Over-Thinking your DJ Sets

Are you Over-thinking your DJ Sets?

I received an email from one of the Traktor Tips’ readers that highlighted an important issue that has been coming up over and over again. Over-thinking your DJ Sets.

Jamie says:-

Normally (when making a mix) I do a couple of practise runs and listen to the tracks in iTunes over and over in the order I want to play them, generally using the key matching from Traktor. When I finish the mix it sounds OK’ish but there are a few hits & misses. Then I bought some new tunes and decided to record the mix after ZERO practises. The recorded mix sounds AWESOME!!!! The transitions are a lot tighter and I even threw some effects in, mostly Gater and Flanger. I can’t believe how much better this mix is compared to the one I practised TWICE and studied over and over again for two weeks prior to recording!!

Why is this? Has this happened to you?

Traktor Tips’ Answer – Over-thinking your DJ Sets can be bad

Over thinking your DJ SetsI feel that it’s down to being in the moment! There is so much information out there about making sure you ‘do this‘ and ‘do-that‘, that people really get stressed about making things sound just right.

Technology has broken down the art of DJ’ing into compartments such as beat-matching, harmonic mixing, music labelling, organisation and effects. By breaking everything down this way, it is taking the focus off the essence of DJ’ing and turning it into an over-thought and over managed process. If you think and analyse too much, you add too much structure and you’re then connected to thought and in your headspace. When you connect to the deeper knowing inside of you things flow much better. Once you connect to this, let it flow, stop over-thinking your mixes and simply have fun. 😉

This applies to everything in life. When you are truly following your passions and are following your HEART, things flow easily and come naturally. There are no rules to art and creativity, true art shines through when you stop thinking. Creativity comes from inspiration, inspiration means ‘in-spirit‘, or ‘from spirit‘. If you are over-thinking your mixes, the mix is coming from your brain and not from your heart and soul. Once you have learnt the basics of technical equipment, you can let go of all the complexities and ‘rules’ and just let it flow.

Go and record a mix, don’t practice it, but make sure you record it! Forget that you’re recording it, be in the moment and have fun. See how it turns out…..

Both Jamie and I would love to know if you have experienced this, please let us know in the comments, I would love to talk to you about this.

photo credit: ores2k via photopin cc


9 thoughts on “Over-Thinking your DJ Sets

  1. It is a valid subject, and I’m as guilty as anyone for overthinking my mixes. But a great deal of consideration has to be given to the context in which the mix will be listened to. You can get away with a lot on a club sound system, it will hide minor imperfections with regard to levels, mixing etc. A promo mix on the other hand, is likely to be listened to at home, in an office, on an ipod or the car and there is nowhere to hide in these environments. Every level issue, beat slightly out of place, key error, etc will stick out like a sore thumb. There’s definitely an argument for a certain amount of prep when doing promo mixes.

    1. Sometimes the club sound system can be even less forgiving, especially if you play on funktion one.

  2. I agree. Last mix I did was totally off the hoof and I was pleased with the result. Also reccomend iTunes smart playlists. That way I can pick a genre, BPM range or key, and then just get on with it!

    1. I started using the smart playlists too since a couple weeks, takes some discipline to get used to, but it pays off in the long run.

  3. WHAt a GReat Article!! Thank you so much for it!! Being a Dj, A producer and a Dj,Ive been over thinking every move that I do. I feel overwhelmed alot since I Have these 3 core skills. Sometimes I want to focus on just Producing, or on just Djing or on just being an artist but I just go where my Spirit takes me. Thanks for helping me realize that I have to buckle down and just plain old: CHILL OUT!! LOL

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