Music for DJs

Written by Styles Davis

With COVID restrictions easing around the world, the nightlife industry is opening up, and DJs are returning to the booths. To support the community, we’re publishing tips, tricks, and advice for DJs who are navigating their return to the workplace. This week our focus is music for DJs.

#BackToTheBooth

Last week, I published an article about my nightmare experience of returning to the DJ booth after months of being sidelined due to COVID restrictions. The experience taught me a valuable lesson in staying prepared, and this week I want to focus on music.

As technology and social media have accelerated the way people consume music, the dance floors have changed, and DJs need to adapt. It’s not enough to be aware of top Billboard tracks and radio hits; DJs need to pay attention to TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms where music is being discovered by the masses. In this era, missing a few weeks of new music is like missing a year’s worth, and it’s increasingly harder for DJs to stay on top of it.

To help DJs get back to the booth, we’ve put together a list of essential Beatsource playlists with popular tracks guaranteed to work on your dance floors.

Monthly Top Picks

If you’ve missed the past few months of new music releases, Beatsource’s Monthly Top Picks playlists are a great way to quickly catch up on the top hits from multiple genres. Browse through the recent playlists for each of our genres to make sure you have all the big tracks. These playlists are all killer, no filler, and everything on them has been floor-tested and DJ-approved.

Clean Edits

Depending on the types of gigs you play, you may need clean edits. These are versions of tracks that have explicit language removed. These edits are great for DJs who spin at gigs like:

Save these exclusive Beatsource playlists to your library to ensure that you’re covered for any gig that requires clean music.

Essential DJ Edits

Intro versions are super helpful to DJs. They provide instrumental breaks at the beginning and end of every track allowing DJs to get extra creative with their mixes. The Beatsource Essential Edits playlists contain thousands of intro edits for some of the most popular tracks of all time.

TikTok Tracks

Like it or not, TikTok dominates the social media scene and is responsible for breaking new music more than any other platform. I don’t use TikTok, but that leaves me missing out on tons of tracks that go viral, and when I get requests for them at the club, I’m completely clueless. To help DJs stay on top of viral music, Beatsource has a TikTok Tracks playlist that’s updated regularly with the latest trending tracks. If you’re like me and don’t want to join TikTok, this playlist is for you.

Beatsource Top 10

Our Top 10 charts are more useful than your typical pop chart because they’re based on Beatsource user playback data. So you get to see tracks that DJs are actually spinning instead of tracks that may be popular but aren’t getting rotation in DJ sets.

The20

With new music being released daily, it’s hard for DJs to keep up with the latest releases. Plus, not all new releases are worth a DJ’s time as not every track is meant for the dance floor. Thankfully, Beatsource identifies the hottest 20 new tracks of the week every week, providing DJs with a quick way to find the latest must-have tracks.

Transition Edits

Part of being a professional DJ is adapting and reacting to a crowd to keep the party moving. Sometimes, this means switching up the energy by mixing to a different genre or tempo. Transition edits are a great tool for DJs because they help bridge the gap between different genres and tempos. These edits are good to have in your arsenal for situations where you have to quickly change up the energy.

Opening, Primetime, and Closing Playlists

Every club DJ knows there’s a flow to the night and that energy needs to be controlled by the music they’re playing. DJs can’t just come out of the gate with bangers and expect to keep the same energy for four to six hours. That’s why many DJs develop opening and closing sets in addition to what they may play during primetime. To help DJs prepare their crates, Beatsource has created opening, primetime, and closing playlists for each of our top genres. Use these playlists as inspiration for building your own crates and reference them if you need to confirm whether a track is a primetime banger or if it belongs in your closing set.