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How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:43 pm
by Illuminator
I'm asking on this forum specifically because all i use during my sets are my laptop and APC40, i have a couple of cdj 200s, but digital + ableton is so much better. I typically like playing house music, and can play tech-house quite well, but i think that owes itself more to the genre being less complicated to mix since the drops and breaks aren't as heavy as they are in house music.

So i've been messing around for i'd say a good 4 years, and have really gotten nowhere with my dj'ing. Yes it's fun to bedroom dj, but I have an inkling that if i were to become more competent in my playing ability that i would look for more opportunities to play in public.

So to those of you who use live with/without an do you practice and what does it take to become a competent performer? What are some "exercises" i could perform to enhance my ability.

My biggest issue and this is a technical one is that I don't have a split line at my place, so I only have audio pumping through my headphones for both cueing and output, that obviously makes it a million times harder.

That aside, I really don't want to be a crappy dj anymore and since I have started using live recently and see the incredible potential for absolutely ass-shattering music, I'm hoping someone can give me some feedback.

Re: How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:53 am
by CareyLetendre
I'd say start with the basics and watch Johnny Fever on WKRP.

Re: How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:06 pm
by The Carpet Cleaner
You don't need to be competent to DJ.
You need to get known.
So either you have friends and can make contact with promoters.
Or you get known with your own music productions.

Re: How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:44 pm
by Tarekith
Step 1: Get a soundcard that has enough outs for you to cue.

Step 2: Get to know promoters, or throw your own night.

Step 3: Read this for some more tips:

Step 4: Ask for more tips at

Re: How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:14 pm
by Illuminator
Well I used to spin back during college but that was for shits and giggles and i really didn't pay attention to the art of djing (and was limited to small cdj 200s and a mixer)

Ableton is absolutely nuts, so I really want to learn how to make booty breaking sets

Thanks for all your help guys

Re: How to practice dj'ing?

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:42 am
by BlackLotusLuke
house has a very nice tempo to dj with if im not mistaken, unlike experimental/ psychedelic hip hop which is what i play. most of its completely unquantized. id recomend just practicing as much as you can, learn new tricks and things on ableton, i do everyday. my first gig was ableton and a 25 key novation sl mk II, between two of us... no headphones. only got a soundcard last week. its not really about what you have. its about what you play and how you play it in my opinion. im currently warping most of my tracks and putting them into a vers/ chorus clips etc. some of them you can even get a little live with and launch them at say, 1/16 quantization. and essentially launch clips as if they were chops. to be honest. im a pretty bad dj so far, i have no idea how to use cdjs as i started on ableton, and as i go on im producing more of my own tracks, so im moving more to performing than djing. i think the crowd def appreciates something different. you have no idea how much me and my partner fuck around on stage. our first major gig we were opening for one of biggest glitch/electronic hip hop acts in south africa. and my friend went on the make and said who we are and that we liked poo. cue the music. as childish as we are. were not the average dj that just sits there all stiff. again. not to make us out as something all original and amazing. thats just what i find has helped us alot. try find music thats quite unheard of but will satisfy your targeted listener also. people like that. also find cool remixes of crappy songs. we had a remix of a transformers theme song. and it was funny as hell. again this is just what works for me. good luck! :)