New Course Added: Music Production Level 1

New Course Added: Music Production Level 1

Let’s Get Familiar with Ableton Live.

Have you ever wondered what software tools do electronic music producers like Skrillex, Kaskade, or Diplo use to create those signature sounds and melodies? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s Ableton Live! We just added a new Ableton Live course to get you creating your own masterpieces, mashups, and remixes.

Unique Software

In this course, you'll learn about the capabilities of Ableton Live music production and live performance software from Ableton Live certified instructor, Thavius Beck. Ableton Live is a very unique software application that has steadily risen in popularity amongst producers, DJs, electronic musicians, and instrumentalists alike, thanks to its unique approach to music recording.

In Ableton Live, you can record using the standard DAW (digital audio workstation) approach of recording tracks into an arrangement window and mix using faders, but with the built-in Session view, the possibilities become endless. Session view allows you to view your music as "clips", which are audio/MIDI recordings (small or large) that you can stack together in various ways and combinations to unlock your creative potential and find sounds and musical phrases.


Meet the Instructor

We couldn't think of anyone better than Thavius Beck to take you through the software, guiding you through all of the key features and preferences so that you start making music like you've never made before.

Learn a New Skill

The skills you'll learn from this Ableton Live master will enable you to reach deep into the application and produce music like a professional. There's a reason why Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Skrillex, Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren, Diplo, Hot Chip, M83, and countless others have been producing with Ableton and Thavius will show you why!

Get in Touch

Discover the latest music-making methods and techniques at DJ Courses Online.


Why is My DJ Software Constantly Updating?

Why is My DJ Software Constantly Updating?

DJ tools and programs are constantly evolving. Ever since DJing first began, people have been expanding their own techniques and learning new ways to create sounds and mix tracks. However, some advancements are on a much larger scale than others. One of the biggest advances in music has been the creation of software programs solely focused on helping DJs create new music. These programs are able to give DJs insight into musical rhythms and help produce new sounds that were not possible with traditional turntable setups.

Keeping up with the latest DJ software updates can mean staying ahead of competitors.

However, there is a setback to this game-changing technology that DJs around the world must constantly struggle with. DJ software is constantly updating, changing the programs that musicians rely on daily. This sometimes causes issues when the changes make the program require more know-how from the user.

Sure, these changes can be minor tweaks in display, but they can also involve a complete overhaul of how the software works. In either case, DJs can be hard-pressed to keep up with these changes in the midst of their busy schedules.

At DJ Courses Online, we understand that software updates present constant challenges. That’s why we work to provide the most contemporary DJ online courses, with information on the latest updates reflected in our videos and our blogs. We also know that understanding the causes and effects of software updates can help DJs better prepare themselves for software changes, so we cater to the whole package.

What Causes DJ Software Updates?

No software is perfect, and many become familiar with the quirks and challenges of each program just by constant use. Some may even use these complications to their advantage by creating new sounds. However, updates may change the way a program functions, and not every DJ out there can just stick to their guns and get the hang of it. Knowing what may be causing the updates to your DJ software is the best way to stay prepared and roll with the punches.

  • Major Bugs: Good software companies will work to address the bugs affecting their programs. If you notice serious issues with your software and the company itself is known to be reliable, you can be sure to expect updates. The fix may be a small tweak or a major overhaul; you’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Continued Customer Complaints: Companies will also work to address complaints from customers, which can result in changes to the software. Whether it’s an issue with the layout or the functions of various tools, major complaints are usually answered eventually. Check message boards concerning your software to see if there are any trends in complaints. This will give you an idea of what to expect.
  • Changes in Company Management: The management of a software company has a large say in the functions of their programs. If there has been a turnover in management, the software may soon reflect the ideas and preferences of those newly in charge. Stay aware of how your favorite software company is being managed so that you can feel comfortable about the future.
  • New Software Trends: No company wants to be left behind when it comes to trends that are currently dominating the marketplace. If you notice that longstanding software, or new programs, are changing their appearances or functions to suit current trends, be prepared for updates. It’s vital for a company to keep up to date with the mainstream. While sometimes changes can feel fast and loose, others are gradual and well-expected if you know what to look for.

Whatever programs you are using, the easiest way to stay current is through the help of reliable DJ online courses, such as those that we provide here at DJ Courses Online. We work hard to do all of the digging for you and make sure to cover the whole board

Staying in the Know with DJ Online Courses

At DJ Courses Online, not only do we have informative blogs, but we are committed to providing every DJ with vital online video courses that reflect the latest changes to software. If you have experienced an update that changes your program’s function, expect our DJ online courses to have the easy-to-understand explanation that you need to get going again. Sign up today or contact us online to find out more about our courses.

Expert online DJ courses can be the key to learning what the newest software updates mean for you.

Five Ways Online DJ Courses Can Help You Create a Signature Sound

Five Ways Online DJ Courses Can Help You Create a Signature Sound

The greatest DJs around the world can be identified by their fans with just a few notes. Even when hearing a brand new track, listeners know who’s behind the music by identifying signature sounds and styles. A successful DJ knows exactly how to expand his or her style while still retaining the qualities that will tie into their catalogue of work. 

Unique DJ sounds are possible with online video tutorials.

There are DJs around the world looking to make it big, their sights set on becoming signature artists. If you are looking to become recognizable and create a massive following, you’ll need to separate yourself from the pack. Crafting a signature sound is the key to setting yourself apart. For many aspiring DJs, learning new techniques and expanding their own software knowledge through online DJ courses is a simple, yet effective way to be able to create that trademark sound. 

Entering the Next Level Every DJ has to start somewhere. While you may have inherent creativity, you most likely won’t be able to create quality tracks without boosting your skills through online DJ courses first. Here are five ways that courses from DJ Courses Online can give you the tools you need in order to make great music.

1. Expand Your Knowledge: Even if you are an experienced DJ, you may have several areas where you are lacking in experience, or even understanding—especially when it comes to new software updates. Online DJ courses can expose you to new ideas and techniques, allowing you to delve into new territories you may have otherwise steered clear from or been unaware of.

2. Turn the Basics into Second Nature: If you are trying to be as creative as possible right off the bat, you may have skipped learning many DJ basics. By understanding the basics of mixing and various fundamental techniques, you can create a solid base from which you can creatively build new sounds later.

3.  Broaden Your Techniques: If you only know a few techniques, it can be extremely hard to combine sounds and think creatively while DJing. The more you know, the more tools you will have in your belt to craft a sound that is unlike anything heard before.

4. Make Software Work for You: Being a DJ today means having access to a large array of software. It can be confusing to use at first, but it ultimately aids in the music-making process. Don’t let these great tools pass you by. By learning how to use new software programs and their complex processes, you can use them to push your sounds to new horizons.

5. Experiment with Sounds: Once you develop a broad, deep knowledge of DJing fundamentals through our varying online DJ courses, you’ll be able to experiment more than ever. The more time you give yourself to experiment, the more you’ll be able to decide which sounds you want to incorporate into tracks as you distinguish yourself from other DJs.

Finding Success with Online DJ Courses

At DJ Courses Online, we are dedicated to providing the most in-depth knowledge possible, and all through easy-to-understand online video tutorials.

With our help, you can have everything you need to rival the best DJs around the world and really make a name for yourself. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our courses, excellent customer service, and history of success.

Finding Success with Online DJ Courses

At DJ Courses Online, we are dedicated to providing the most in-depth knowledge possible, and all through easy-to-understand online video tutorials.

With our help, you can have everything you need to rival the best DJs around the world and really make a name for yourself. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our courses, excellent customer service, and history of success.

