7 Beat Matching Tips for Beginner Drum & Bass DJs | Beatmatch Guru

7 Beat Matching Tips for Beginner Drum & Bass DJs

Beat matching is one of those skills that can be quite an art form, especially if you’re mixing two tracks together by ear.

Fortunately for you I’ve got a lot of experience and wisdom I can share with you today, from both record vinyl beat matching and digital DJing, so check out some great tips for beat matching to help you get better at DJing.

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1. Use DJ Software to your advantage

It’s super easy to see the tempo on the DJ software that you’re using, whether it be on Rekordbox via a laptop, digital display on CDJs or All-in-One DJ controller.

Use this to your advantage. I mean if you’re keen to get DJing as quickly as possible, without worrying about beat matching by ear then this is a great way to do it. Look at both displays for channel 1 and channel 2, if both are at 175bpm, then all you need to focus on is pressing that cue/play button on the beat to get the two beats aligned. Remember to use the jog wheel to align beats perfectly.

2. Stick to 174bpm

The great thing about Drum & Bass is that the tempo doesn’t vary as much between track to track, unlike other genres such as House.

To make life easier for yourself as a beginner DJ just make sure you stick every track you’re mixing to 174bpm. So for example if one track is 173bpm and the other is 176bpm, then stick them both at 174bpm so that you can mix them together.

The main benefit is that it allows you to focus on building your mix transition skills.

3. Listen out for the snare

Beat matching or adjusting the beat in the CUE when listening via your headphones takes a bit of skill. Sometimes it can be quite tough at the beginning to try and separate the two sounds in your minds eye. Focus on the snares and then you’ll be able to hear them better than the kick drums, giving you greater control over adjusting the tempo or jog wheel to align beats together.

4. Understand and utilise phrase matching

Phrase matching is a skill that will make you sound like an amazing DJ smoothly transitioning from track to track.

Phrases are essentially sub-sections of the main segments of tracks. You’ll notice the beginning of a phrase or ending of a phase by the sound of a cymbal, drum fill or build up.

Learn more about phrase matching here.

5. Pick simple tracks to start learning to beatmatch

To help you start mixing D&B music together, make it easier by picking tracks that have the same beat structure or at least very similar beat structure.

For example, the snares hitting on beats 2 and 4 in a bar. This will give you plenty of practice at beat matching before getting to more complicated beat structures.

6. Use the jog wheel to nudge the beats to be more align

Remember you don’t need to get the beats aligned from simply pressing the Play button. The jog wheel is the last function before moving the cross fader.

If you press the play button too fast, then you’ll use the jog wheel to slow down the track to align the beats together. Too slowly, then fasten up the track with the jog wheel.

Understanding by ear whether a track is faster or slower will really help you to align beats together quickly using the jog wheel.

TIP: using the SYNC button is a quick way to utilise technology to align the beats together. Remember, grid lines need to be accurately set for all tracks for this to work in your setlist. Read more about SYNC button here.

7. Learn to beat match using your ears, before taking advantage of technology

My best tip is to learn how to beat match before utilising technology of SYNC button, the tempo amount on the digital display etc.

Beat matching by ear is a great skill to accumulate and can be applied very well across all types of DJ equipment.

If you want to get better at DJing, why not check out Beatmatch Guru’s DJ Courses here.

Dan Dracott

I'm Dan Dracott from Beatmatch Guru. I love DJing and have done since I was 15 years old. I want to share my knowledge and love of DJing to help you guys get better at DJing.

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