Making your jazz, rnb, chill sets stand out
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  1. #1

    Default Making your jazz, rnb, chill sets stand out

    Hi being an older Dj I often get to play Sunday Jazz and RnB chill sessions . My main competitor Djs in this area of the world are Djs that play someones pre mixed jazz or RnB mixs ( like and hour mixs etc ) they got from the net from places like Sound Clould etc .
    When Im doing a house set I can differentiate myself with scratching live beat mixing , sometimes making mastakes they realise they are listening to a live Dj rather than listening to a premix some local dj got off the net . , However with Jazz and Rnb sessions I find that harder to do .with differnt BPMs etc .
    I do use my Hi pass filter to mix in some tracks and use the Serato combo fade echo on some tracks as well to mix it up .
    My wife thinks I should just give up and play premixes and lipsink Djing like the other Djs here. I cant do that as I love mixing and see that as cheating . But im losing gigs to guys using ( other professional real Djs ) slick premixes ( that they got off the net etc ) and lip sinking Djing .
    So Im looking at was to make my RnB and Jazz sessions more interesting ..
    P.s using serato and a Reloop TM8
    thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010


    It has always been about track selection and linking them together to set a mood. I can just fade out and play the next record after the fade out. I don't need to beat mix everything.

    It sounds like you need to do some digging for more/better tunes.
    Weapons, not food, not homes, not shoes
    Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Seattle, WA


    keep doing what you do best - beat matching & scratching
    you gotta be you
    no reason not to with different genres of music

    imo "lip sync" DJ is never the way to go, if a venue is booking someone to play a prerecorded set, you should tell them they should just get a iPod, it would be cheaper

    I recently have begun doing a chill night on Tuesdays at a local brewery
    I have never really had a chill gig before, I usually play house & techno, so it is a bit of new ground for me (even after nearly 20yrs of DJing)

    I'm trying to beat match where/when as much as possible
    trying to get creative with creating intro & outro loops of shorter tunes to layer the mixes
    using ambient & beatless tunes in between widely varied BPMs, or just doing fades at the ends of tracks
    no mixing technique is off limits & every trick & tool I have learned is fair game

    as far as track selection goes, I've gone through & collected every random chill, jazzy trip hop & DnB, down tempo tune I could find in my collection (as well as purchased some more new & back catalogue tracks)
    I'm playing tunes from the 90's through today, stuff I always enjoyed listening to but never really thought I would use in DJ sets
    I've beat grid the DnB on the half step, so I can easily mix back & forth between the down tempo & the higher BPMs
    I try to play the set in "phases" or certain BPM ranges to mix a bunch of similar paced tracks together (over a 4 hour set)
    then transition to a different BPM range to play a different "phase" to mix another group of tracks

    I've only had 2 nights, so this may all change soon, but it has worked so far

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Koh Chang, Siam

    Default they don't listen, they don't see

    When exploring your options, it's sometimes helpful to focus on the differences.

    Prerecorded samples cannot react to the audience.

    My best chillout sets where, when people (pending location and situation) start dreaming. As with a packed dacefloor, there are leaders in your audience that can tell you where to go and if you're on the right track.

    Look out for the reader who looks up and gazes. Find that pair that stopped talking and just hold hands. Lighten a smile on their faces. Create happiness.

    Asking your question, you're only competing with these guys. Don't let them distract you from the ones you're making happy.

  5. #5


    Thanks guys dj andym good luck with the chill sessions .
    vzk thanks ..needed to hear that

  6. #6


    Great advice here. One thing I'll say as an electronic-first fan and DJ is that other genres may not follow the same cadence that dance music follows. While one tech house song @ 124BPM may leave an extra minutes of 4 on the floor beat to mix out, jazz and alterntative rock sets don't work the same.

    I say you work on track selection to build the mood, add small bits of filter sparingly (echo could be nice) and generally focus on reading th room. Break beats tend to cross genres well, too.

    CDJ's in the future ? Naturally.

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