Beat matching - the special sauce that'll make you a great DJ

Nowadays, you might think that being a good DJ is not that challenging. Today's gear and the tech driving it combined with instant access to millions of music tracks makes it pretty easy, right?


Well...yes and no...

Yes, there are fundamental elements that go into making a DJ good - things like lots of practice, music selection, lots more practice, knowing what to play and when, how to read the crowd, an ability to improvise, practice - the list is long. And did I mention practice?

But great DJ's, ones that really stand out from the crowd have generally taken their craft to another level - they understand the basics, the theory behind the music - they crave knowledge - and oh yes, did I mention, they practice?

So to help you on your way, we thought a good place for you to start is our namesake - the skill of beat matching (or 'beatmatching'). You don't need to beat match all the time, but you will likely need the skill at some point. Yes we realise many of today's controllers can match the beats for you - but being able to mix and blend music seamlessly is a talent, it's the special sauce.

So let’s try and help out and give you once of the key ingredients to becoming a great DJ – apart from practice!

What is beat matching?

Beat Matching is a technique used by DJ's to match a music track’s tempo with the upcoming track allowing the percussion elements - specifically the hi-hat and kick drum - to be heard simultaneously when both the songs are being played at the same time. This enables a smooth transition from one song to the next without any gaps or clashing of beats, strings or basically any of the other song elements. Ultimately it creates a seamless musical experience that allows the DJ to control the overall energy, rhythm and vibe.

The set up - what gear will I need?

Generally, a basic setup would consist of at least two decks (turntables/CDJs), a DJ mixer, a pair of headphones and some DJ monitors (speakers). Alternatively, you can use a DJ Controller and DJ software along with just some headphones and monitors. So the DJ can set up the 'beat match', usually one audio output is directed to the speakers, while the other is connected to a set of headphones.

Show me how...

Pictures tell a thousand words - so to get you started we’ve deep dived the thousands of how-to-videos on the internet and presented you with what we believe are the best beat matching tutorials around. All give a different perspective and are each in their own way a great introduction into how to match those beats.

First up, 5 Steps to Your First Beat Match with DJ Phil Harris - great introduction if you are a beginner DJ with a great overview of the basics.


Secondly, How to Beatmatch? Beginner to Expert Level - a great tutorial that dives a little deeper – perfect for a refresher if you have been relying too much on the tech.


And finally, beat matching with an old school, awesome DJ technique; riding the pitch on turntables using vinyl records.


And just one more last important tip on the road to becoming a great DJ...

Practice, practice, practice...

Nowadays, you might think that being a good DJ is not that challenging. Today's gear and the tech driving it combined with instant access to millions of music tracks makes it pretty easy, right?


Well...yes and no...

Yes, there are fundamental elements that go into making a DJ good - things like lots of practice, music selection, lots more practice, knowing what to play and when, how to read the crowd, an ability to improvise, practice - the list is long. And did I mention practice?

But great DJ's, ones that really stand out from the crowd have generally taken their craft to another level - they understand the basics, the theory behind the music - they crave knowledge - and oh yes, did I mention, they practice?

So to help you on your way, we thought a good place for you to start is our namesake - the skill of beat matching (or 'beatmatching'). You don't need to beat match all the time, but you will likely need the skill at some point. Yes we realise many of today's controllers can match the beats for you - but being able to mix and blend music seamlessly is a talent, it's the special sauce.

So let’s try and help out and give you once of the key ingredients to becoming a great DJ – apart from practice!

What is beat matching?

Beat Matching is a technique used by DJ's to match a music track’s tempo with the upcoming track allowing the percussion elements - specifically the hi-hat and kick drum - to be heard simultaneously when both the songs are being played at the same time. This enables a smooth transition from one song to the next without any gaps or clashing of beats, strings or basically any of the other song elements. Ultimately it creates a seamless musical experience that allows the DJ to control the overall energy, rhythm and vibe.

The set up - what gear will I need?

Generally, a basic setup would consist of at least two decks (turntables/CDJs), a DJ mixer, a pair of headphones and some DJ monitors (speakers). Alternatively, you can use a DJ Controller and DJ software along with just some headphones and monitors. So the DJ can set up the 'beat match', usually one audio output is directed to the speakers, while the other is connected to a set of headphones.

Show me how...

Pictures tell a thousand words - so to get you started we’ve deep dived the thousands of how-to-videos on the internet and presented you with what we believe are the best beat matching tutorials around. All give a different perspective and are each in their own way a great introduction into how to match those beats.

First up, 5 Steps to Your First Beat Match with DJ Phil Harris - great introduction if you are a beginner DJ with a great overview of the basics.


Secondly, How to Beatmatch? Beginner to Expert Level - a great tutorial that dives a little deeper – perfect for a refresher if you have been relying too much on the tech.


And finally, beat matching with an old school, awesome DJ technique; riding the pitch on turntables using vinyl records.


And just one more last important tip on the road to becoming a great DJ...

Practice, practice, practice...