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Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

Lesson 1 of 13

Introduction and Basic Music Theory

DJ Hapa

Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

DJ Hapa

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction and Basic Music Theory

Lesson Info

Introduction and Basic Music Theory

Five finally the time has come no for tj wait good man good early bright and early we are it is really well I wanna welcome everybody to creative live on the music and audio tanning my name's drew we have deejay hop in the house today and I'm super pumped about today ah course on d j fundamentals hop a has done so much stuff you wanted m e ah super super talented dude for being the first guy for c j ever on the news he's worked with stevie wonder he shared the stage with michael jackson ah and he is the brand ambassador right and the coach for d j academy yeah I mean I think of myself as a coach yeah uh yeah welcome everybody and today what we're going to do is I'm going to coach you guys through a bit of a bit of d j is that all right? Is that good? Alright be fun I'm super pumped to learn this stuff too because I've always wanted to learn more about d jane because I love it and so take us away yeah you ready to go let's do it let's see what you guys are all in the right place so firs...

t of all I want to give a little bit of background about the academy the academy was actually started in two thousand two uh the two partners were robbed principal who's, our acting ceo and his partner it was jam master jay from run d m c so we have a pretty, pretty deep rooted heritage there. J is sort of as good as they get when you get teo technical deejay and he really transformed what the d j did. So jay's vision, though, and jm rob's vision really was too provide education and access to the deejay art form. So, you know, I myself himself taught and there's a lot of deejays out there that are self taught. So the fact that now we have, like, a school and we have this, like, mind share of, like, oh, wow, like you do it like that? Oh, you do it like this. Oh, that's way better. I should start doing it like that and kind of combining the best of the way that everybody learned and putting it all into one package, which is this? So, you know, what we end up doing is, um, we have group classes that we normally offer in our five cities that we have physical locations, the reason why I'm so pumped about today, I literally could not sleep last night. True story, because I feel like this is this great opportunity now to speak and to spread our art form to people who aren't in our five cities seattle being one of them so the fact that like you guys have been here today to like learn hands on here is awesome on thanks for getting up early too to do that and be here really quick though. So j started the school in two thousand two later that year jam master jay was murdered so literally this is a huge part of jam master jay's living legacy and this idea behind starting the school was you know, to share this art form so there are no secrets and there won't be any secrets here, which is why this is such a great thing that we're doing with creative live where it's essentially I'm giving you so much information over the next two days I hope your heads don't completely explode if I see it's starting to go that way I'll pull back a little bit but the you know you're gonna learn so much in such a consolidated amount of time and that was really the true vision to be able with our art form continue on so let me shut up they'll be plenty of you hearing my voice throughout the next two days I do want to get into like actually doing some things and getting you guys on these actual deck so real quick for any of you though for any buddy at home you want to fall along, we'll do a couple of exercises, especially in this first module we'll focus ah lot on scratching and scratching for timing purposes, you know, not necessarily going going all out like I was just doing here but using the turntable or the deck as an instrument and to play it as an instrument and that will then also allow for timing for mixing and all these things that's kind of the fundamental the big piece of this that being said to the last thing I'll say about this particular course overall is we tiled this deejay fundamentals with good reason this is not necessarily a beginner's course this is not an advanced course either this is about the fundamentals and to me this is about building a foundation, a strong foundation for some of you you already have some experience deejay and filling in some of these holes in some of these gaps that it might be there from how you learned howto how to get to where you are will be a good place to do that I'm a firm believer and having a strong foundation um I was actually thinking about this this morning and you know you can build a house on not so great with foundation and it'll be fine it'll stand there, it'll be all good to go, but if you want that building to still be there ten years from now twenty years from now, after the storm, you know, you really then have to build a solid foundation and that's, what this is kind of about is, you know, being able to give you guys a solid foundation that you can build, you know, potentially a career on or for some of you, maybe you just want to know a little bit more about what is going on when you go and see your favorite deejay so cool, let's, let's get right into it. One of the things that we have at the academy is it's definitely community it's based on a community of people. And so the fact that the I'm going to call you for drew the fact the four of you are here in studio I just really quick, I want to know just deejay names. So the biggest thing with our community is I don't actually know a lot of guys by their government names was issued on there. I'd say their passport. Like a lot of my friends who are djs all across the world, I simply know them as there d j names no guys like jazzy jeff for like, a z trip or something like, I mean, I call them by those names as opposed to, uh, as opposed to their government name, so, uh deejay name could be a nickname you could make one up on the spot some of you you're like yes finally I can let my my inner deejay out so we'll start with you my man um I'll go by his lewd how you spell that I zou d I c u l l u d ies e l u d is lewd alright um I z l u d e cool man are you from here? Roberto cool man awesome on you have some experience siege a little bit I played what I played with dex and I have my own um called the djs yeah ah controller central cool awesome good to have you in martian dean martian like dean martin but dean martian uh and a r t I c I a and dean martian like that alright sweet d con di khan k o and all right? Because they're like a dash. No. Well, yeah, maybe is there that I should be in that you should be a dash of snow there is official it's another broadcast this to the world like it's done. We're done I've never been asked that uh I've been racking my brain uh given nickname friends hi my name marshall marshall so what I go by your middle name logan is my middle name um cheese that actually sounds like a dj named marshall logan yeah I like that we'll go with that for now if you decide to change it we can always change it marshall logan okay cool and then of course my name is top cool um good to have you guys great to have you here in studio so the first thing that we're going to do today is going to talk a little bit about music theory like I said we're gonna get to scratch it so before you even do some of the stuff that like I'm doing appear so you're hearing me um right I'm like taking this sound and manipulating it by using the deck and using the mixture and the combination of the two so like what I can do is take this one sound that is take that and then be able to like manipulate it and play it to beat so I'm playing this like an instrument so I'm just gonna play the track again something like that right? So like anybody can get up here and do this wait you like music right? So the thing to make the difference between what I just did right there and what I did before that was applying musical theory to what it is that I'm doing so just