The Art of Beatmatching
One of the first steps in learning to DJing, is to learn the art of beatmatching! If you don’t know already, it is a technique that involves matching the tempo of an upcoming track to that of the currently playing track so that they hit key points at the same time.
You should pay attention to phrasing and track selection to make a single mix that flows together.
Depending on the music style the tempo is going to be different. It is better to start learning beatmatching by using track of the same music genre. For example, house has 115-130 bpm, hip hop 60-100 bpm, techno 120-140 bpm, etc.
Francis Grasso invented beat matching in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Initially he was counting the tempo with a metronome and looking for records with the same tempo.
Later Alex Rosner built a mixer for him which let him listen to any channel in the headphones independently of what was playing on the speakers. This became the defining feature of DJ mixers.
Using this feature and turntables with pitch control he could mix tracks with different tempo. He was changing the pitch of the cued (redirected to headphones) track to match its tempo with the track being played by ear. Essentially, the technique he originated hasn’t changed since.
Beatmatching will be one of the first mixing techniques which you will learn on our DJ course!