Whatever genre you work in, signature sounds are possible through continued learning.

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to Virtual DJ

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to Virtual DJ

In this free DJ tutorial, you’ll get to know the layout and key settings of Virtual DJ with a tour of the software. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the features and preferences available to you. The best part is that the software is free and available for download on their website at

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

Alright in this tutorial we are going to go over Virtual DJ, give you a quick overview of the layouts and some of the setup functions and just the overall features that this really impressive and someone underrated software for DJ’ing can do. So, as you look at the main screen, you will see the traditional two deck layout, and in the middle we have our mixer with 3-band EQ as well as volume for each side, and a cross fader. And if we look a little closer at the actual deck itself you will see that you have the turntable with the transport functions, sync functions, pitch control and there is also a section for effects, the filter sampler, the loop section and yes some hot keys up here. So moving on we see down below we have four tabs one for the browser, sampler, effects and the record function. So the browser is where you can arrange your tracks and find your tracks to load onto your decks. 

So what’s cool about Virtual DJ is that it reads crates from other software including iTunes, Serato and Traktor so it’s a ready to go if you are trying to migrate from different DJ software. Right here I have a little folder with couple of demo tracks today and you can load it just by dragging it onto the track and let’s just take a listen. Up here you can jump to different parts and the track is bringing it to the beginning, adjust control is over here, pitch bend. Effects are here and you can select from a variety of effects and I will engage it by clicking on it and there are two parameter controls and which change depending on the effect that we are using and to turn it off click on it again. There’s dual high pass, low pass filter. And a feature that I really like on Virtual DJ is that you can control adjust the key independent of the tempo. 

So this is really good if you’re trying to mix and key and get different tracks to lock in. There is also a keylock so if you want to change the tempo but the not the pitch you have that as well. As far as looping we have the auto-loop functions which you can also bring down to really fast speeds and there is also manual looping where you set in and out points on the fly like so. Cue points are triggered up here. And there is also a sampler and you can just few one sample to trigger as they you have a go through that you like to use all the time just leave it on top or you can go the sample tab and you can load up even more samples and just to give you an example there is a siren, that’s one sample. So the sampler can play either in a loop mode like so and you can actually adjust the size of loop with this arrows.

You can also switch the modes or just non-loop mode where it will just play one time all the way through. You have volume controls for each of your samples and another feature I like is that you can record samples on the fly of the deck that’s playing. So if I had to play this and let’s go to an empty sample spot and now you saw me just record that and we will hear. So that’s the sample I just recorded on the fly which is really nice feature. So under effects you can access the different parameters and controls for a specific effect. And you can customise it with the sound you want and you can also assign them to either deck 1 or deck 2 from this window. But you could also do it from in the actual deck itself. And under record this is where you can setup to record your mix to either burn into a CD or upload to share with the rest of the world over the internet. 

So another cool feature inside a Virtual DJ is that it comes with built-in video mixing. Under the video tab here you can see two different decks to put videos on and you can link the video cross fader to the audio cross fader or you can have it run independently. You can also play videos and have music already embedded on it or you can just take the video and have it go over the songs that you are playing on the audio decks. Virtual DJ also has a DVS control so you can use time-coded vinyl or CDs if you prefer that. Going under the configuration setting you can see that it supports up to six decks. I am going to show you the four decks layout and you can see over here. So depending on how you like to DJ you can add multiple audio sources via the config setups through the settings. Now as far as formats Virtual DJ can handle a large variety of audio and video codecs from AAC, MP3, WAV, AIF to MPEG video, MOVs and Flash so the whole list is under settings.

You can see that it’s pretty impressive list so you won’t run into many issues if you have multiple formats for your media. Now when it comes to using a controller Virtual DJ supports a large number of them. You can see from this list if I scroll down there are pretty much every popular controller on the market. And I found that even if you don’t see yours in list in here it still can possibly be supported. So don’t let that stop you from trying out this software. So overall Virtual DJ is a very well thought out DJ software that gets you the ability to mix audio and video its DVS control has nice effects section, a sampler and I do like the fact that you can use multiple decks and it reads crates from other software’s. So if you are coming from Serato or Traktor the transition will not be that difficult.

Free DJ Lesson: Open Fader Scratches

Free DJ Lesson: Open Fader Scratches

In this free DJ tutorial, you’ll explore scratching techniques that involve utilizing the fader’s open position. The sounds you produce from these scratch DJ effects can be used rhythmically over the music in your track list, open or close songs, or transition into new songs.

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

Alright, so in this tutorial we are going to go over the Flare scratch which is an open fader scratch. So what that means as an open fader scratch is that the cross fader starts in the middle or on the position, meaning that sound is passing through. In the more basic scratches most of them started with the fader closed with them, sound not passing through. So to say, the Flare and its sister scratches are similar, in that they start with the fader open. So what that means is, sound will, you play the sound with the fader open and then you execute the scratch. In this case I am just going to do the basic back and forth on the record, and I am going to, in the middle of this movement, I am going to split that sound into two sounds, by clicking the fader.
I am going to click it once and then click it a second time to close position at the very end of the sound. So just watch carefully. At the end of the sound I leave the fader closed and stop the record, and as I pull back the record to the starting position I move the fader back to the middle. So you hear that backspin. So one more time I am going to, step 1 is to release the record, click the fader once, and then one more time at the end of the forward motion of the record. Stop the record, pull the record back and open the fader again. So just watch carefully while I do this a few times. I start slow and then go faster as I go on. So we should be getting is three sounds out of this scratch. The first sound as I release the record, the second as I click and turn it back on, and the third as I go back. So 1,2,3….1,2,3….1,2,3… 1,2,3.. 1,2,3…. You can do this also backwards instead of starting with the record on the forward motion, you could start on the backward motion, the same idea applies. So we moved this sound to the end, and I split the backward motion into two, and then release the record, and move the fader back to the open position.
The genius of this scratch is that you are creating three sounds by only moving the fader twice, so that’s why these Flare scratches when they came out were revolutionary because it made you sound a lot faster on the cut than you could with previous close fader scratches. 
Alright so the next type of open fader scratch I want to show you is called or known as the Orbit, and what that is is you do the same motion on the forward scratch as you do on the backward motion of the scratch. So again you start with the fader open and this time I am going to click the fader once, and leave it back in the open position as I release the record. That’s the forward motion. The backward motion, same thing as I pull back, I am going to click the fader once and then return it to the open position.
So forward, backward, forward, backward. So with this one with two fader movements I am actually getting four sounds instead of three that we got on the other scratch. So I am just going to do this slowly and then pick up the speed so you can just hear it progress from slow to fast. Notice the four sounds. I count those okay, 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3.4..… 
Alright so the final scratch I want to show is also a variation on the Orbit, but this one includes two clicks per motion. So on the four motions you are going to click the fader twice as opposed to once and on of the backward mostly you can do the same. So again start with the fader in the middle, as I move the record forward I am going to click the fader twice or turn it on and off twice, giving me three sounds. On the backward motion we will do the same thing, forward, backward. So with this we are getting six sounds. 
So let’s review the three scratches, there open fader scratches and in the family of Flare scratches.
The first one is just the simple Flare, start with the fader in the middle, move the record forward, click once to get just put that sound to 2, and then close it. That’s the first part of the scratch. And then the pull back, move the fader back to the middle as I pull back giving you three sounds. 
Next is the single click Orbit. So start with the fader in the middle. Move to the beginning of your sound, as I release the record on the forward motion, I will click the record, click the fader once, and move it back to the open position. Stop the record and as I pull back I will do the same thing.
And then finally it’s the double click Orbit. So same thing. Start with the fader open, go to the beginning of your sound, and instead of clicking once I am going to click twice on the forward and the backward motion. So let’s listen to those over a beat, always practice to a beat to get your timing down and also start off slow and build the speed over time.

