DJ Hacks To Make You A Better Mixer

Are you the best DJ mixer you can be?

How to DJ mix

When we talk about being a professional DJ we mean so much more than booking DJ gigs, networking and all that ‘fun’ stuff. We’re also talking about the skills (and work ethic) that will make you a bangin’ DJ. So you’ve signed up for a few online DJ courses or you found a few DJ classes at the local community center…are you don’t with your DJ education?

Not by a long shot.

Your music and DJ education will never be totally complete. It is an ongoing process that will make you a better DJ with crazy skills, which will make you marketable and book-worthy for years to come. Today you’re a newbie but by this time next year you might be an experienced working DJ. In the future, who knows? Maybe headlining a big ass festival, a residency at some exclusive night club and collaborations with your musical idols are in your future.

Before you get there…improve your skills.

Pay Attention

DJs are also musicians, full stop. This means you have an ear for music and for details. This can serve you well when it’s your night to be away from the DJ booth. When you’re out at the club in a leisure capacity don’t just sit around sipping on alcohol and scoping out hotties. Listen to your fellow DJ—carefully—and notice the small things they do to make a set great. Most of the people around you will have no idea why this song hits their groove spot…but you will.

More important than your ability to hear it is your ability to emulate it. I don’t mean just steal their idea, but listen to subtle changes like reducing the bass, adding effects or high ends. This attention to detail will serve you well as a DJ…and maybe a producer too.

Practice on Specific Songs

Let’s face it; most of the EDM music out there is specifically designed with the DJ in mind. That’s not a bad thing, but it does mean that as you learn how to DJ you must choose practice songs carefully. On a side note this is also why it is super helpful to learn how to beat match manually…but I digress.

Some EDM songs are just wrong for the newbie. The tempos aren’t easy to align, the keys are all off or they just sound like crap when combined. So find a few songs that have a similar tempo, are relatively simple and have a similar feel. I know that probably sounds crazy confusing but learn simple and perfect complicated is how you should think of this.

You don’t want practice to discourage you, so make sure you choose a few simple tracks for your practice sessions.

DJ mixing music education

Upgrade Your Music Education

If you truly care about being a phenomenal DJ with excellent skills then you really need to upgrade your musical education. I’m not saying go back to school and get a degree in classical piano or world music appreciation; I’m simply saying whatever your current music knowledge…increase it.

You can never know too much, particularly to become a better mixer. Are you familiar with the musical keys and not just on a piano? Being able to mix in key will allow you to seamlessly blend your music together—ya know, mix it!—by key. The better you know music the more capable you will be at finding innovative ways to mix that will bring you a bigger following, which usually translates into more DJ gigs.

Then there’s the harmonic mixing you can do. This will allow you to keep up whatever style you’re using for the evening without mixing every single song of your set in the same key. You can use the Camelot Wheel to help, but make sure you learn it for real.

The best way to learn what you don’t know about music is to learn it. Some theories and applications may sound familiar to you, others you will have to memorize and learn. If you can get someone to help you with your music education that would really help. If not, there’s always the internet!


One of the most humiliating things a new DJ can experience is tracks with poor sound. You know those parties or clubs where you go from a club banger to something significantly quieter? That DJ hasn’t perfected his or her gains.

This is where it comes in handy to have a quality set of DJ headphones so you can listen to upcoming tracks to make sure the levels are, well level. Keep an eye on those levels on your DJ mixer, which will be easy to do if you watch these during your practice sessions.

The last thing you want is to screw with the vibe of the event you’re DJing.

I hope I’ve been able to help you become a better DJ mixer. 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!

beginner dj setup


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