Planning a DJ Set or Routine – Inspiration & Ideas

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Planning a DJ Set or Routine – Inspiration & Ideas

Have you ever sat in front of your DJ equipment wondering where to start when planning a DJ set or routine? Do you feel like you keep making the same mixes repeatedly? Do you need some inspiration to help you start thinking creatively about music? We’re here to give you some starting points and help you get inspired!

Planning a DJ Set

When planning a DJ set then are multiple ways to get started! Depending on the music you enjoy mixing or the party you’re playing, there are many factors to consider. However, we have outlined 5 of our favourite starting points in the video below. Many of our own weekly DJ Mix videos have been created from one of these tips!

Want to learn more?

Tip #01 – Creating Mash-Ups & Layering Tracks Together

Listening to lots of music is one of the essential starting points to creating a solid mix. You need to know your music inside out! As you listen to music, try to pick out any isolated elements in the track; a vocal that sits nicely by itself or a groovy bassline. Maybe there is a funky drum section or a melody exposed from the rest of the song.

These are vital points to set hot cues. 


Because these sections of music have space around them, a melody that is by itself will likely sit in the middle and higher frequency EQ. This means there is room for the bass to sit under it. The lower frequencies are missing, so why not add them from another song?

This can be one of the most fun and creative ways to mix. You will naturally start building your mashups and DJ edits by combining different layers.
The next time you sit and listen to some of your latest downloads, try to pick out any elements that have space around them.

Free DJ Lesson – Where To Set Up Hot Cues

This free DJ lesson has been taken from our Rekordbox – Intermediate DJ Course.

Check out this course if you feel like you’re at this level and want to continue learning about your equipment’s performance features and how to start using them. If you use another software, check out our course selector on this page here.

Tip #02 – Mixing In Key

Harmonic mixing… it’s a prevalent talking point in the DJ industry.

What is mixing in key? What do we think about it?
Watch the video below to find out, or read this in-depth article here on what it is and what we think about applying it to your sets.

Tip #03 – Using Performance Features

TODAY, most DJ controllers and set-ups have a wide range of performance features available. From the essential hot cue’s to slicer mode, sampler to Pad FX and much more! Are you using your DJ equipment to its full potential? Have you thought about how to use the slicer mode creatively? Or, how to use the sampler to remix a song live? There are so many options, and this is something we focus heavily on in our DJ courses, especially the intermediate ones. We then take your learning further inside the DJ Hub, updated weekly with new advanced tutorials and mix breakdowns.

Tip #04 – Mixing Between Different Genres

This is an excellent way to show off your DJ skills and make a creative DJ mix/routine. By transitioning between different genres, you’re able to manipulate the energy level of your set and surprise the listener.

There are a few different ways this can be done. Check out the two videos below to learn how to perform this advanced technique!

Free DJ Lessons – Transition Mixing Between Genres

Example #1 – House to Drum & Bass (& back again!)

This video is taken from our XDJ Intermediate DJ Course.

Example #2 – Using SYNC to Transition

This example is taken directly from our DJ Transitions Course, which is full of unique ways to transition between all genres!

#Tip 05 – Just MIX!

Ok, so this isn’t precisely a mixing technique or free DJ lesson but just something you must never forget. Ideas are hard to pluck out of thin air. You need to mix regularly and play with your music. The more you mix, the more ideas will start to come. There is no way you’re going to be able to plan a DJ set or routine without getting on the decks and just mixing between songs.

Remember to have fun and not turn the DJ mix or routine into a stressful situation. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and enjoy the art and craft of being a DJ!

Thanks for reading, and let us know in the comments if you have any questions! Happy mixing!


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