If you’re a fan of DJs like Tiesto and David Guetta, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to know how to DJ house music sets at some point in your DJ career. Before you can master the genre, however, you’ll need to get yourself into the right mindset to understand what goes into making house music and what makes it different from other genres. So to get you started on your quest to become a great house DJ, here are some beginners tips on how to DJ house music sets.
The House Music Philosophy
The philosophy of house music differs greatly from the philosophy of other electronic music genres like hip-hop, which is the last genre we discussed on the blog. While hip-hop involves a lot of fast cuts, house music is all about slow, smooth transitions; while hip-hop DJs will change up the mood in a split second, house DJs want to keep a fairly consistent mood that evolves slowly throughout the night.
When you’re learning how to DJ house music sets, the key thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep people dancing at all costs. To do this, it will help to develop a solid understanding of how house tracks are built and how they fit together.
Get to Know Your Song Structures
While every house song has its own distinctive sound, virtually every one shares the same basic structure. This structure usually starts simply with a few musical elements built around a four on the floor beat. From there, the structure will change every 8 to 16 bars or so as new elements are either added in or taken away.
A good way to learn to DJ house music is to take a few house tracks you like and spend some time analyzing them. As you listen to your favourite house tracks, take note of things like what BPM the song uses, how often new elements are added or taken away, when the climax hits, how long it takes before you get to the climax, and how long it takes for the song to die down after the climax has hit.
Work on Your Beatmatching Skills
Once you have the basic structure of house music mapped out in your head, you’ll have a better idea of how different songs will fit together. As mentioned previously, house music is all about slow, smooth transitions, which means that good beatmatching skills are essential if you want to master the art of how to DJ house music. Typically with house music, you’ll want to start mixing in one song after the climax of the previous song as the energy of the first song is slowly dying down. Often it can take up to a minute or more to move from one song to the next, so getting your beatmatching right and choosing complimentary songs is key for this genre.
If you haven’t mastered the art of beatmatching yet, take a look at some of our beatmatching lessons in our online DJ school. Once you’ve mastered that basic skill, you’re ready for some more advanced house DJ tricks, which we’ll discuss in the next part of this series, so keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks for the next part in this three-part series.
If you’ve been looking up music marketing strategies online, you may have noticed a lot of people talking about social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but not as many people talking about the idea of starting your own DJ blog. While blogs may not get as much attention as other types of social media, starting a DJ blog could actually be the best thing you can do to build your brand as a DJ and start to earn a living from your art. Here’s how to win at social media by starting your own DJ blog.
The Scary Truth about Social Networks
Much of the conventional wisdom about “getting noticed” online today revolves around building up a big following on social networking sites. The problem with this method is that you never really know how long a social network will last. We all remember what happened with MySpace – many artists who had built their following solely through MySpace were forced to start over from nothing when fans and promoters started to move over to other social networks. Facebook may be huge right now, but who knows how long that will last. If Mark Zuckerberg decides to shut down the website and delete all of your posts tomorrow (which he has every right to do), you need keep building your fan base online another way. That’s where your DJ blog comes in.
But Everybody Has a Blog…
Sure, you may be thinking, blogging is great, but these days everybody has a blog. It’s true that between Tumblr, video blogging on YouTube, Facebook posts, and other types of social networks, many DJs are keeping a record of their lives and getting their story out there. Some DJs even have their own blogs or websites where they talk about what gigs they’re playing, what music they’re into, and anything else they think might be interesting to their fans. These are all decent forms of self-promotion, but the problem is that people using these methods are not truly thinking like bloggers. While many people think a blogger is just someone who writes about their everyday life online, the truth is that bloggers who are serious about building their brand and earning income do much more than just talk about what they ate for lunch.
Expanding Your Following
The problem with the approaches discussed above is that they don’t reach beyond your original fan base. Writing blog posts or posting on social networks talking about your life as a DJ will only really be of interest to people who are already fans of your music. The point of starting a DJ blog is not to engage the fan base you already have, but to reach beyond that fan base and bring in new fans.
So What Should I Blog About?
When we talk about a “DJ blog,” that doesn’t mean a blog about your life as a DJ. In fact, some of the best blogs run by DJs or other freelance musicians don’t have anything to do with DJing at all; they’re about cars or real estate or how to grow your own food. The point is to pick something you’re passionate about (you’ll need to be passionate if you’re going to write about something every week) and create a large volume of good quality content on a regular basis related to that passion. This will help you attract people who are passionate about the same things as you, and chances are, many of the people who found your blog because they share your passion will also become passionate about your music. Not every person who reads your blog will go to your gigs or buy your music online, but some will, and this will create a snowball effect that keeps growing as your blog grows in popularity.
Starting a DJ blog is not a get rich quick scheme, nor is it something you can do just by clicking a few buttons, but if you’re persistent and patient, growing a blog following can become a major way for you to build a name for yourself as a DJ.