Drum and Bass is a brilliant genre to DJ and with so many tracks out there to DJ with it can be hard to select which tracks to mix together, especially if you’re a beginner DJ. Mixing at 174 BPM can be daunting enough.
With some amazing sub-genres on offer in the Drum and Bass scene, ranging from Liquid, Jump Up, Deep and Jungle, to name a few. With a lot of experience under my belt DJing Drum and Bass, here are few lists to get your teeth stuck into when DJing Drum and Bass. A few DJing tips will be added in this article too for good measure.
All of the tracks that are picked within this article are Drum and Bass tracks that have the standard type of drum pattern or a very simple 4 x 4 drum pattern.
Standard D&B Drum Pattern
The key component to a standard drum and bass pattern is with the second kick drum hitting on 3 1/2. Basically, in between beat 3 and 4, which is known as the offbeat.
4 x 4 D&B Drum Pattern
A not so common, but more easily mixed as a beginner DJ, is the 4 x 4 beat. This beat has the kick and snare alternatively hitting evenly on every beat count, as seen below.
I want to make this article as easy as possible for beginner DJs to get stuck into DJing Drum and Bass.
For ease of digesting the Drum and Bass music suggestions, I’ve split out the music tracks into lists of sub-genres. Feel free to draw inspiration from all the music tracks in these lists to mix together.
The DJing tips I’ve put together should help you along your way when mixing these tracks together. The below track lists are in order of light and melodic to dark heavy bassline.
|XRS & DJ Marky||Striptease|
|Jahiem||Put That Women First (Calibre Remix)|
|Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs||Garden (Calibre Remix)|
|DJ Marky & Ben Westbeech||Shame|
|Mutt||Conversations feat. Kevin King|
|Random Movement||A Day without Death|
|Redeyes||What She Wants|
|Etherwood, Rocky Nti||Spoken|
|Lenzman||Ever So Slightly|
|Boosta, Atmos T, Nicole||All My Love|
|Pola & Bryson, Blake||Unsaid|
|Pola & Bryson||Way back|
|Dawn Wall||I See You|
|Ivy Lab, Frank Carter III||Afterthought|
|Enei & Easter Colors & Noel||Cracker|
|DJ Marky & S.P.Y||Riff Raff|
|Total Science||Nosher (DJ Marky & S.P.Y Remix)|
|Total Science, Hydro, War||Denial|
|Bad Company||The Nine|
|Metrik||I See You feat. Kathy Brown|
|Sub Focus, TC, Culture Shock||You Make It Better|
|Deadmau5 & Kaskade||I Remember (J Majik & Wickaman Remix)|
|Dimension||If You Want To|
|DJ Hazard, Distorted Minds||Mr Happy|
|DJ Hazard||Bricks Don’t Roll|
|1991||The People D&B Mix|
|Dillinja||The Bell Tune|
|Clipz||Push It Up (TC Remix)|
|DJ Friction||3rd Degree Gurns|
|DJ Friction||Robocop (Taxman Robostep VIP)|
Tips for Mixing Drum and Bass
Mix into the Breakdown
If you’ve some Drum and Bass tracks that have not real beat (kick and snare) as part of the intro, then a trick that I have used in the past is by using this intro to mix into the breakdown of the current track playing live.
What this means is on the second breakdown (half way through a track) you can use the intro of the new track that you’re bringing in to mix into the breakdown.
Breakdowns usually have little to no drum beat, making it really easy for you to mix.
Make sure that you get some sort of tempo / beat match going on, especially the phrases matched up too.
Harmonic Mixing – Check the Key
Harmonic mixing means that two tracks are compatible in sound, so there’s no clash between the keys, therefore being a lovely sound for your listeners to enjoy when you’re mixing two tracks together.
Think of it as ‘Sweet & Sour’.
The way I think about it is that if you’ve got two tracks being mixed together that clash in sound, then that’s ‘Sour’.
When the key of two tracks in the mix sound great, and smooth together, then this is ‘Sweet’.