Free DJ Lesson: Serato DJ Slicer

Free DJ Lesson: Serato DJ Slicer

In this DJ lesson, we cover the Slicer feature in Serato DJ. The Slicer, originally developed for the Novation Twitch and Serato ITCH, is a performance feature in Serato DJ, designed to slice up a section of your track into 8 slices which are then controlled using the 8 performance pads on your controller. It’s also available for the Vestax VCI-380, Reloop Terminal Mix 2, the Pioneer DDJ-SX and the forthcoming Numark NS7 II & Pioneer DD-SR / SP-1 controllers..

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

In this tutorial we are going to go over the slicer feature in Serato DJ. Up until real recently it was only available in certain specific hardware, but they just opened it up Serato Remote which is an App for the IPhone and the IPad Mini, so a lot more people now have access to this. So the first thing you want to do before you use this feature is, you would want to make sure your grid is set properly. Now the quick way to do that is to turn on the add-a-grid function and then find the first downbeat of the track and once you find that click on set. And it will automatically set the beat grid to your track. Keep in mind you can fine tune the grid if the automatic grid detection does not quite work to your liking. 
Alright now once your grid is set, we can now engage the slicer function. So the way you do that is you want to open up Serato remote on your IPad and to the slicer tab. Now what the slicer does is take a section of your song and divides it into 8 different slices, which you can trigger at will, while the song itself continues playing in the background. Now you can play these slices in any order that you want, creating interesting new rhythms and combinations. Now right now I am adjusting the length of the retrigger when I press the slice you can set it to be as slow as 1 beat, to a half beat, to a quarter beat and an eighth of a beat as well. 
Now the current mode of the slicer I am in the song keeps progressing down the track picking new sections to slice-up. If you want the song to stay on a particular section you can turn on the loop function and you will see it turns blue now indication you are the in the loop mode of the slicer. And the play head will just keep playing and cycling through that section. And in either mode you can select the length of section that is being sliced. Like right now I just went from 16 beats to 8 beats as well as adjusting the retrigger rate. So I am just going to go and play around with different slices in this section adjusting the retrigger rate and even the length of the actual loop itself. 
Forgive me if everything seems to be going a little bit fast right now. But this is one of those things you just got to get your hands on and you will really understand it right away once you get it all loaded-up. And here we go switching back into normal mode, non-loop mode. And it takes a different selection of the track that is now being sliced. Retriggers it to a quarter note right now. Now this is really a unique feature to the Serato DJ., and I kind-of liken it to a more advance lubberly, function. So just a review of what the slicer does. Is that it takes a section of the song from as long as 16 beats to as little as 2 beats and slices that section into 8 different parts which you can then trigger in any order you want and you can also set how quickly it will retrigger a slice from as slow as 1 beat to as fast as 1/8th of a beat. 
And add to that in the background the original song still plays while you still doing you are slicing so that you will never lose the original timing of the track itself. So those of you out there who do have access to IPad or a IPad mini I highly recommend downloading and purchasing the Serato Remote App and then using it with Serato DJ accessing the slicer function.

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to Scratching

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to Scratching

In this free DJ lesson, our DJ Courses Online instructor introduces you to the basics of scratching. Even if you’ve scratched before, this is a good guide for reviewing the fundamentals. These are critical to being able to scratch. Scratching can be added tastefully to supplement a song in a live performance, used as a solo, or in between. Just remember to really master each technique before attempting to perform live.

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

Alright, in this tutorial we are going to go over basic scratching.  So, this is our introduction to scratching and I am going to show you four different scratches.  They are the baby scratch, the forward scratch, the backward scratch and the transform scratch.  So, I am going to go over each of these individually and then we are going to put them together and you will see how simple scratching can really be and it is really all about the combinations that you come up with around these four different scratches.  And you will see that the possibilities are infinite.
Alright, so let us start off with the baby scratch.  The baby scratch is just simply rubbing the record forward and backward over a sound.  No faders involved in this one, so you want to leave the fader in the on position, meaning letting the sound pass through.  As you can see I can change the speed and the timing at which I move the record to create different rhythms and different pitches.  So, while this may be the simplest of all scratches, there are still a lot of things you can do with the sound depending on how you move it forward and backward.
Alright, so this next scratch is called the forward scratch and in this one, we only want to hear the forward motion of the sound.  So, you want to start with the fader closed, meaning no sound can pass through, and the record cued to the start of the sound.  Then you are going to open the fader, meaning move it to the on position, release the record, hear the sound play, close the fader and then pull the record back.  As you can see, you can also use the input fader, since it does have the same function as the cross fader and that it allows sound to either be heard or not heard.  As you get more comfortable with this motion you can go faster and faster to create different rhythms and variations on this forward scratch.  Also, how you push the record forward can change the type of sound you get.  So, let us just review this slowly one more time.
So, the next scratch is the backward scratch and as the name indicates instead of hearing the forward motion this time we want to only hear the backward motion.  The idea behind this scratch is essentially the same, it is just now the fader is closed during the forward motion of the scratch and opened as the record is moving backward.
So, let us take a listen as I combine forward and backward scratches.  Also, pay close attention to how I use my record hand to alter the pitch of the sound.  It is a very important part of scratching in terms of added style and variation to how you pull off these different cuts.  Those are some backward scratches.  And here are some forward and backward scratches alternating.
So, next I am going to combine the baby scratch and these forward and backward scratches, just so you can see how just with these three alone you can create some interesting scratch combinations.
Alright, now the fourth scratch, we are going to go over is the transform scratch and that works by letting the record go and using the cross fader to chop the sound on and off.  So that can work on the forward and backward motion of the record and the more comfortable you can get the faster you can get on the fader giving you a faster sounding scratch.  Again see how the motion of the record hand also can affect the sound and give you a new variation.
So, it is really important to start off slow when learning of these new scratches.  Really understand each of the motions, the relationship between the fader hand and the record hand and don’t go faster than you should.  That was one of the biggest mistakes I used to make was I would try to go too fast on a new scratch and it ends up taking longer to learn it when you do it that way.  So, I encourage you to start off slow, do a lot of repetitions and eventually you will gain the coordination and the confidence to go faster.
So, the next step is to be able to do this over music and over a beat.  So I am going to put on a drum break and I am going to go over these scratches and just come up with all kinds of combinations using these four scratches to create a nice little scratch composition.  So, these are just baby combinations right now, a lot you can do with just the baby scratch.
Alright, backward and forward.  Some backward scratches and some transforms.  That is some transforming on the forward and backward motion of the record.  Now, you can also use the volume input fader to give you some cool fade-in and fade-out effects while doing a baby scratch.  Some forwards on the volume fader.
And that is the intro to scratching.  Remember the key is to start out really slow on each scratch and also to practice as much as you can because the more repetitions you get in, the better you will become.

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to DJing with Ableton Live

Free DJ Lesson: Introduction to DJing with Ableton Live

Check out our latest free DJ lesson on DJ Courses Online, the leading online DJ school. In this video you’ll learn how to DJ with Ableton Live. You’ll learn about a number of Ableton’s DJing features like warping audio/song to change the tempo of songs (with or without affecting the pitch) – this is helpful for remixes. You’ll also learn about mixing, crossfading, and more.

