3 Advanced DJ mixing techniques

DJ Mixing

Contrary to popular belief, DJing takes a great deal of practice, perseverance, and a level of skill that many do not possess. A DJ must have a good knack at hearing sounds and thinking of ways to infuse them together or utilize enhancements to spice up the track. In addition to being quick on their feet and great with music, a DJ must also have the ability to multitask and manage several pieces of equipment at once. There are many ways that a DJ can make themselves stand out amongst others. One of the ways is to infuse just the right amount of advanced DJ mixing techniques without going overboard or transforming the track altogether with an abundance of special effects. This article will share some advanced techniques that you should try when you are ready to take your DJing up to the next level.

Become proficient with your music material.

In addition to being proficient with your DJ controller, mixer, and other equipment, it is imperative for a good DJ to be a master at the music material that is in their repertoire. By knowing your music well, you will be able to add transitions or sound effects into the song properly and in a seamless manner. Transitions will not sound disjointed and it will be quite obvious to the crowd that you are comfortable on stage. The best way to learn your material is to listen to your music a great deal. In addition, listen to other DJ mixes and try to get a feel for their style; where they put their transitions and pay attention to their sound effects. By listening to others, you can learn a great deal about your style and also find ways to improve your playlists.

Avoid overusing special effects.

Every DJ has their own style and this is a great attribute to possess. There are some things that are great to utilize in abundance such as your keen ability to pick out great tracks that go together or your ability to get the crowd pumped up by speaking through the mic in between tracks. It is one thing to use your assets such as your personality to enhance your set but try to avoid overusing songs or special effects. Overusing special effects is something you should try to avoid at all costs as it can make you appear as if you do not know what you are doing. In addition, the crowd will get bored fast and while it may be cool to infuse special effects throughout your set, if you are getting the vibe that the crowd is not interested in a loud bullhorn interjecting into a song, make adjustments to your set. Making proper adjustments to your set in the middle of a gig is a skill that only the best DJ’s can master with little-to-no anxiety. The best thing to remember when you are on stage and experience an awkward transition or you question whether you used the right sound effect, is to “fake it, til you make it.” Chances are high that if you are confident and resilient and do not let minor setbacks upset you, your crowd will never notice and they will feed off of your vibe.

Utilize groupings of 3.

What this means is that you should prepare to play groups of 3 songs that have a similar sound together in a batch. Many well known DJ’s do this as a way to organize their sets and stay on top of the music genre. The grouping of 3 rule makes it easy to stay within a certain genre and helps you create smooth transitions in between tracks. An example of a set of 3 would be to stay with house tracks for 3 songs and then transition into something else such as twerk. The groupings also makes it easier for transitions, sound effects, and it will not seem so abrupt to jump from one type of musical genre to the next. So that you are not constantly playing the same songs over and over again at each gig, be sure to update your music regularly so that you can find other songs that go together. The more you DJ, the more comfortable you will get with the skills that are required to group songs together and use special effects with ease.

As with anything, be sure to practice these techniques over and over again until you feel proficient. At the point in which you feel proficient, begin to build your confidence by trying them out during live gigs. Whether it is getting to know your musical library, utilizing the rule of grouping in 3’s, or avoiding the overuse of sound effects, you can become an advanced DJ with patience, time, and a lot of practice.

Ben Ownes
Ben is our content manager and is perfect for his role due to his vast experience in testing, setting up and using DJ equipment. His love for DJing started at just 14 when he got his first amateur set up in his parent's basement. Since then Ben has perfected his craft which has allowed him to get regular spots in local nightclubs. When he isn't playing or mixing he is writing reviews and guides for our site.

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