I recently watched this video from DJTechTools.com about how to mix pop music here. As someone who plays a lot of pop and Top 40 music, this got me interested . Though this video focuses on the actual mixing of two pops songs, I wanted to take it back a level and discuss playing pop sets and how you should be choosing your tracks and keeping the crowd interested.
Keeping People Interested
If you want to play a catchy song and have everyone sing along, it’s important to examine which parts of the song people actually know the words to! Of course most people will know the chorus, since it’s repeated multiple times throughout the song and is usually pretty catchy. But what other parts will people know? Let’s talk about the other parts of the song in order of how well people know them.
The first part of any song that people hear is of course the intro, which tends to hold a different feel in terms of pacing from the rest of the song, making it more memorable. After this, each verse follows in turn. When people listen to music nowadays, they tend to not listen to the full song. Instead, they’ll probably listen to the first thirty seconds to a minute, then flip to the next song. Because of this, people normally know the intro well, but will be less and less familiar with the words as the verses progress. So to re-iterate, in order of which part is most memorable, a pop song would be structured as follows: chorus, intro, verse one, verse two, and so on.
What does this mean for you? Well, it’s important to watch (and listen to!) your crowd on this one. If people aren’t singing along anymore, it’s time to start thinking about getting out. There are a lot of pop songs that the whole crowd will know through and through, but many people will start to lose interest when they no longer know a part of the song. This is when you can spark more energy by mixing into another song that people will know the words to.
Building on this idea of which parts of songs people know and recognize, we can also use this method to help us choose where to place songs in a set. If you’re in a primetime slot, you’ll want to choose songs with choruses that have a lot of energy, and maybe save the tracks that have long vocal breaks before or during the chorus for later on in the night.
Also, when you’re mixing pop style music, be mindful of sections of tracks that don’t have any words. If you’re going to keep your crowd singing along all night, be mindful of what you’re about to play. That being said, heavier tracks with no words can create a lot of energy in the room so don’t be afraid to play with these types of tracks as well.
With any rule, there will always be exceptions, and the same is the case when it comes to which parts of a song people remember. An easy example is Be Faithful by Crooklyn Clan – the break in the middle of the song is the part that people know the best. With songs like this one, make sure to play out that important part for the crowd. Even though it goes against the formula noted above, this will ensure that your crowd stays interested.
Keeping people singing can have a great effect on your crowd, both during and after your set. Keep in mind what we discussed about knowing which parts of a song people will recognize, and using this knowledge to keep the energy up in your set.
Next time in this series we’ll talk more about mixing and song selection with pop style music.
The Spin Academy team spent some serious time putting together this awesome animated infographic about the 5 richest DJ’s on earth. Find exactly which DJ’s are making a killing and exactly how much they have in the bank! If you enjoyed this animated infographic please feel free to share it on your website.
It’s often difficult to find a dj song list, so this week we’ll take a look at using charts and track lists to help you find new music to keep your sets fresh.
http://www.beatport.com/ – Lots of DJs will log into Beatport and scroll the top 10 lists of their favourite genres, but this site also has lots of other features that you can use to find hidden gems. At the basic level on this site you get charts. Charts or dj song lists allow you to search popular artists’ favourite music picks. This is a great way to find hidden gems, and using charts of artists you can relate your style to should help you find the music you like. The next important tool is the ‘Related Section,’ which allows you to view other similar items that users have found helpful. I’ll often start a search with one of my favorite DJ’s charts and then use the recommended lists to find more and more obscure tracks that fit with my style of music.
http://www.residentadvisor.net/ – Again the important tool here is the DJ chart or dj song list which allows you to get a good idea of what your favourite DJs are currently playing. It’s also easy to see their previous charts and look around for tracks they’ve been playing often and for a long time. These are likely anthem tracks that you can still play, and hold on to for a long time.
http://www.1001tracklists.com/ – This is an incredibly handy resource that many people don’t seem to use. I always enjoy listening to my favourite artists’ DJ sets, and this site does a great job of recording the tracks played at the various events. Similar principles apply here, as this site is also useful for finding what’s hot right now with your favourite artists and maybe identifying anthem tracks. Furthermore, this site is great because it gives you an idea of what time of the night DJs are playing certain tracks, so you can get an idea of what kind of mood they might want to use the track for.
Next time on this series we’ll look at using other features of popular sites to find new music.
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Check this out. Deadmau5 and Laidback chillin in a Lambo rippin on Avicci. They said his house doesn’t have floors only levels and he has his alarm clock set to the wake me up song. Hahaha. Too good. Maybe more of a friendly poke than a burn but check out the rest of what they say here here.