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

Alright, in this tutorial we are going to go over basic DJ-ing in Ableton Live in their session view. Now, as you can see I have two tracks set up right now in live, and you want to think of each track as a virtual deck or virtual turntable. So, once you have that set up you want to drag an audio clip onto the first deck and let us take a listen to it. Once that is loaded and you can hear it the next thing you want to do is warp the track. And what warping does is it beat maps or beat grades the track out and allows you to play it at whatever the master global tempo is. As you could see right here, it is set at one ten. So once a clip is warped properly it will play at whatever the global tempo is set at.
Now the quickest way to warp a track is you want to turn on warp and then you want to find the very first downbeat of the track. In this case, it is at the very beginning of the song. From there you want to right click and then you want to click warp from here. And if I zoom out, I am going to undo that and show you again. You will see that the waveform will shift, so that the downbeats move to where the corresponding bar numbers are as you could see right there. Now that this is warped, if I change the master global tempo so will the play back of this clip. It is really fast, and I can go really slow with it.
So, let us put it back to 110, and let us go and do this for a second track on deck two. So again, load the track. Let us take a listen, and let us zoom in a little bit, turn on the warp real quick, find the first down beat and right click, and warp from here. And you can see that the waveform shifted. Let us do that again, zoomed out so you could see that again. Right click, warp from here and you can see how it shifted and let us go and adjust the master tempo again if you are in this one play formed a master tempo.
Alright, so let us do this for two more tracks. Here is a third track same process. Here it is unwarped. So let us zoom in, find the first downbeat and right click and select warp from here, and let us take a listen to that. So, now let us do this for a fourth track in the same process. So that is unwarped, zoom in, find the first downbeat, turn on warp, right click and warp from here and let us listen to this. Now if you look at the clip inspector under the warp settings, you will see that the native tempo of the clip is listed once it has been warped. So this one is around 95 bpm at its normal speed and it is now playing at what the master tempo is set at.
So, the next thing I want to show you is the retrigger of the clip setting right here in the top left corner. Right now it is set to one bar, which means that whenever I trigger a clip, it won’t start playing until the next bar marker is reached. Now, you can adjust that to be smaller upto 132nd note or you can go to nine where it is just basically free hand and it will just retrigger as fast as I can click on it, which you can hear over here. If I were to switch it to let us say an eighth note, it will only retrigger as fast as every eighth note. So, if I try to click faster it won’t let……it won’t start it until the next eighth note is hit. Sixteenth note, let’s me go a little bit faster and quarter note will be slower. This is about as fast as I can retrigger on the quarter note. Now, this is really intended to keep you from triggering clips off beat. So, for this tutorial we will keep it at one bar, since we are just mixing full songs.
So, now we have everything warped. We can now start mixing these tracks. So I am going to start with the first clip on deck one and I am going to have the volume turned down on the fader for deck two. So I will only hear deck one playing. Now I just triggered a clip on deck two, I am going to slowly bring up the volume fader on that track and you will hear the songs mix and I will slowly fade out on deck one. So, there you have a basic blended mix, sort of like you would do on two turn tables and now I am going to slowly bring in the next clip on deck one and bring up that volume fader and now I will trigger the last clip on deck two and slowly bring up the fader there while brining down the fader on deck one.
So, in this example we were mixing tracks using the volume input faders, but if you wanted a more traditional DJ feel, Ableton does have a cross fader function. As you can see the A and B down here under each track corresponds to a different side of the cross fader. So I am going to set deck one to A and deck two to B. And you will see the cross fader down here under the master fader and if you take a listen as I move the fader you will hear deck one only, and then you will hear a blend as the fader goes to the middle. And then as I move it all the way to the right, you will be left hearing only deck two. So, check this out. So, there is a simple cross fade. Let us bring it back to deck one and back to deck two.
Now, one thing I notice is that the clip levels are a lot different between clips. So, you can adjust the volume of each clip using the volume fader within the clip inspector. If you look over here; let me turn this one up. Get a little bit closer. Just let me turn this one down a little bit to the last and this one up just a little bit more. Now, let us check out the songs on deck one. This one is a little bit louder. So let me bring up the second clip to get closer to it in level. So, that is pretty close, you can always fine-tune it to get it a little closer, but for now that should do the job.
Now, as you can probably hear and see by looking at the master channel, this overall mix is clipping or going into the red. It is a little too high. So you can turn this down over all or what I like to do also is put a limiter onto the master track. And what this does is it prevents any audio from going past a certain point. And the point in this case is going past zero, because that is where it starts to clip. So, you immediately hear a difference now as the audio is prevented from clipping. Now, you still don’t want to push too hard into the limiter, you want to keep the levels at a reasonable level, but just in case you lose track of your levels while you are in the mix it is a good idea to put this limiter on the master track.
Alright, so now we have got our levels set and we have got our tracks warped. We can now start to play with some effects to enhance our mixing. One of my favorite plug-ins that I like to use is a free third party plug-in called the QB Filter. And you can set it up to be a dual high pass and low pass filter. So, I will put one on this first track and I will switch the mode to dual low pass-high pass. Now set it to point five, which means it will be neutral meaning no filtering is going on. And let us just take a listen to it as I moved the fader. So, it is a low pass filter when you move to the left and then a high pass when you move to the right. I also like to put the filter resonance to about point three, and what that does is, it gives you a little bit of a frequency boost where the filter is set, giving you a little more pronounced effect. So, let us go ahead and duplicate this on the second track so we have a filter on both dual low pass-high pass, set it to point five, and we will go to about point three on the resonance. So, just listen as I filter one out, it is kind of a cool way to transition between two songs as opposed to just using a cross fader or volume levels.
So now I am going to show you how to incorporate a send effect into the mix. As you can see I have two effects busses on the right. And I am going to drag the simple delay on to the first one right here. I am going to link the left and right channel of the delay and set the timing to four. I am going to make it 100% wet and we will turn the feedback up a little bit, so it gets some repeats on our delay. Now, when I play the track on deck one, if I turn up the level on send-A, you will hear the delay kick in. Turn the delay up a little bit more or the send up a little bit more to give us an even louder delay. And you can do this same thing for deck two. Let me quickly just move this filter to a neutral position, and now I am going turn the send up on deck one, echo out to deck two. And I am going to do a little combination of sending deck two to the delay and then filtering the track, so what you heard now is a filtered delay.
So, that is a basic introduction into using Ableton Live as a DJ interface. What is really powerful about Ableton in this capacity is that you can really have an unlimited amount of virtual decks, if you want to layer more and more sounds and songs together. You also have a multitude of VST and audio unit plug-ins that you can incorporate as effects. And in future tutorials, we will go over incorporating MIDI controllers and virtual instruments to further enhance your DJ set.

Free DJ Lesson: Complextro Ableton Live

Free DJ Lesson: Complextro Ableton Live

Check out our latest free DJ lesson on DJ Courses Online, the leading online DJ school. In this lesson we review follow actions and legato mode in Ableton Live.

