In the early 2000's, all the DJs I knew were learning how to "beat match." At the time it was a rite of passage for DJs, mostly because it was really hard to do (on vinyl records). Now DJs use computers with their turntables, and the software makes it a lot easier. But what is beat matching? And why do DJs do it? Read on to find out...
Some people call this beat mixing, but regardless of what you call it, it's the way good DJs transition between songs. We take two songs that are similar in tempo and match the tempos exactly. Then, while the first song is playing, we start the second one on-beat, and fade out of the first one.
If you do it right, you will get a smooth transition between songs and ensure that your guests will keep dancing and not leave the dance floor.
All of my online mixtapes have smooth beat-matched transitions between the songs. Sometimes they are so smooth you can barely hear them! Read on for an example of one that is easy to hear.
Click on the player above titled "Wedding Mix" (if you can't see it, click here). Go to the 1:40 mark, as "Wanna Be Starting Something" is ending, and press play. At about 1:51 you should hear the drums of "Don't You Want Me" start and by 2:15 the transition is over.
This transition sounds great and that's why I chose it to start the mixtape, but what is the main purpose it serves? It keeps the beat going. It keeps the energy going! As long as your guests like the songs being played, this is how to keep them dancing.
Why Beat Match?
A long, long time ago at weddings, when a song was ending the DJ would bring the volume all the way down and the people on the dance floor would clap. When the DJ started the next song, the dancers would decide to either keep dancing or go sit down.
This is not what you want! You want your guests to keep dancing without any breaks. One second they are singing along to a song they love and before they know it another song they love is playing. "What happened? Who cares - let's keep dancing!"
Of course other things matter, like whether the vibes of the songs match, the genres and whether your guests know (and like) the songs. But ask any DJ and she or he will tell you that transitions are important.
Let's Put a Bow On It
When I DJ weddings I don't do a smooth transition between every song. Some are better "dropped" (DJ-speak for starting a song abruptly) like "Hypnotize" by The Notorious BIG. And sometimes I need to make a big switch between genres or tempos and I can't do a smooth transition. But for most of your dance set your DJ should be beat matching the majority of the songs.
Get in touch with me to learn more! Email me or text/call me at 917.586.6753. Thanks for reading!