How to Choose Songs to Mix

By James Kerley ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • BPM counter
  • Headphones

One of the most important aspect of being a DJ is song selection. Selecting the right music is essential to creating a good mix. Most DJs spend hours and hours in record stores to find the right songs. DJs need to pay attention to beats per minute, the style of the song, the beginnings and endings of songs, and more when selecting songs to mix.

How to Choose Songs to Mix

Determine the beats per minute (BPM) of the songs you want to mix. In general, songs which vary more than 10 BPMs will be too difficult to mix together. Choosing songs which have a close BPM will ensure a more seamless transition.

Listen to the beginning and ending of each song. Some songs will have an instrumental introduction, which makes them easier to mix. Instrumental sections at the beginning and end of songs make for smooth transitions, as opposed to songs which start or end abruptly.

Determine the style you prefer to mix. Would you like to stick to one genre, such as trance, house, or hip-hop? Or would you prefer to be a mash-up artist, mixing all genres? Surprisingly, many songs from disparate genres will mix together well.

Before you perform or mix songs in public, make sure you try the mix at home. While some songs may seem like they'll make for a seamless transition, you may find that there are subtle nuances which will make mixing too difficult.

Tip

Most dance songs average a 130 BPM.

References

About the Author

James Kerley has been writing fiction since the second grade. He received a B.A. in English from Northern Colorado and an M.F.A. in writing and poetics from Naropa University. Kerley has worked with many literary magazines such as "Many Mountains Moving" and "Bombay Gin." He currently works in the online content business.