Transitions & Challenges for djs


Whether we are transitioning from song to song or from one genre to another we must be mindful of how we are doing things. It’s best to make these transitions as smooth as possible. In the beginning when I first started out as a DJ, I had no clue what the DJ fundamentals were or sometimes how to use most equipment but I knew exactly what songs to play to please a crowd. I experienced a similar kind of situation last night at a club. Although we had fun and loved almost every song the DJ played, the transitions were so horrible that it made me cringe, even angry and not want to dance at times. I definitely understand that sometimes it may not be skill level but just the challenge of lack of experience with the equipment being used or even software malfunctions. For instance, I definitely have a weakness when it comes to spinning straight vinyl records. I can self consciously fumble my way through things, but it wouldn’t be my best performance. Also last night I did a set in Buenos Aires and had to use just CDJ’s, a Mixer, and a Flash Drive which I’m not not used to because I usually use them with the crutch we call Serato. I did good and wasn’t banging beats like tin cans or anything but I know that it wasn’t my strongest set. I’m always my worst critic when it comes to my sets haha. Mixing wasn’t the issue at all, it just took me a minute to figure out simple stuff like how you need to clear the memory bank to set the cue points for the next song. I would think my cue point was already set once I loaded the song like it is when using Serato but when I pressed the button it was the old song still saved in the memory bank so I’d have to scramble to reload my new song again. I did my best though using helpful tricks like scratching in & looping out of songs, as well as killing the lows, & choosing the right songs to blend to change between genres, etc. There is always a way to make a good transition but you have to really think about the bigger picture that you are trying to paint and not just flip through tracks. I take pride in this being my strength when it comes to being a Smooth Operator. My advice to you and my younger self is to be comfortable and confident in what you are doing. Before you think about playing The Best Song Ever at the hottest club in the city, think about how you are going to Finesse that track into the next and what will be your follow up. Trust me people are listening and even to the untrained ear it doesn’t sound good if you have an awkward moment of silence or are all over the place with your song selection. Take time to get to know different types of equipment so that you can be prepared when its time for Lights, Camera, Action. Don’t be prideful or scared to ask questions. Humble yourself and don’t be “Mr/Mrs Know It All”, that can be your worst enemy and cause you to bomb an important set. People come to the party to get Off The Wall & shake their Tambourine so don’t stress them out with your challenges and wack transitions. Be sure to make things flow together Easy Like Sunday Morning when you’re on the Nightshift.  

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