The way you can do this in DJing is by using DJ software such as Rekordbox. There’s a functionality in Rekordbox that highlights a track ‘Green’ for when it’s harmonically compatible to the track that’s playing out the master.
If you want something abit more sophisticated then you can always grab a copy of Mixed In Key software which also helps you achieve the same outcome.
Switch Straight into the Drop
With certain styles of Drum and Bass tracks such as Jump Up, it’s quite easy to switch or “cut” straight over to another track. Especially with some tracks having such catchy wobbly subby basslines.
Two types of switching I can recommend:
- On the 1
- On the 8 (or earlier)
By “On the 1” I mean literally switch the cross fader onto the first beat of the drop of the bassline of a new track. Sometimes this works well and sometimes not for other tracks, so it’s worth practicing.
By “On the 8” I mean you can use the cross fader again to simply switch from one channel to the other, but do it on the last beat of the phrase or the 8th beat of the bar.
The example I usually use for this one is with the track TC – Game Over track. The 8th beat of the bar before the bassline drop is a Nintendo or Mario sound effect that I love. Meaning this is a great little sample to switch and cut in.
This is a great technique if you’re looking to switch tracks quickly and keep your DJing interesting and spontaneous.
Use EQ to Bass Swap
A classic technique that some Drum and Bass DJs use, such as Andy C, and that’s to use the LOW EQ switch to cut basslines in and out.
Switching from one bassline to another is the trick here. So you need to get two tracks playing in the mix together that compliment each other.
Then once you’ve got two tracks in the mix, playing out live in the speakers, use the LOW EQ switches on both channels the music is playing from on the mixer.
Start to then switch LOW EQ down to zero from one track, and then alternate from one to the other.
Check the Tempo
Not all Drum and Bass tracks are 174 BPM, some are slightly different now and then. Check the tempo in your DJ software before mixing and adjust the tempo accordingly.
Don’t let tempo get too high for both tracks when you’re mixing DnB. From past experience I’ve found that my mixes get too fast, as in the tempo of one track might get faster, and then the next one might get faster, and so on. Make sure you manage how fast the tempo is getting in the mix.
Drum and Bass is already fast, don’t make it too much faster.
My Top Drum and Bass Tracks
From the lists of top D&B tracks above I thought you might like to hear my top selections from each.
Logistics – Together
In my opinion a timeless classic that’s been around for a while now. Seems to be a regular feature in a lot of DJs record boxes (and digital record boxes too).
A great structure of song for beginner DJs to get hold of and mix together. The beat is easy to understand and figure out. The drop is brilliant with great over energy.
Anile – Wish List
A deeper D&B sounding track with a great rolling beat. Sounds a bit liquidy as a track but I’ve classed this one under the “deeper” style of D&B. A really easy track to start mixing into DJing with.
Unglued – Bootstrap Bill
This track is an absolute banger! I don’t know why I’ve not heard it enough in other DJs D&B sets.
The beat structure is slightly different to what I promised in the beginning of the article, please forgive me. The kick drum is slightly more crazy that your standard 1 and 3 1/2 kick beat syncopation. The snare is very prominent in this track though allowing you to pick the snare out when beat matching.
Culture Shock – Protection
A dance floor banger in my opinion, very easy beat structure to get hold of and mix with. A really good track to get the DJ set pumping.
Heist – Mattress Back
Just as an FYI – Clipz – Push It Up (TC Remix) and Dillinja – The Bell Tune are two of my other favourites, but in light of ease of mixing and DJs starting out Heist Mattress Back is really easy to mix in with a beat.
Some tracks in Jump Up D&B start with just a high hat, so I thought I’d share this absolute dance floor Jump Up banger with you all.
What are the best songs to mix together?
Great songs that mix together well are music tracks that have similar rhythms and similar but compatible harmonic keys. Read and listen here for more details: Top 50 Songs to Mix for Beginners.
What do DJs use to mix songs?
DJs use DJ mixers to mix songs together. DJ software, turntables or DJ controllers are also play a part of mixing songs together, this can vary depending on DJ equipment setup. Cue points and markers are used to help DJs to phrase match and blend music together seamlessly.