March 24th, 2013
Everyone’s happy, the floor is full. So what do you play next? That’s where art and science meet, and it cuts to the heart of what DJing is all about.
Digital DJ Tips reader Robert writes: “Was curious as I’m trying to get a better grasp of DJing. Is there a method you use when grouping songs together to play, to make sure they go together? Is there any software out there that allows for you to go through your library and say ‘this would go well with this?’ or maybe ‘consider this one with this?’
“What I’m trying to create is mini five-song sets that go well together. Do you think that is a good idea?”
January 5th, 2013
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: “I’m confused! I’ve spent the past few months researching the art of digital DJing, having followed your Learn To DJ Free email course and purchased the How To Digital DJ Fast video learning. I have also catalogued a lot of my collection using Mixed in Key, and have worked on small mixes using djay.
“I have a lot of chilled Ibiza-style tunes and was thinking of moving through a set from say a Crazy P tune (Sweet Feeling) taking in some old skool soul (George Benson, Soul II Soul) and then moving onto some funkier Fred Falke/Louis la Roche, then slowing down towards the end of the set. I guess I need to get the structure of the set sorted in my head! But in particular, 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?”
June 24th, 2012
We might not pack a real record box any more, but packing a virtual one can make set programming easier.
When it comes to programming a DJ set, my number one tip is to sort out a crate of music for the gig before you set off. In other words, do exactly what vinyl DJs used to do. Decide what’s “going with you” and what isn’t. This process will help you to focus on the night in advance, building your confidence in your tune selection. The old adage “less is more” definitely applies here: The fewer tunes you’re looking through between selections when you’re DJing, the easier it will be to pick a good next tune.
However, our readers jumped on the chance to add their tips when we discussed this over on the forum, so I reprint some of the best ideas below. Would be good to hear your tips too!