Why You Don’t Have To Be A Musician To Be A Good DJ

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A reader asked whether it’s possible to be a good DJ without also being a musician, or without being able to play a musical instrument, which I thought was an excellent question. (Thanks, Kevin!) In order to answer Kevin’s question, we need to look at two distinct types of musical teaching/learning, and also delve a little into the nature of what DJing is (and isn’t). We’ll also discover that the answer to this question depends on how far you want your DJing to take you…

Your Questions: Am I Relying On Key Mixing Too Much?

Software such as Mixed In Key has popularised harmonic mixing for DJs, but it's not the only way to slice and dice your music for your DJ sets.

Digital DJ Tips reader David writes about his DJing: “I think I’m focusing too much on getting the key changes right, whilst wanting to get some specific tunes in… am I over complicating it? Should I just let the music do the talking?”

4 Ways Harmonic Mixing Can Rescue Your DJ Sets

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Back at the start of my DJ career, I read a book called How to DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records (I completely recommend it to any new DJ, by the way). Of all the styles of mixing it discusses, the one that I grabbed and ran with the most was harmonic mixing, which opened my eyes to many mixing possibilities.

Review: Keyfinder Key Detection Software

Keyfinder detects musical key, but also lets you get under the bonnet to see how it's done it.

Intrigued by key mixing, or “harmonic mixing”? Want to try it out without spending money on an established piece of software such as Mixed in Key? If so, you may be interested in Keyfinder, an open-source key detection program for Mac and (in beta) for Windows too.

Review: Mixed In Key 5

Mixed in Key 5 comes with a tutorial to make introducing this technique into your digital DJing as simple as possible.

Adding a music player, key search engine, multi-key detection, better file compatibility, and a claimed improvement in accuracy, Mixed in Key 5 appears to be the most complete version of this harmonic mixing software to date. Here’s our review.

Beginners’ Guide: The 1-2-3 of Mixing In Key

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You may have heard “mixing in key”, or “harmonic mixing”, mentioned by DJs. You may even be dimly aware of what it means – that it’s about making sure tunes match musically in order to mix them more smoothly. Here’s a quick and easy guide to implementing these techniques in your own sets.

The 7 Dirty Secrets Of Digital DJing

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While the new tools of digital DJing give true music fans the chance to spin great DJ sets when otherwise they probably wouldn’t even have tried, the same tools in the wrong hands can wreak havok in the DJ box. We lay bare the secret weapons digital DJs use… and abuse!