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7 DJ Basics and Skills

What is Beatmatching?

Beatmatching is a DJ technique in which the tempo and phase of two (or more) pieces of music are aligned, in order to make a seamless transition of music. Tempo is the speed of the tracks; phase is having the tracks aligned in relation to each other. Traditionally, beatmatching was performed on turntables or CD players using the pitch controls.

Should DJs use “sync” (automatic Beatmatching)?

Sync is a tool among many in your DJ arsenal, and has been common in DJ hardware and software for years. The automation of DJ software causes a frequent fuss within the DJ community, especially amongst purists who claim you aren’t a real DJ if you use the sync button. Like all things involving artistic expression, there will be interesting and uninteresting things that you can do using the tools at hand.

What is EQ (equalizing)?

An equalizer is a volume control which only affects a certain frequency range of sound. An audio engineer uses an equalizer to help multiple audio tracks mesh together, without competing with the same auditory space. DJs do the same thing, using the three (or four) band EQ on a DJ mixer.

How do DJs make music?

Most modern music is made within a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) – a fancy word for studio software. Some of the more popular DAWs include Cubase Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton Live and FL Studio. This program serves as the “center” of a production workflow, but can also incorporate external hardware.

Side note: technically, a music producer makes music, where a DJ plays or performs it. It’s not unusual for one person to hold both roles, which is why terms like DJ/producer are common.

Should DJs take requests?

A DJ should take requests if it’s an expectation or requirement of a particular gig. Nobody expects Steve Aoki to play your favorite Drake song on your birthday, but a mobile DJ at a Sweet 16 party should be prepared for exactly that. DJs who don’t like taking requests will keep this in mind, when seeking gig opportunities.

How can I be a better DJ?

There are four main ways to improve your DJing: gaining real life experience, polishing your technical skills, becoming more adept at crowd-reading, and prioritizing gigs which align with your personal brand and sound.

Where can I get more education on DJing?

The Skilz Master Program is the most complete and extensive collection of courses offered at the Skilz DJ Academy. From Initiation to the Advanced Level.

The Master Skilz DJ course features the very latest in world class DJ kit for you to get your hands on. Our students get the exclusive opportunity to perform at Future Stage Live on the Chewb TV/Radio on a regular basis. You'll experience a variety of set ups before playing out. Complete DJ guides you through essential DJ skills: beatmatching, CD and vinyl mixing to the high Level, intro to scratching and more. Classes are taught by professional DJs on the latest kit including CDJ2000 Nexus, old school vinyl Technics 1210s. Each student has their own set up in class, all styles are welcome and every student has access to the facilities seven days a week. By the end of the course you'll have the chance to play at a live venue and Festival in Luxembourg.

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