Pro DJ Methods Explained

Learn exactly what techniques are being used in this mix, step by step!

In this article, founder and DJ tutor Jamie Hartley breaks down every step taken in this amazing transition. Mixing from one song to another with creativity and flair ensures you stand out as a DJ. Watch along as Jamie breaks down the steps he took in this mix, starting from the most simple techniques, working up to the most complicated!


Timing & Phrasing – Beginner Skill Level

The first step is to get the two tracks playing in phrase and time. Put simply, this means both tracks will start a new phrase at the same time. To aid this mix, Jamie has placed hot cues strategically in the tracks at the start of each phrase.

Starting the mix and listening in the headphones to perfect the beat match, Jamie then raises the faders to allow both tracks to build together. As the drop occurs, Jamie removes the outgoing track, leaving just the new track to drop.

You can learn more about timing and phrasing in our beginner DJ courses


Cutting & Using Effects – Intermediate Skill Level

Progressing from simple mixing, the next step includes the use of effects. Effects help add depth and impact to a mix, especially when combined with fader cuts.

Fader cutting enables the DJ to stab moments of the track into the mix, teasing the audience of what is to come. When combined with reverb or echo, the stab effect is dramatised further.

Professional DJ Techniques

Loop Tightening – Intermediate Skill Level

Just like fader cuts, looping can be used to dramatic effect in the mix. Shortening the loop creates a build-up effect. Adding this build-up to the mix as the tracks naturally build-up to the drop, we multiply the effect. Using this combination works to great effect!

Learn more techniques just like this in our intermediate range of online DJ courses!


Using Three Decks – Advanced Skill Level

Breaking away from the limitations of just the two tracks we are mixing, a third deck allows the DJ to bring new sounds and elements into the mix. This technique will require a controller or set up with access to three or four decks, such as the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000. In Jamie’s example, he has the acapella of Renegade Master loaded into the third deck. Learn how to make your own acapella’s in this guide!

Acapellas are great for this technique as they only contain the vocal, so no drums or instruments will clash in the routine.

Professional DJ Techniques

Acapella Chops – Advanced Skill Level

Thanks to the fact there are no instruments in the acapella that create clashes, the DJ is free to chop up the vocal using hot cues. Placing hot cues on the strongest words and syllables allows the DJ to easily create patterns. This effect, just like the fader stabs can be enhanced by adding effects!

Learn more techniques just like these in our advanced range of online DJ courses!