DJ Kooltura says: “Thanks for a great website, it has helped me a lot. But I still can’t find enough information about where to buy music. Beatport? iTunes? Others?”
Digital DJ tips says:
With the demise of the record store, this is one of the most common questions we receive. Finding an effective and fulfilling way to fill your virtual record box with goodies is something that every new digital DJ needs to prioritise. The thing to remember is, the best DJs get their music from a variety of sources, and it’s your weekly system for checking in with and choosing tunes from all of these sources that determines how successfully you’ll get the good stuff.
A useful analogy is to look at how DJs always used to get music in the vinyl days, and what the new equivalents are.
Old ways vs new ways of getting new music for DJing
- Getting the big tunes
Old way: Go to a mainstream record shop. Why? Cheapest, best stock. New way: Go to a mainstream online store (iTunes, Amazon etc). Why? Cheapest
- Getting the underground/specialist tunes
Old way: Go to a specialist record shop. Why? they stock the stuff the mainstream stores don’t, although it’ll cost you more. New way: Go to a specialist online store (Beatport etc.). Why? They stock independent labels and stuff mainstream stores don’t, but again you’ll pay for it
- Getting DJ exclusives, remixes, dance remixes etc.
Old way: Join a remix service or record pool (like DMC, for instance) to get stuff not available to the general public. New way: Join an online record pool like DJCity; make your own re-edits using simple cut-and-paste music production software
- Getting unreleased, highly exclusive upfront tracks
Old way: Know the DJs and producers making them, get white label or acetate copies from them. New way: Hang out on SoundCloud, friend and favourite stuff you like, build up a network of people making music in the style/s you love, watch that inbox – most of these producers are happy to give their work away free to DJs who will promote it for them
Once you get your head around the idea that there’s no right place to buy all of your music, and it’s your music discovery and music obtaining system that matters more than anything else, you’re halfway there.
Where do you get most of your music from? Have you changed the way you get music online? If so, why? It’s a big subject and I know I’ve only scratched the surface, so if you can, please pitch in to DJ Kooltura out with your own tips in the comments. Thanks!