Digital DJ Tips reader Ahy writes: “My question is about the tracks you play during the How To Digital DJ Fast course. I realised that even though I have a wide collection of music, I am missing some extremely good stuff (like the ones you play during the course…). Please could you share the list of the 600 tracks that you say you regularly DJ with; if not, at least would you share your top 20 to 50 favourites so that I can start digging and reaching more? I started playing at a bar now playing exactly the genres that you mention you play in the course.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Thanks for your mails, glad you’re enjoying the course – and I’m flattered you like my music! Finding your own music is fundamental to DJing, which is why DJs (including myself) generally don’t like sharing lists of our tunes. Not only does it feel like we’re giving away the family jewels, but also only we know exactly why we’ve got certain tunes – the context would be lost on anyone else. If I gave you 20 to 50 of my favourite tunes, I’d have to explain why they’re my favourites, how I DJ with them and so on – and that isn’t going to be massively helpful to you when it comes to developing your own sound and style.
I’d humbly suggest you’d be better placed “doing the work” for yourself. Apart from the tips in the course about music discovery, my current top tip is to use Shazam / SoundHound to identify previously unknown sounds that grab your ear, then use a service like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Mog, Deezer etc to explore; begin with those tracks and shortlist related producers, record labels, same stuff by the same artist etc. Throw anything you find that you like in a folder, re-listen a couple of times, and buy the tracks you fall in love with.
Another killer idea is to follow people whose productions or music you like on SoundCloud; there’s a stream function that lets you just listen to stuff that might be of interest to you, again so you can hone in on and explore further when something grabs your attention. Doing it this way takes more time and effort than simply getting DJs whose taste you respect to share all or some of their library with you, but it’s a far better way of doing it: It will give you a truly personal choice of tunes – tunes that you’ll probably be just a little bit protective over, just as I am over mine! 🙂
Have you ever been asked to share all of your tunes with another DJ? Or have you asked someone to do the same? How did it feel? Was it a good idea? Am I right to play “hard ball” a little and suggest our reader follow his own taste to find the tunes he is looking for? Please share your thoughts in the comments.