Over To You: Help! I’ve Got To Use CDJs For The First Time

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 27 November, 2017


DJing with CDJs needn’t present problems… but try and have a go somewhere else first.

Digital DJ Tips reader Jonathan Borksandhanke writes: “I’ve been dJing with my laptop and a controller for six months now, and I’m doing pretty well, at least that’s what I’ve been told. Now I just saw an event at a club, which invited rookie DJs to come and get a chance to play, and I immediately said yes, so I’m going to play a one hour set of progressive trance.

“Now the problem is, they say I have to use their CD equipment, no chance to bring my computer and controller. I’ve never used a CD or vinyl set-up before, so this is completely new to me.

“There is probably no problem with the beatmatching, because the tunes I play are within a 136 to 140 BPM range, and that isn’t hard. What I’m more worried about is what should I do, if I don’t get a chance to try out my set on some CD players before the night I have to play, and what would the biggest difference be between digital and CD DJing (besides the beatmatching).

“Hope you can give me some tips, because I’m actually really scared.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Try and get some practice on CDJs. Ask at your local bar to have an hour before opening if they have CDJs, or ask a friend. At least watch some training videos on YouTube. Try them out in a DJ store too – anything is better than turning up cold!

The biggest difference is in the “feel” of them, as the actual mechanics are pretty similar. You’ll also have to get used to where your music is on the CDs – make sure you’re happy navigating your tracks, so knowing where the tracks are will be key. Have a really long record lined up for your first track, and practise your set on your digital gear, so you’re only really worrying about getting used to the gear, not what you’re going to play next, when you turn up. And do check the CDs you’ve burned have actually worked before you play, too!

Anyone else made the switch from digital to CDJs for whatever reason? got any advice you can offer Jonathan? Please add it in the comments below…

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