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The key to freestyle DJ'ing

Published on 15 Oct 2020 / In How-to & Style

Today's question comes from a DJ who is used to preparing his sets. He wanted to know what the key to freestyle DJ'ing is.

Is it knowing your music? Is it about having the courage to experiment in front of people? And how do you play with a track list without preparing your transitions and cue points?

Freestyle DJ'ing (for me) is about playing a set without a prepared track list. This gives me the freedom to switch tracks and genres whenever I feel the need to do so because of the way the crowd is reacting to the music. It's not better or worse than a prepared set because it is all about finding out what works for you. You have to feel comfortable when you're playing.

This is the most important thing to remember: freestyle DJ'ing does NOT mean that you don't prepare anything!
I may not know what track I will play first and I let the vibe guide me to my next song, but I will prepare my music by adding all the cue points and (sometimes) loops, and selecting tracks specifically for a gig and putting those tracks in a separate folder. These are things that will make it easier for me to react and mix faster.

You can also prepare short mixes (2 or 3 tracks) and use those in a freestyle set. All freestyle means is that you decide when to play a track (or a prepared short mix) on the spot. So you're not planning when you play songs.

Another option is to prepare your first 5 to 10 minutes so you can start strong. This could give you the extra confidence to play the rest of the set freestyle.

Enjoy the video and share the knowledge!

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