Beatport, Android & Other Digital Tools Killing the Art of DJing

Are You Killing The Art of DJing?


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If you’ve been visiting How To DJ Fast then you know that I am not a purist in any sense of the word. I am a staunch advocate for change and progress, particularly when it comes to the art of DJing. Unfortunately there are plenty of purists out there claiming that tools such as Beatport, djay and laptops are killing the art of DJing.

Of course even fundamentalists are entitled to their opinions…BUT these purists are giving new DJs an improper view of what it means to be a DJ. I think it is always better to be more inclusive rather than less, and just because you don’t use vinyl or you add a bit of flash to your show doesn’t make you less of a DJ than those who inspired you to step inside the DJ booth.

Of course you’ll have to make up your mind for yourself, so let’s just keep an open mind for now, okay?

DJ Killer: Beatport

So I happen to agree with Tim Sheridan when he says that creating a set of Beatport’s top 10 is lazy plain and simple.

With that being said however, I’d say this is more of a DJ failing than the existence of Beatport. Having access to music is as essential as breathing for DJs and Beatport has a huge selection of EDM tracks from which you can choose.

This becomes a problem when you decide that one place should be your sole source of music. Whether it is Beatport or a bunch of MusicNow! CDs, using one source is lazy and will produce a set full of similar sounding tracks. Simply put, it will be on long and boring set.

DJ Killer: Shazam

Shazam has relieved a great source of frustration for me personally. Back in the day I’d get a few bars of song stuck in my head with no way of identifying it…talk about driving me crazy! Then Shazam came a long and made it super easy to find what I was looking for and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Honestly anyone who thinks there is some merit to spending hours looking for something when you can find it in mere minutes is just insane. You know how long you could be mixing and learning new DJ equipment instead of sifting through albums, tapes and CDs until you find it? Very long, that’s how long!

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If the crowd is doing this, you’re probably doing something right!

DJ Killer: Syncing

When it comes to learning anything from math to driving I think it’s a good thing to know how to do it the least techie way. That isn’t because I’m purist but rather you never know when you need to add without a calculator, when you need to know how to start a fire or when you need to learn to drive a manual vehicle.

For DJs this means beatmatching. Yes I think using the sync button makes it easier to mix tracks and create transitions from one song to the next. But I also think that if you are committed to being a DJ that there is something liberating about being able to do it on your own. The sync button is a great tool for newbies as well as lazy DJs who just want the glory of being a DJ, and it is up to you to decide which DJ you will be.

Learning how to match beats is a skill that is relatively simple to learn and you should, but you should not let that lesson hinder your progress as a DJ. It’s a time saving tool like an automatic car starter or a coffee pot with a timer. You can do it the old school way if you have to but when you don’t have to…why bother.

DJ Killer: Spectacle

I’m a simple guy and I like my music with an ice cold beer and that’s about it. But I don’t mind it when a performer, which is what a DJ is, feels the need to give his or show some oomph. Sometimes it is about standing out like being topless or weird, and sometimes it does cover up a lack of DJ skill.

If you focus more on your clothes and the performance than you do on learning the DJ equipment and the art of DJing then you will contribute to killing DJing as an art form. But if you’ve put in the time to be a good DJ with a focus on the music, then who cares if you use fireworks and laser beams in your show.

The point here is that you should not allow anyone—not even me—to tell you what does and does not make you a good DJ. Of course the skill and craft is at the heart of being a DJ, but you also have to make a living and if DJing is your passion then you have to do what you have to do.

Whether you use Beatport, Shazam, DJing apps or anything else that can help you get by while you learn how to be a DJ does not make you less of a DJ. Just ask yourself one question: if the lights go out can you still put on a killer show?

I hope I helped dispel a few myths about digital DJ tools. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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