For those who are audio impaired, here’s a full text transcript of the lesson:

Hey so today we’re going to go for Follow Actions and Legato Mode in Ableton Live, so brief review on a follow action, a Follow Action basically is an instruction that you want a clip to do after it finishes playing for a predetermined amount of time.  For instance if I want this first clip up here to go into the second clip after two bars, I can select it and go down to my clip inspector and I make sure the launch settings are up, you can show them using this button right here and I want it to happen after two bars, so enter two for when the Follow Action engages and the Follow Action I want is next meaning it that will play the next clip in the series.  The probability that will happen is down here, so let’s set it to one, if it’s set at zero it mean that it won’t happen at all and a positive number in this case will mean that it will happen a 100% of the time, so let’s take a listen to that, you’ll notice after two bars it’s goings switch to the next clip.
So that’s a basic follow action.  Now an advance mode in Follow Action is called Legato and what Legato does is if you noticed in this first example when it switched to the next clip, it started the next clip from the very beginning of the clip at bar one.  Legato Mode what it does which is different is that instead of starting the next clip at the very beginning it will start it where the last one left off.  So this first clip we played for two bars instead of starting the next clip at bar one, it would start the next clip at bar three, let’s take a look at it again with Legato Mode engaged, so let me just select the clips and make sure that’s turned on and if you keep an eye on the wave forms and the curser on the wave forms in the sample editor window you’ll see where the cursor picks up when it switches over, so let’s take a listen.
As you can see the second clip picked up from bar three and that’s what happens when you’re in Legato Mode.  Now using Legato Mode you can create all kind of interesting musical combinations and arrangements that are automatic and let’s do that for all of these clips in this series, but before I do that, let’s make sure that these are all in the same key, this loop pack I have, I luckily names the key in the file name so it’s, these first five are on the key of F, this second to last one is in the key of G, so if you know your music, you know that the G is two semitones higher than F, so if I select the clip go down to my clip inspector and go to transpose, move it down two semitones, that means it will put it in the key of F, do the same thing for this one which according to the file name is in the key of E and we know that the key of E is one semitone lower than the key of F, so let’s select it and move it up one semitone to get it to the key of F.
So now let’s apply our Follow Action to all of these, I’m going to select all of them, hold down shit and click on the first one and then the last one and it should select all of them for you, go down and make sure Legato Mode is engaged, we want our Follow Action to happen, for this first example let’s just do it after one bar and let’s just do next for now just to keep it simple on the probability of 100% happening.  Now let’s take a listen to that.  So are you see it cycled through all of those, every bar, but instead of starting each clip from the top it started them from where the last one left off.  Let’s do that again but this time lets change it from happening every one bar to every half bar just to see how much crazier it can get.  Make sure select all of them and let’s listen to this.  And let’s even go quicker than that, let’s do it every quarter note, so you can see a really fast switch between the clips.
So that’s cool, we got all these clips playing in order every quarter note, what if we were to randomize it though, instead of it playing predictably one after the other, we could randomize it to give us an even crazier musical combination, you can do that and follow actions by selecting all of them and changing the Follow Action from next to other, other means that it will play any other clip after the Follow Action is engaged and the difference between other and any mode down here is that, any mode could conceivably also play the current clip again, meaning retrigger it and we don’t want that, we want it to go to a different clip every time the Follow Action is engaged.  So let’s set that to other and then let’s do it every three quarter notes and let’s take a listen to that.  Let’s add some drums to that.
And just for fun I got three drum loops here, I’m going to add a simple Follow Action, not Legato but just one so I want these drums to cycle through each other under these different drum loops.  Select them all, let’s do it after every two bars and I just want a simple one, so I want it to be next and then a 100% probability of happening and let’s take a listen to that.  So that sounds pretty cool, what we can do next is actually record what’s randomly being triggered by these Follow Actions and hopefully maybe we can capture something that we actually want to use over and over again, so the way you do that is, basically just hit record here in your transport and let’s take a listen.  So as you can see here in the arrangement window we have recorded our Follow Actions and it is a random pattern all throughout, it’s a cool way in case something actually caught your ear as something that you actually really liked as far as an arrangement and a loop, you can always go and extract it, and build a song off of it.  So that’s Legato Mode in Ableton Live, it’s a very powerful feature and I hope you guys all use it to your creative advantage.

Sign up for a membership to DJ Courses Online to view more DJ lessons covering all DJ topics including SeratoTraktor, AbletonMixed in Key and more!

Stop struggling as a musician and learn how to DJ once and for all

Stop struggling as a musician and learn how to DJ once and for all

Anyone that has ever tried to master a new skill, even learning how to DJ, will tell you about plateaus. Plateaus are those times where even though you keep working hard, persevering, and shedding your blood, sweat, and tears you just can’t seem to make progress, whether it be at work, in the gym, or your hobby.

I’ve experienced plateaus many times in my life. In 2005 I was living in France and was trying to learn French. There would be times where things would just click; all the sudden I would find myself being able to communicate much more effectively with people. I would make huge leaps in my skills very quickly and be able to talk about subjects where I before I had lots of problems.

Then other times I would experience the exact opposite. I would feel like my abilities hadn’t improved in months. I would still get stuck on the same vocab, or have the same difficulties in certain subjects. It was extremely frustrating. “I’m studying hard every day. Why am I stuck? I feel stupid!” I would think to myself.

This has happened in other areas of my life too, from lifting weights in the gym, to playing sports in high school, to learning web design, mechanics, marksmanship, and any other skill I’ve tried to master. It can be frustrating but it’s just part of the learning process.

Whenever I’ve been stuck in a plateau there are two things that have always helped me smash through them and reach the next peak.

First is simply patience and determination. Perseverance. Like they say, when the going gets tough the tough get going. Don’t let yourself get discouraged, just keep pushing through. Realize that the plateau won’t last forever and while other people might lose heart and fall away from the pursuit, if you keep pushing forward your hard work will eventually pay off and you’ll reach the next level.

This happened all the time while I was learning French. When the going got tough, many of my classmates would take their foot off the gas. They’d start hanging out with more English speakers, spending less time studying, and making it easier on themselves. I’d start studying more grammar, literally read the dictionary, and spend more time around my French friends immersed in the language. I admit I was a bit of a nerd, but by the end of the year I spoke fluently and was able to go several months without speaking a word of English.

I 100% believe in that piece of advice yet the second thing I’m about to say is kind of contradictory. To break through plateaus you should try something different. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This means that if you keep doing a certain action but the results don’t ensue, quit! Find a new action that works. Trying something new might provide that creative spark, that extra push, that helps you break through your plateau.

If you’re learning how to DJ and have been struggling through a plateau, I’d like to share something that might give you the chance to try something new. It’s our online DJ school and lets you study under expert DJs.

Most people I know learn DJing by teaching themselves, by reading DJ magazines and by copying their favorite musicians. Online DJ classes is a new idea but I think it might be just the thing to help you break through plateaus and reach the next level of your DJ skills. If you’re ready to step your game up, take a look today.

How to become a DJ that mesmerizes the entire dance floor

How to become a DJ that mesmerizes the entire dance floor

A few months ago I went to watch my little brother play in a high school football game. As we walked into the stadium Michael Jackson’s Thriller came on the sound system. That song is nearing 30 years old yet all these years later, as soon as it hit people’s ears, everyone had a smile on their face and started dancing. Even if it was in subtle ways; I spotted parents tapping their feet or almost imperceptibly bouncing their shoulders. Even for a metalhead like me that song is timeless and just gets inside your body.

The reason it does that is because even if you’re not into electronic music, even if you’re one of those parents who is embarrassed to bust too flashy of a move, it’s part of human nature to dance. It’s ingrained in us and since the dawn of time dancing has be a fundamental part of what it means to be human.

The next time you’re at a sporting event or even the grocery story- any crowded place that plays music- watch what happens to people when a song with a great beat comes across the speakers. The beat starts manifesting itself in people’s bodies in funny little ways. They start tapping a finger. Their head nods ever so slightly. It’s like the music seeps into your body and as strict and stoic as you might be, the tune will find some way to make your body move as it escapes. It’s like a kinetic parasite.

