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Also see: How to DJ.

The following is a short guide to mixing records, from my limited experience with house music.
First off you need a basic mixing set-up. This usually consists of two turntables and a pair of headphones plugged into a mixer and then through to an amp and finally a set of speakers. If you're new to mixing then I suggest you start with two records which have a very strong beat. Hard house is especially good for this but most house music falls into this category.

  1. Start by playing record one with the fader all the way across to the channel that corresponds to that particular turntable.
  2. Towards the end of the track start the second record and select it so that the sound is coming out of the headphones only.
  3. Unless you're incredibly lucky you'll notice that the songs are at different beats per minute. Listen to the beat of the record playing through the speakers and then to the beat of the one playing through the headphones. Tapping your foot or nodding your head usually helps.
  4. Now adjust the pitch of the second record until the two records are playing at the same speed. It's preferable to speed up records rather than slowing them down but it can't always be helped. Luckily most house music is at around 140 beats per minute so you shouldn't need to change the speed too much.
  5. Once you've got the pitches matched you need to match the beats. Usually you'll want to match the two down beats. If you listen carefully, you'll notice that a song can be divided up into series of beats, usually 8 or 16. The first beat of each series is referred to as the down beat.
  6. To match the two down beats, nudge the second record either forward or backwards. Matching the down beats is probably the hardest part of mixing and takes time to master. Don't give up if you find it impossibly hard at first.
  7. Wait for a good place to introduce the second record and then move the fader across.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7.
This is only the bare basics and there's many other techniques for mixing two records. DJing should be an enjoyable experience and not just seen as a way to look cool and to make lots of money. Whatever you do, have fun!

Let's add some more basic things a dj needs to know about mixing:

First, good dj beatmixes only records that are in same key. If next song is going to be in different key, don't mix it. Wait until appropriate part in song structure to fade previous song out and start new one after you've faded the first one out.

If dj plays songs that have lyrics, then it's appropriate to play even couples of songs that have similar lyrics. Creating a continuous story with song lyrics in the mix is a skill that only few can do.

Never let two vocals to play over each other; that sounds awful.

There is this unwritten law among dj's that songs shouldn't be pitched over +4 %, or -2 %. This way songs will sound as they were supposed to sound like when they were created.

Know your tracks. Most dance music tracks have specific parts that are meant to help the dj to mix in a new track. This kind of part can be identified usually when the instruments in song are reduced to rhythmic parts only, so there's no main melody and possible lyrics at all.

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