like you would any other instrument I mean if you're going to play the guitar it's important that you know some sort of theory and not just pick up a guitar and just strum it like this and have no basis for doing it that's actually how I play the guitar it's terrible eso today though we're going to start with music theory so basic music through so let me have you guys uh can you see where you're at okay cool I'm just gonna break this down really fast any questions before we start yeah yeah our year to are the I think they're see djs are the cd jays and the vinyl turntable are they sink well what's interesting way we're going to get into a bunch of this gear we're going to do that probably after lunch and do like a whole thing about hardware and new gear is actually the brand new pioneer z controller dj jazzy so it has it's basically to cj smash into one this is all one controller and then the turntables have plugged into this yeah we'll get into all of that it's crazy looks like a spaceship s so what let me uh let me do this I don't want to raise your guys names is lewd my man d con dean martian on marshall logan cool um all right so first of all do any of you play any other musical instrument anybody yeah what do you play just throw him out whatever you play play the violin for a few years and I switched to the cello violin and cello okay a little bit of piano nobody piano no music guitar fiddle mandolin electric car that could be a cool combination yeah cool awesome so I used to play the drums um and playing the turntable is a lot like playing any sort of percussion instrument I was in a very, very similar way but just to make sure that we're all on the same page I'm going to go over some really super basic music theory so I am going to go over beats bars and phrases now really quick um you know a lot of this deejay gear even like cj's or some of the software it actually has on here it has time like it has like regular time like you know, minutes and seconds that's not entirely accurate though because the music we have musical time right? Okay, so instead of seconds minutes and hours what we now have is beets, bars and phrases okay, so I'm gonna break these down for you really quick beats can somebody define a beat for me like how would you say what a beat is a right now kind of tough, right? I mean, the easiest way that I've found is that the beat is ahead not it sounds stupid but you're wrecking every single one of those is a beat right? So one, two, three, four five six okay cool, so be it is a head nod uh head nod k a bar anybody know the bars good it's a group of head nods is a group of beats so and you said the magic number four very good so four beats okay, so one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four, three, two, three, four okay, these are bars okay? Ah phrase that phrase is a group of bars guess how many less twelve less eight yes, there you go. So sixty martian yet you've got four bars to a phrase so you see, four is really imagine numbers so it's four times for sixteen sir. Sixteen beats right so let me just draw this out for you really quick so one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four oh, home second still early I don't have my drawing skills on yet. Okay, cool. So this is this could be said three ways they're all correct. One would be this is one phrase, right? Or this is four bars, right? Or sixteen beats it's all the same same thing with, like seconds and minutes and hours like you could say sixty seconds. Well, you could say one minute or a sixtieth of ah of an hour or whatever. Um that would be a very complicated way of saying one minute a sixty five uh ok, cool, so these are this is the crux of every thing that we're going to do so what I want you guys to really train yourselves to start doing is music is the language so it's just like you know english spanish french like you got it speak that language and I'm working with other musicians as you guys know who are musicians like this is then the language that we need to speak so for so many years djs even now I mean you know sometimes there are people out there believe it or not this might be a newsflash but there are people out there that are like, what is the deejay doing he's just pressing buttons he just came plays just playing a mix and you know that might be the case with some djs but there's definitely more that goes with that so from now on though one of things I want to have happen is oh there's a change that comes in the next four bars there's something happening how long was that course that course wasn't thirty two seconds that course was four bars. No, we need to use musical time because that's going to be way more accurate. Okay. Uh sweet and then that way when you're playing with your friend who plays the mandolin you could be like cool man there's a a bar break right here that's all instrumental it's an eight bar break you take that ape are break he knows exactly what you're saying you know instead of like whatever something's happening in three seconds okay cool sweet um all right let's do some quick notes here alright everybody's good on this okay uh I'm gonna fill in some notes half quarters eights sixteens now some of you guys are like oh, crap I thought we were just gonna wicky wicky wacky wacky um no there's actual theory um all right, so I'm gonna make this very simple though when I used to put the drums that have two options and have a right and a left right? So right drumstick and a left drumstick the same is true when I um I'm on the turntables now I have a forward and have a back okay, so it works exact same way so when I used to play the drums whole notes on the drums would sound like this right? Two, three, four left two three, four right two, three, four left two, three for now on the turntables sounds like this two three, four back to three four forward to three four to make sense cool. So I'm gonna start filling in this chart really quick or you're gonna help me out here? So what I just did was the whole note, so it's forward two three four back to three four forward two three four back to three four everybody's good okay, now if you're at home and you're falling along if you do have you know set up in front of you you can use this when we start getting into our exercise or I'm going to show you how to do this with a piece of paper um on the table all right, so yes hi tech here. All right, so this is whole notes half notes I'm gonna put the forward in d martian where do you think the back goes on? Uh right in the middle there this one, right? Yeah, good forward two back to forward too back to good so it would be forward to back to forward to back to cool quarter notes put the forward in is lou where do you think tobacco's after do you think would be here? Where do you think I'd be here I'll be right there under the thumb of the right above underneath right happy next right forward bet four back to me like this so it would be on this actual one on the next on behalf right on that this is actually the next beat so this is one, two, three four or the back two three four but to be forward, back forward, back or back so you should see it's getting smaller right um so marshall logan where's the back go now on the eighth the first second right between. Say it again between the first and second. Yes, good. And you're using the language? It's. Good. So, between the first and second beat so it's on the half beat right, sitting on that little and right there. So cool. So there's going to get a little tight down here? Okay. Uh, and then sixteen here. De con even shorter. Right. So this is ahh one and a two and a three and a four year anna for any of you guys who know music theory already. Um, cool. So let me break this up and make it a little bit easier to digest my racer here. If we're just to look at one bar, just lean at one bar, okay? And the ford is one sound. The back is one sound. How many sounds are in one bar of whole note. Anybody? One? Very good. How about half? Two for good? Eight. Sixteen. And if it was thirty seconds, there'll be thirty two sounds. It was two thousand fourteenth which this is impossible. There be two thousand fourteen. Sounds so that's all there. That's. All it is is evenly spaced. Sounds over musical time.