That’s exactly why I love being involved in electronic music. Say what you want about it, but it’s a style that resonates with people.

It’s not uncommon to hear people criticize electronic music. How many times have you heard a rapper crack jokes about techno, or rockers quip that they’re not real performers because all they do is push buttons? The truth is that like it or not, EDM speaks to that timeless human aspect in us.

There’s part of our DNA that remembers what it was like to be caveman, pounding out percussions on sticks and logs and creating primal music with whatever would make a sound when you hit it. When the electronic drum and bass hits your ears it awakens that genetic memory and you can’t help but dance along. Sure a ripping guitar solo or a complex melody is a beautiful thing to, but it’s hard to argue against a catchy drumline or some awesome percussions.

The point of all of this is that you shouldn’t let anyone dissuade you from pursuing learning how to DJ. No matter what anyone says it’s a fantastic style of music to learn, and on a primal level it’s an amazing style to perform live for people.

If this makes you think you’d like to learn how to DJ, a fantastic place to start is our online DJ school where expert DJs teach you their craft right in the comfort of your own home. It’s by far the easiest way to get started today.

Want to learn how to DJ but don’t have a lot of free time? Here’s one fantastic solution

Want to learn how to DJ but don’t have a lot of free time? Here’s one fantastic solution

Have you ever heard of the ten thousand hour theory? It says that in order to become an expert in something you need to invest ten thousand hours. Really it’s just a fancy way of saying that if you want something- to get great at an activity, to master a skill, to acquire knowledge- you have to work hard. It’s a great message and I’ll tell you how it applies to learning how to DJ.

In today’s world people always want the quick fix. Just look at the infomercials advertising the latest weight-loss pill or ab-sculpting device. In the era of something-for-nothing, it’s an important lesson that if you want something you have to be willing to make the investment. Put your money where your mouth is.

At the same time though I hope you’re doing some math in your head and asking yourself “10,000?! Really?!” By working 40 hours per week, the average American spends 2,000 hours a year at work. That means by using this logic, if you treated your hobby as a full time job it would take you five years to become an expert in it!

Does that mean that unless you treat your side pursuit as a second job you have no hope of becoming an expert? Does that mean the waitress can’t start a consulting business on the side? Does that mean the cubicle-jockey can’t launch a successful blog on nights and weekends?

There’s a growing group of people, many who identify as “life hackers”, who would say of course not. The ten thousand hour believers embody hard work, but life hacking is all about working smart. They constantly ask themselves “How can we maximize our time to make the greatest progress? How can we use minimal inputs to achieve maximal outputs?” That’s just a complicated way of saying how do you make the most of what you’ve got?

Life hackers would argue that rather than focusing on the number of hours spent, it’s more important to focus on how the hours are spent. Sure, 10,000 hours will bring you closer to mastery in any given pursuit, but are those all productive hours? Are you spending your time on the most important things?

The best gameplan is to figure out what the most high-value activities are. What is the one biggest bang for your buck? Spend your time doing that first to achieve the greatest improvement in the littlest time.

For example, learning a second language is high on many people’s to-do list. Just look at how popular Rosetta Stone is. Unfortunately though most people give up quickly and say “I’m just not a natural language learner.”

Did you know though that in Spanish, if you were to memorize the most common 300 words you would be able to understand 75% of spoken conversations? Add 700 words and memorize the most common 1,000 and you’ll be able to follow almost 90%! But, if you want to understand 95%+ you will have to memorize the 5,000 most common words. It’s called diminishing returns. So the point is, it’s not about learning the most words possible, it’s about learning the right words.

Let’s apply this to learning how to DJ. Sure you could buy some equipment and some software, start playing around and try to mimic the sounds of your favorite artists. This is the equivalent of stumbling blindly in the dark though. It would be like picking up your Spanish dictionary and memorizing words at random. You need someone to show you the most important things to focus on first.

That’s where DJ Courses Online comes in. It’s run by expert DJs who have learned how to DJ the hard way so that you don’t have to. They’ve broken their skills down into easy-to-learn courses so that you can make huge improvements extremely fast. If you want to hack your way to becoming a great DJ, there’s no better way!

Online DJ school helps aspiring musicians build skills fast

Online DJ school helps aspiring musicians build skills fast

I recently read a quote that said if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

I think this is a fantastic piece of advice. When there’s something that you really want you have to be courageous and take a leap of faith. Anything worth having won’t come easy; you have to think outside of the box, leave your comfort zone, and work hard.

It almost makes me think of the Hero’s Journey, an archetypal structure that shows up in famous stories throughout history from Homer’s Odyssey to Lord of the Rings. When the hero accepts his calling he realizes he needs to leave the comfort of his own home, set out on his epic quest, and confront challenges and take risks that that average people wouldn’t.

I know it sounds like hyperbole, but when you’re setting out to accomplish something difficult like get in shape, get a promotion, or start a new business you need to treat it like your own Hero’s Journey. Take it seriously.

The only problem with this idea is that if you’ve never done something before, how are you supposed to know it’s an option, that it even exists?! How do you learn how to accomplish it?

Here are some of my favorite methods:

Study what other people have done.

Whatever you’re trying to accomplish in your life, I guarantee someone has done it before. And someone has overcome even bigger obstacles to do so.

Want to climb one of the world’s tallest peaks? Kyle Maynard summited Kilimanjaro with no arms and no legs.

Want to break into a difficult career, like an actor or musician? Sylvester Stallone was turned down literally thousands of times before he became Rocky. (Listen to the story here, it’s amazing.)

Need guts to break through a difficult roadblock? Antonio Nogueira was run over by a truck when he was ten, spent four days in a coma and was hospitalized for eleven months, lost a rib and part of his liver, then went on to become one of the greatest martial artists the world has ever known.

Just head down to your bookstore and start browsing; there are motivational stories and how-to books on just about anything you can imagine.

Make a gameplan.

In today’s world we’re incredibly busy and distracted. We’re always being bombarded with text messages and emails. The TV is always blaring at us. At any given time several things are competing for our attention. It makes it hard to calm down and concentrate.

If you’re trying to accomplish something important but don’t know how, try this: just sit down with a pad of paper and a pen. If you had to make a gameplan of how to get from A to B, what would the steps look like? Ask yourself “What is one step I could take right now to bring myself one step closer?”

If you just shut out the distractions- turn off the TV and silence your cell phone- you’ll be shocked at how much you actually have inside of you. Give your brain the opportunity to think and reflect and you’ll be surprised at what it will tell you.

Have someone else teach you.

This is the simplest thing yet incredibly powerful. Surprisingly very few people do it. If you’re setting out on your own quest you realize how hard it can be. Like we said before if it was easy everyone would do it. That means that those that have come before you know how tough it is too, and believe me they’ll love passing on their knowledge and sharing the lessons they’ve learned.

Simply by approaching someone and saying “I look up to you and I want to follow in your footsteps. Teach me how you did it!” you’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to pass on their knowledge.

If you’re reading this and you want to become a DJ, a great example is DJ Courses Online. The instructors were just regular guys who started out knowing nothing, learning from scratch how to make a living as DJs. Now they offer all of the lessons they’ve learned online. From your laptop you can tap into all of that knowledge and they’ll help you reach similar heights.

So if you’re own quest involves learning how to DJ, try something new. Check out our DJ programs and being your journey.

