Digital DJ Tips member Hamish writes: “I am trying to learn manual beatmatching. I have tried using a selection of one of my favourite genres (early hardcore/gabber) though I found it quite difficult and the tracks were all very short. My more experienced DJ friend said maybe I should try and learn with a slower easier-to-learn genre like house, which is fine – I like house!
“Does anyone have any suggestions for some long house tracks that would be good to learn on? Am I going about this the right way by picking say 10 to 20 tunes that I like and are compatible with each other and just using those over and over to learn to beatmatch?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
My good friend John Steventon, who wrote a book called DJing For Dummies (full disclosure: I was consultant editor in the latest edition) suggests you use two copies of the same track to learn manual beatmatching, and I think he’s right. Why complicate things?
You’re looking for a track with a long, melody-free intro and outro to help you concentrate on the beats, and the track he suggests (showing his age now admittedly, but hey, it’s a classic!) is Paul Van Dyk’s For An Angel. Listen to hear why:
It’s got a couple of minutes at the beginning of a clean, clear beat with no real melody to get in the way, and a minute at the end of the same, so you can mix again and again with this track while you practise getting the hang of things, and before you start complicating matters by adding different tunes. Just remember to resist looking at (or cover up!) the BPM counters on the screen…
What tips can you offer to someone trying to learn to beatmatch manually? Any particular genres or tunes you’d recommend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.