Class Description

Learn how to DJ with DJ Hapa of Scratch DJ Academy. This class will set you up with everything you need to know to get your start as a DJ.

DJing is more than counting beats and waving your hands in the air, it is about skillfully bringing together songs to create an experience. In DJ Fundamentals you’ll learn about the theory behind music and the basics of manual beatmatching and scratching. Hapa will introduce you to the gear essential to a DJ set including hardware, software and the functions and features to look for. You’ll learn about breaking down music and analyzing arrangement – skills you can use for DJing and producing remixes or original work.

If you are brand new to DJing or you’ve been at it for a while, this course will give you a solid foundation you can build on no matter which genre or style you prefer.


Arik Cohen

I’ve always wanted to be a DJ and dabbled with gear and software since I was a kid. But as a result I never got really good at it. So I finally decided to give the subject it’s proper respect and study it. Boy am I glad I did. This guy is a terrific instructor. Just enough theory to give you a solid foundation, just enough practice to get you to work on your skills. I’m half way through the material and I’m loving every minute of it. I learned in one video more than I had learned my entire life watching random YouTube videos and talking to others. I would definitely recommend it to any DJ, new or experienced that want to get their fundamentals down cold.


It's great to learn from a master such as DJ Hapa, the course content is the perfect blend of comprehensive content and practical demonstrations. I've learnt a wealth of valuable information! Thank you Creativelive and DJ Hapa for an excellent course

N Ho

Great intro to DJ-ing, covering gear, building blocks of music, beat matching, and lots of little stories about his experience. Also touches on what to think about depending on what kind of DJ you want to be and how that might change the type of gear you're after. As a classically trained musician, I also find his notation for phrases, beats, etc a lot more simple and intuitive than traditional theory. Thanks, great course.