The biggest secret behind learning how to DJ

The biggest secret behind learning how to DJ

Want to know the biggest secret behind learning how to DJ? Surround yourself with the right people. The famous entrepreneur and speaker Jim Rohn once said you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

It makes total sense. If you’re around people who are motivated and driven they’ll inspire you to work hard and succeed.

If you’re around creative people you’ll have conversations that give you ideas and encourage you to create things yourself.

If you’re around intelligent people they’ll teach you new things and share ideas that cause you to think of things in unique ways.

With this idea in mind, one of the simplest self improvement techniques is to find ways to be around people you want to be like. If you want to be a businessman, hang out with businessmen. If you want to make art, hang out with artists. If you want to make music, hang out with musicians. Simply changing your environment will subconsciously cause you to step your game up.

Some people might hear this and think that it sounds slightly manipulative, like you’re using people just so they’ll rub off on you. It’s like you’re stealing their mojo.

Really though it’s not manipulative at all. If you wanted to become an outdoorsman, what’s wrong with finding a group on and hiking with other nature enthusiasts? If you wanted to master Spanish, why would it be deceitful to find a local language club and spend time talking with other Spanish speakers?

It makes perfect sense to spend time with people that share your interests and ambitions. After all that’s what most relationships are built on anyways.

So what does all of this have to do with DJing?

Obviously what I’m saying is that if you want to become a DJ you should hang out with DJs and other people involved in EDM, but the kicker is that for some of you this might be easier said than done.

I live in a small town. We only have a couple places that occasionally feature live music, and exactly 0% of the time the musicians play electronic music. I don’t know anyone that makes EDM in my area.

The good news is that since technology is an inherent part of electronic music, finding people online and around the world to spend time with and learn from is easier than ever.

One great example is our online DJ school, which allows you to learn from DJ experts from the comfort of your own home. It’s not quite the same thing as sitting in the same room with your own DJ friends, but it’s a great first step and will definitely lead you towards plugging into your own community of like-minded music makers. So if you’re thinking about learning how to DJ, go to DJ Courses Online and surround yourself with these experts today!

Class is in session! Sign up for DJ school today

Class is in session! Sign up for DJ school today

When I was in college I knew a guy named Truckin’. I have absolutely no idea how he got that name. As awesome as it was though it didn’t really fit. He didn’t look like a trucker, didn’t wear flannel or suspenders like you might expect, and wasn’t particularly big and burly- although during junior year he did grow a respectable beard.

Truckin’ was extremely…interesting. You could call him either unique or weird, depending on your perspective. He was incredibly intelligent, had traveled all over the world, and was always full of surprises.

One Monday morning Truckin’ came into class and sat down next to me. “How was your weekend?” I asked.

“Great!” he responded. “I wrote a techno song  a while back and it just broke into the top ten on the electronic charts in Brazil!

I hadn’t even known that he made electronic music. It turned out that he collaborated with a few people from around the world and they made music together online.

Truckin’ was always a fairly strange guy so I have no idea how true this was, but the story still highlights one of my favorite things about electronic music, and that is how international it is.

Take any style of music: Rock, Pop, Rap, Jazz, you name it. That style might be really popular here in America but not very well-liked in Asia. Another style might dominate the airwaves in Europe but be almost unheard of in Africa. One thing I’ve found though is that electronic music is the opposite: it’s incredibly international. I’ve traveled to 27 countries and EDM is the one style that you can find in absolutely every single place. It might not be the most popular style in any given country, but if you go out at night or search the radio dial you’ll undoubtedly find it.

It’s like the soccer of music. It transcends borders and it’s an easy way to connect with people from other cultures. Also like soccer, it’s been slow to catch on here in the United States but is quickly building momentum.

That’s one of the reasons why I suggest people get into electronic music. If you want a way to plug into an international community, if you want to be able to travel to other countries and easily find people who share a common passion, or if you just love feeling like part of something that transcends nationality, EDM is for you. It’s really exciting when you’re constantly interacting with musicians from around the world.

If this sounds enticing to you, the best way to start learning about how to DJ might surprise you. Rather than slowly dabble in it, check out our online DJ school – it will help you jumpstart your career as a musician and make massive strides very quickly.

DJ school takes the trial and error out of learning how to DJ, saving students time and money

DJ school takes the trial and error out of learning how to DJ, saving students time and money

My brother will be graduating from college in the spring and he’s trying to figure out what he’s going to do next. Obviously college is the expected next step. Or maybe DJ school?

Being almost eleven years ahead of him I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in that time, what I would have done differently, and what is the best advice I can give him. In my own experience, I went to college and to grad school, racked up huge student loan debt, and now I make a living doing work I’m passionate about yet is completely unrelated to either of my degrees.

I’m not alone, either. Studies show 40% of all college grads today work in jobs that don’t require a college degree. Unfortunately few of them can say they’re doing something they’re passionate about. Is this what I want for my brother? Am I going to encourage him to rack up massive debt to get a job he hates that he’ll be overqualified for?

It’s hard because college is still part of the script that society feeds us, but my answer is no.

Instead I’ve been encouraging my brother to explore the idea of apprenticeship. Rather than spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to a university for four years and hope that somewhere along the way he’ll stumble across what he’s passionate about, why not put himself in an environment where he’s much more likely to find it?

I told him to find someone he looks up to that is working in an industry he’s interested and ask what he can do for them. Go sweep the floors at night. Do the dirty work. Pitch in wherever you can. Simply be in the environment, learn as much as possible, get involved, and see if it’s for you.

In my brother’s case he really likes fashion so we found a few custom suit shops in our city and simply emailed them saying “I’m a high school student thinking about going into the fashion industry, can I come in after school and find a way to pitch in?” It’s not a fool-proof plan for a career, but it’s a foot in the door that will bring him one step closer to finding out what he wants to do.

The cool thing about apprenticeship and this hands-on approach to finding your calling is that we are so connected today that possibilities are endless. You can email or tweet just about anyone. If you have an offer or an idea that is compelling enough, you can get the attention of nearly anyone.

This includes the DJ world. If you think that you would like to become a DJ, the absolute best way to do so is to learn from the people who have already done it and are currently doing it. Find people that you can ask questions to, people that you can study or imitate. Once again, in the digital world we live in this is easier than ever.

DJ Courses Online is the perfect example. For a low fee you can plug yourself into a network of professional and experienced DJs. You won’t be sweeping floors and cleaning the bathrooms like a grunt apprentice, but you will have expert instructors on your screen right in your own living room. It’s an amazing leap forward that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.

Now you don’t have to toil for years to get to a level where you can start hanging around a club to meet other DJs. Instead there are people that will begin coaching and guiding you from day one. If you’re serious about learning how to become a DJ it’s unbeatable.

How could a DJ school help you meet your music goals?

How could a DJ school help you meet your music goals?

I’m reading a book right now called Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. I’m not done with it yet but I already highly recommend it. It’s fantastic, and there are countless gems in here that apply perfectly to musicians.

The premise is pretty simple: people fall into two categories, amateurs and pros.

Most of us are amateurs. We have our jobs or careers or ambitions or whatever it may be, but we’re not 100% committed to it. We get distracted. We question ourselves. We take days off. We don’t push through to the very end.

Pros on the other hand take their craft seriously. Whether you’re a nurse or a student or a writer or a marketer or anything else, a pro doesn’t mess around. They are disciplined. They are determined. Just like a professional athlete or a professional soldier that realizes they’re playing for all the marbles, a pro treats their work and their life with the same level of gravity.

Pressfield talks about how it’s not easy to become a pro, but it’s free and anyone can do it. Anyone with the vision and the will can cross over from being an amateur to being a pro, and he says it will be the best decision of your life. You’ll never look back.

