How do you go about shopping for your new tracks? Like many professional DJs, it might be a case of responding to what the client wants. But if you’re doing your own thing and have an opportunity to showcase your style, there are ways to be smarter about your haul. Finding that banging track that nobody else has is worth the effort. Let’s check out a few ways to shop better.

Avoid the hype (sometimes)

Some tracks belong in the crate because they’re the happening thing. Better grab a few of those. But when you’re done utility shopping, it’s time to start exploring. Just because everyone else is spinning it, doesn’t mean that you’re obliged to. Get away from the ‘most played’ section and head down the charts. The aim is not always to find what the people want. The aim is also to find you.

Browse multiple sources

Browse different sites when shopping. Beatport will only get you so far. Spotify is great when the playlists are put together by tasteful humans. You can win on Soundcloud if you find the rare underground talent looking for more spins by DJs like you. While Traxsource and Juno only allow limited play time per track, they’re good places to find vintage reissues. The key is to avoid getting locked into one source of music and buying only what everyone else appears to be buying. This journey requires your own personality. 

Plan your timeline

Have an idea of exactly how many tracks you’re shopping for. Give yourself enough time to find good stuff before the event date. Always have a shortlist and a longer list of candidates. Both of these should be dynamic and in a state of being constantly refreshed. That way you don’t have to start from scratch each time. Listen to the tracks on repeat and make sure they give you some kind of kick, even after repeat listening. That way, you’ll enjoy them when you play live, and the audience will pick up on that energy. 

The most valuable thing the online stores offer you is the chart section. There you’ll have a bird’s eye view of what’s trending over time. Some see shopping as a chore, while others love it. Over time, you’ll develop a strategy for getting the tracks you need without wasting time on the duds. Remember to enjoy the journey - it’s not all about the glamor of stage time. Get in the zone with a membership with DJ Courses Online and succeed as a career DJ. 

John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