Your Questions: I Need Help Understanding EDM Genres!

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dance music genres EDM genres
Last updated 14 November, 2017

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Do dance music genres unite or divide? How important is it to understand the genres? And how should a beginner go about it?
Do dance music genres unite or divide? How important is it to understand the genres? And how should a beginner go about it?

Digital DJ Tips forum member John Alexander writes: “Can you please offer some advice as to where I can begin to understand the distinctions between the different genres of EDM? I am asking this because right now I know what I like when I hear it, but I have no idea which genre what I’m hearing might fall into. And I feel like this is critical in my pursuite of building both my library and my own personal style. So, for instance, I love the club tracks that build to that crescendo like a rollercoaster and then drop a rhythmic synth sound that just lights the place on fire! But do I call that “house” or “progressive”? What is “trance”? What is the difference between “electro house” and “techno”?

“What has been happening is that I go onto Beatport or Mixcloud and search for tunes. But as I’m doing this I’ll search “electro” and not find the synth sounds that I’m looking for. I’ll search “progressive” but not find something that gets me that amped. Are the great, blood pumping tracks really so rare? I just need some guidance so that I’m not barking up the wrong tree so often.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Go to a club. Have Shazam or Soundhog installed on your smartphone. When a track pops up you like, hit the app and save the song to your wishlist. At home go through your wishlist and search with Google for that song and genre. Soon you will (eventually) see a pattern in what genres you like. Discovering genres cannot be taught in my experience. You have to feel them out develop a spirit for them and then learn to understand. It is nothing that can simply be handed to you.

For example I like dubstep, but the dubstep I play is largely different from most dubstep you find in the top 40 lists, and sometimes does not even include the “wobbles” by which some identify dubstep…

Can you add to this? How do you differentiate between genres when buying and organising your music? And is it really important at all? Please share your advice in the comments.

• Here’s the original thread that this article was based on: Newbie needs help understanding the genres.

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