Any apprentice DJ will one day encounter difficulties in adjusting the tempo of his songs.
And this is not surprising.
Keeping track of the tempo of your songs is a difficult technique to learn. You have to find the right approach and apply a method that works.
In this post, I will share with you 5 tips for setting the tempo of your songs.
What is tempo adjustment?
Called “beatmatching” in English, tempo matching is a process of putting two pieces of music at the same speed (and synchronizing). It is done only by ear.
Be zen before practicing the tempo setting.
Tip # 1: be zen
Take at least 30 minutes for yourself to relax. Meditate while burning incense or run a bath (reading your current book).
The idea is that you can recharge your batteries, but above all be able to train calmly and efficiently afterward.
Tip # 2: have good DJ headphones
It might sound obvious, but you need to have a good DJ headset in your possession.
Please note: I’m not talking about your iPhone headphones here… but about a real tool with which you will be able to detect all the details of your music.
As you will have understood, headphones are your only ally for your future DJ training.
So take the time to go and test it in-store. Also, ask your DJ friends (or music lovers) and specialist sellers for advice.
Thus, you can opt for a DJ headset adapted to your use and your wallet.
Know his DJ music, on the fingertips.
Tip # 3: Know your songs by heart
To help you in this challenge that is the DJ set, the best is to use simple songs in their composition.
Then try to know your songs like the back of your hand.
And there, I can imagine you already telling me ” why bother learning them by heart “?
If you know your songs by heart… you will be able to more easily distinguish the different elements of composition when you have both songs at the same time in your headphones.
Believe me, this is THE black spot for apprentice DJs.
Is the song I’m trying to tune, slower (or faster) than the one playing for the audience?
You’ll see… it’s a pretty new feeling when you first experience listening to headphones.
But by dint of practice and knowledge of your songs. You will facilitate your learning and progress more quickly.
Setting the pace means first of all avoiding digital aids.
Tip # 4: get rid of digital aids
Something else that you must ban if you want to make djing your job… it’s all these digital aids that you can find on your mixing software or your decks.
Nowadays, apprentice DJs “mix” with their eyes, but not with their ears!
Often this challenge is too difficult for them or… they are simply lazy.
But imagine that.
You no longer have access to these tools in the middle of the night. With your audience and the boss staring at you wondering if “you’re not screwing up the evening”.
How would you react? Are you going to say it’s your turntables’ fault?
No, no, and no!
You are paid to mix in the evening (not your DJ gear).
So train yourself by reducing these aids as much as possible.
Hide the BPM on your DJ decks or mixing software, keeping only the base BPM of the song in order to identify if it is mixable (or not) with the title that is playing for the audience.
Avoid looking only at your computer screen to synchronize the waveforms of the two tracks.
Disclaimer: If you are mixing just for your pleasure in your bedroom, you can put this advice aside.
Headphones, the DJ’s # 1 ally.
Tip # 5: educate your ears
I am aware of it (I also knew that) the setting by the ear is THE challenge of the apprentice DJ.
It is extremely difficult, the results are not immediate and you are quickly tempted to let go!
In addition, we have not received a very extensive hearing education. So, we are quickly tempted to use the senses which are more experienced (sight).
But do you know how I managed to match the tempo of my songs?
By training a little every day!
Even after a hard day’s work, I still found the courage to do my workouts.
So be patient, organized, and tenacious.
I got there like this, so you can get the same results.
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