One of the best things someone can do to turn pro is simply surround yourself with other pros. Pressfield talks about how amateurs will subconsciously try to bring a pro down. They’ll try to distract them. They’ll try to get them to ignore their work and goof off.

Other pros though understand the importance of doing the work. Being around people who take their craft seriously will enable and inspire you to do the same. Watching people elevate their games and succeed will motivate you to do what it takes to follow suit.

This same principle works for DJs. There are so many Djs that dabble with music. It’s a side project. It’s a hobby. It’s a way to unwind. And these are totally are totally fine reasons to DJ.

If you want to take your DJ game to the next level though, you need to be around pros. You need to be around people who aren’t messing around but are committed to learning, improving, and crushing it.

Now as you read this you might be realizing the painful truth: there aren’t many pros out there. At least they’re massively outweighed by the amateurs. There is one great place to find a whole community of pros though, and that’s It’s fast and easy and you’ll have pros right on your computer screen teaching you how to become a DJ and take your game to the next level.

What every beginner ought to know about how to become a DJ

What every beginner ought to know about how to become a DJ

When people start the journey to learn how to become a DJ, they often ask the question “what is the first thing I need to do? Buy turntables? Buy certain software? Begin building a record collection?”

The first lesson I would share is actually way more basic than that. For some people this might go without saying, but I think it’s a simple yet important point that the rest of your musical career will build upon. And that is the question “what is music?”

Don’t laugh. Don’t skip ahead. Really think about it.

How often do you hear people rag on certain styles- whether it be metal, reggae, electronic, punk, or anything else- by saying it’s not “real” music. “It takes no skill! Anyone can play that kind of music!” people will say.

Let me use a different example to illustrate the point. I’ve always been an avid reader, and when I was in middle school I loved Dean Koontz books. If you’re not familiar, Dean Koontz is like Goosebumps for adults; they’re suspense books, he’s always got a new one out, and they’re sold at grocery stores.

I remember once when I was a freshman in high school my English teacher asked me what I liked to read and I told her Dean Koontz. She rolled her eyes and said “Ohhh, you like to read pulp literature.”

I remember being kind of offended. First of all, I thought I should get at least a little credit for reading at all, but most importantly who was she to judge what is or is not good literature? Books are above all a form of entertainment, and just because a novel isn’t 200 years old and is sold in the same isle as the greeting cards and party supplies has no bearing on it’s ability to entertain. As long as it captivates you and keeps you turning pages, that’s a good book.

Anyways, that’s the way we need to approach music as well. Sure some music, just like literature or paintings or any other kind of art, can be beautiful because it makes you think about things or challenges you in some way. But more often than not it’s simply good because it’s entertaining, because it puts a smile on your face and makes you move your feet.

So who cares if a certain song or style doesn’t have complicated scales. Who cares if it’s not super technical or if the musician studied at a prestigious school. If it sounds good, it’s good music. It’s “real” music. And by using that criteria, it’s irrefutable that EDM is good music. There’s not many genres that can come close to EDM’s ability to get people out of their seats and moving, and that’s why I love it.

That’s also why learning how to DJ is so much fun. To be able to enjoy creating music for the pure pleasure of making something that sounds great, not to impress anyone or flaunt anything, but simply for the love of music, is a beautiful thing.

If you’d like to see what that feels like and you think learning how to DJ might be for you, the absolute best way to start is our online DJ school. Learning directly from experts from the comfort of your own home will speed along your process, saving you time and money.

DJ school makes it fast and easy to learn how to DJ

DJ school makes it fast and easy to learn how to DJ

I’m about to make a really abstract argument in favor of electronic music and DJ school.

Recently I started reading lots of biographies of archetypal figures in history and studying some of those timeless lessons that appear over and over again. I’m sure all of these things are simply a function of growing up, but I realize they were all an extension of figuring out where I come from and finding my place in a larger picture. Knowing that I’m part of a lineage.

So what the heck does this have to do with EDM, you’re probably asking.

The other day I was listening to Breakbot. I absolutely love Breakbot. He’s heavily influenced by Disco and Funk, and when I listen to him I often find myself looking up the songs that he samples and listening to the originals. It’s crazy hearing a song that just fires you up and then realizing that it’s 40 years old, and in some cases the DJ has barely altered it if at all.

If I was still 15 I would probably look at Breakbot and think “this guy is just stealing other people’s music! People think they like Breakbot when really they should say they’re fans of insert 70’s funk band here.” But now I see him in a totally different way.

Breakbot is like a bridge to our musical ancestors. When you look at the spectacle that pop music today has become, and the absolute train wreck that is our most popular pop stars, it kind of makes you yearn for a time when musicians were more talented. And that’s what I love about EDM.

Obviously it’s a huge genre and not all musicians sample old acts the way Breakbot does, but I think it’s a powerful thing to be able to take songs from past generations and turn it into something new that at the same time pays homage to our musical roots.

So while some people might not understand the art of electronic music, and might see sampling as a kind of plagiarism, it really is a great art form that in my opinion fulfills our natural curiosity to figure out how we fall into the bigger picture that stretches back generations.

If you’re like me and are interested exploring your own ancestry, especially in a musical way, learning how to DJ might be a great tool. The absolute easiest way to do it is simply to learn from the experts, and that’s where DJ Courses Online comes in, so check out our DJ programs today.

Could learning how to DJ help you live the life you’ve always wanted?

Could learning how to DJ help you live the life you’ve always wanted?

When I was a teenager I was obsessed with music. I spent all of my free time playing guitar (badly) in my bedroom, and I scrawled AC/DC and Metallica all over my school supplies.

In hindsight, I think I was more fascinated with the life of a rockstar than the actual music itself. I loved the idea of traveling around the world, living a unique life on my own terms, and playing for screaming crowds every night.

I remember seeing a music video for Judas Priest and watching singer Rob Halford strutting around the stage, bellowing “you’ve got another thing coming!” as an entire arena of hysterical fans shouted it right back. I remember thinking how amazing it is that one man could pour out that kind of raw energy and emotion into a sea of people, and that all of those people would go home with a high-pitched ringing in their ears and a huge smile on their faces and be on an emotional high for days to come. It’s a beautiful thing for one person to have that kind of impact on so many people.

Of course like most wannabe high school rock stars, the dream slowly faded and a myriad of aspirations followed, like CIA agent, international economist, and Ernest Hemingway. The unfortunate truth is that for every 10,000 kids dreaming about being the Next Big Thing, there’s about one actual Big Thing.

But that’s where DJing comes in. For people out there who are drawn to the idea of entertaining crowds, giving your energy to the audience, and boosting people’s moods if only just for a night, then being a DJ might be just the thing you’re looking for.

I’m not saying that it’s easy or that it’s a shortcut to fame and fortune. Skrillex works just as hard as any other musician today, and contrary to what some haters might say electronic music is not simpler to master than any other style. The point though is that if you were to get a rock band together it might be a long time before people would come to your shows, whereas right now there are dance clubs, bars, and lounges in your city that need talent to entertain their patrons. They won’t be chanting your name and buying your t-shirts, but it just might be a shorter road to performing in front of people who want to have a good time.

If this is an intriguing idea to you, one of the best places to start is It’s an online school where expert DJs will teach you how to DJ. They’ll teach you everything you need to know about tips, techniques, equipment, and behind the scene industry knowledge that will save you tons of time and money.

So if you’ve got music in your blood and the desire to perform, consider becoming a DJ and check out