DJ Loops – What Are They & When To Use Them

Avoid Abusing DJ Loops Using These Tips!


One of the things that many digital DJs know is just how simple it is to loop. In fact with the steady stream of DJ controllers that make it easier than ever, some new digital DJs get so caught up that they use it too much. I would say they abuse it, but that’s up to each listener to decide.

DJ loops can be a great tool for digital DJs who know how to use them. If you just throw them in haphazardly they become useless and honestly just annoy the crowd you’ve been hired to entertain. Today I’m going to tell you what all digital DJs need to know about looping.

What Exactly Is Looping?

DJ loops are a common tool to enhance a sound and make it unique. Specifically looping is when the DJ chooses a small section of a song and commands the DJ software to play that section over and over and over…as much as each DJ sees fit. It used to be that you had to precisely time when you looped in or out, you know, back in the day with DJs who used CDs.

Today DJ loops are much easier for digital DJs who rely software  that works fairly independently. The software intuits where the beats are in a track so all you have to do is tell the software where to start and how long to loop. The measure of how long the loop lasts will depend on your individual DJ software. Typically it is in bars, measures or beats rather than seconds or minutes.

Finding DJ Loops

As with all things the digital DJ needs these days, you can find packages that contain dozens of pre-packed loops to add to your tracks. You can buy them or find them for free, but if you’re like me you probably want to get out there and create your own loops.

That is a fantastic idea but don’t get so caught up in being an “authentic DJ” that you pass up the educational value of pre-packed loops. Getting a few free DJ loops can help you learn more about timing loops properly and fitting together the right songs. Once you feel comfortable that you know more about incorporating DJ loops into your tracks, you can start creating your own.

Now…on to the good stuff!


When To Loop

Probably the most common DJ loops occur at the beginning or end of a track. It works as a smooth transition from one song to the next without that dreaded silence we used to endure between tracks with CDJs. Looping at the beginning of a track works superbly when a track has a longer music only intro. You can loop those beats or bars during the intro as a way to ramp up anticipation for the track itself.

DJ loops are a great tool but it should not be used because you don’t feel like putting in the time to become a really good mixer. Hone all of your DJ skills so you can implement tools like DJ loops when they are warranted rather than on every single track.

The DJ loop you’re probably most familiar with is the loop roll, in which you loop a bar or a beat a few times, halve the length and play several more times before shortening the bar or beat again.

When done effectively it can add a great sound effect to your track without using cheesy sound effects that often come with DJ software. This is often used to get the crowd amped up and ready to hit the dance floor. Just remember to test this out before debuting it for a crowd. The loop roll can go so wrong very quickly if your timing isn’t precise and the effect is cringe-worthy.

For you digital DJs out there using additional decks you are probably familiar with taking a rhythm or phrase from one of your favorite tracks. You take that section and loop it on your extra deck and loop it into any track you want throughout the night.

This is a great tool to use if you’re performing at a party with a theme and you have just the right phrase, word or rhythm to match that theme. Toss it in sparingly in some tracks throughout the night to keep the crowd enthralled.

The key with these types of DJ loops is to use something unique and use it sparingly. Sure you can easily find cool loops in popular songs, but go a step further and search for loops in genres and from artists you don’t typically use in your sets. Think about artists you immediately dismiss—even if your reasons are legitimate—and give them a second listen for unique bars, beats and phrases that could blend well with your current style of DJing.

Practice your DJ loops and see how effective you are at it and keep going until you have perfected it.

I hope I helped you figure out when and where to use DJ loops. 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 and use all the DJ tools!

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