I have already written about how to source new music to DJ with and where to actually buy it. Today, I’ll put the pieces together and tell you how a typical tune goes from getting on my radar to ending up in my DJ library.
I get most of my new track ideas via one of the sources below.
When you hear an interesting tune, you need to identify it, quickly. For DJ mixes and live sets, Shazam is the obvious choice. For radio shows and podcasts, there’s often a tracklist that goes with the episode.
After I have identified a tune that grabbed my attention, I add it to a note in Evernote where I keep my DJ track ideas. If I particularly liked a track, I bold its name right away, which means that it’s now on a shortlist for buying.
I set aside the time to regularly go through the new tracks on my idea list and listen to them – preferably the full versions. YouTube is awesome for this because you can find pretty much everything there. With the listening comes bolding of more tracks that I’ll consider buying.
After I buy a track, I cross it off the Evernote list. I generally don’t delete entries from the list at all. Even if I don’t select a track for buying today, I may still change my mind and do so a few weeks later. As a result, my list is now truly humongous and I have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom!
I do 90% of my music buying on Google Play these days. It has all the releases that iTunes and others do, only at better prices. The sound quality is 320 kbit/s MP3, so no complaints there either.
When I log into Google Play, I generally have a very good idea of what tracks I’m going to be buying. Normally those are my shortlisted tracks from the ideas list. I may still have doubts about a few of them when it comes to actual buying, so I might go ahead and check them one last time on YouTube or elsewhere.
Sometimes the price of the full release (album or single) is not so much different from the price of a single track. In that case, I just grab the whole release, potentially ending up with more remixes and/or totally new material. Not all of it ends up in my Serato, though.
That was it as far as my music discovery and purchasing process goes. You probably noticed that I hardly ever listen to radio, nor do I use Beatport, Juno Download or Traxsource that often. Your mileage will vary!
What’s your process for getting new music? How do you discover new tunes? How do you keep track of ideas? What’s your favorite music store? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.
JM has played open-air gigs, shared the stage with the likes of ATB and had mix albums released commercially. He has been teaching DJing since 2008.
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