have the necessary skill anyway.

I stopped DJing for a few years when we had kids, when I came back to it things had changed and you had to be able to mix. So I started practising, hour after hour, first beat matching, then understanding phases etc.

It is good to watch different DJs mix, it is also good to get together with others and mix as you always pick up tips. You can always learn, I remember when I first taught myself to beatmatch without touching the platter, it seems obvious now but it was a revelation at the time.

This was all before DJs started mixing off of laptops. If you put one of those set up in front of me I wouldn't have a clue. I used to love mixing vinyl, it was great fun. I keep threatening to set the decks up again but never get around to it.


I've got chickens in my back yard

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Old Post09-11-2018 13:16 PM
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Cerberus
Is looking for his www.lostdawn.co.uk

Registered: Mar 2003
Posts: 3951 - Threads: 315
Location: Park Royal

Started in the mid 90's cross fading CD's at the college radio station then again to Britpop etc at the student Uni bar.

lived in a flat share in Kingston, when I was a club promoter so from 1999-2001 (Chaos Quake). Used to tell the DJ's I booked what I liked - what I didn't. Used to hang with Rosco and Prozak behind the decks a lot at Escape from Samsara/Mind Over Matter/Logic. Until they said stop telling us what to do and learn to mix yourself - so moved in a flat mate with a set of decks.

First tunes I had was Rank 1 Airwave - I used to practice on that and another tune (forget what it is) over and over and had vinyl beat matching down in a week or so.

After 3 months had a record box of tunes and booked myself into my own club night at Bagleys....and the rest is history. Converted onto CDJS' in 2007 and the Traktor 2016. won some competitions along the way...partly through being consistent behind the decks with the beat matching and secondly because I bought support.

Every now and again I mix on the vinyl and that for purists is where the real fun and skill comes-but for me it is more about tune selection, reading a crowd and basically experiencing it over and over until you get it right. Even now I get slightly nervous before playing and that keeps on your toes.

I used to say to people mixing is like running the 400 metres relay. That 50 metres or so where there is a baton transition between runners, and they run beside each other - that is the mix....

another part of me says don't listen to old fuckers like me - just get involved - it doesn't matter what system of technique you used...just define your own style and stay true to the tunes you love - because believe me - you don't wanna be DJing weddings where people constantly ask for Abba - it is soul destroying....

Latest mixes for MIXCLOUD
LOST DAWN

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Old Post09-11-2018 16:27 PM
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