Skip to main content

Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

Lesson 11 of 13

Manual Beatmatching Techniques

DJ Hapa

Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

DJ Hapa

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

11. Manual Beatmatching Techniques

Lesson Info

Manual Beatmatching Techniques

This is probably one of the more difficult skill sets to get down and most importantly because it's not as instantly rewarding. And it it's very frustrating of like trying to manually beat match, especially when, like things were getting chaotic and, like you're not sure which one is faster, which won a slower and, like, you know, in the mix is starting to fall apart. Um, it's it's a little bit different when you're like learning the scratch and you're doing the same scratch over and over again. And you know that, like, you know, the repetition will get there. The same thing is true of manually beat matching, though it's like you're really just trying toe distinguish and get faster with, like your year. So I want to kind of talk through the manual, be matching a little bit first. Then I'm gonna give a couple of exercises that we're gonna do. We gonna do some exercises together, I'm gonna get you guys up here. You guys gonna do a few of these exercises for the for the sake of you guys b...

ack at home that it will maybe become a little bit difficult cause we're not going to do a lot of this stuff out of the, um, out of the full sound here. So a lot of it will be done in the queue. But one of the biggest tools that I wanna, um, army with first is to record um, try and record the audio from your practice and it may be painful toe like listen through after you've done it like but like, you'll learn a lot by studying like the recording of like, whether or not things are, you tend to pushed too much or, you know, the timing of you bringing in the one on the one is not exactly right. You'll figure out a lot of information by doing that. So let's jump right into it. I said this before we went to break. You know, there's a sync button on gear now going back to be PM really quick. The PM is gonna be incredibly important for one more beat matching. You know, don't try and challenge yourself so much where you're like going outside that plus or minus four range when you beat matching, you know, that's only gonna make it harder on you to actually get that done. So let's try and stick within that same plus or minus four range when you're manually beat matching tracks together and in the very beginning of manually beat matching one of the biggest things is to use two of the exact same record and to try and use an instrumental. So by using an instrumental in using two of the exact same records, you're gonna create a control controlled environment. So then be able to tell whether or not what is happening if they drop in on the one is coming in on time. Okay, So, um, I'm gonna go back to the phrase I'm gonna write the phrase back up on the board the four bar phrase. So it looks like this. And then the one comes back. Okay, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna drop the one on the one so going back to this whole thing. What kind of drum was the one for those of you who have been with us for a while? You remember this in the kick to snap three for a cool over and over again that we're gonna have kicks in their kicks now. Now, what do you think? I want you to listen more intently on either the kick or the snare. Which one do you think you should be listening more to? Just take a guess. Maybe You say kick 34 All four of you say cake snare. I want you to listen for the snare, okay? For a couple of reasons. One, the snares. A sharper sound I always thought the kick to, but, uh, the snares a sharper sound. So it's easier to identify, and it's more he's act so really trying to line up those those collapse together. So when the other thing is, you're gonna drop in on the one you're gonna drop in and one snare snare if the snares are lined up than everything will be lined up. So you really focusing on the snare? The kick can sometimes be muddy, so it can kind of trail in tow like, not as sharp. So I can kind of trail into, like, you know, the in between beats and stuff like that. So, um, um, we're gonna listen for the snares, and in doing so, are. Headphones are gonna be our best friend. Her headphones are are gonna be our best friend in this. Um, you're not going to be using, um, you know your eyes or anything like that till, like, manually beat match. You're gonna be using your ears. So music is heard Not necessarily seen. So I really want you to like Ford these exercises really focusing on using your ears. Um, so, first of all, let's talk about headphones for the quick. Um, you don't necessarily need a deejay specific type of headphone. Um, these headphones are like over the year, you know, So they actually cover your full ear. Um, not a bad. Not about idea Here. You can also use earbuds if you wanted to. Like, I mean, you could get away with using the smaller little earbuds if if that's more comfortable for you. Either way, one of things that you don't want in a headphone when you're trying to manually beat match is noise canceling. So you don't want to like, have, like, your noise canceling Bose headphones that you use on the plane. You do not. You do not because you want to be able to hear the ambient, you won't be able to hear what else is going on. So I mentioned this last segment. Have one year in one year out. You have to determine which one is your cue ear. Okay, so that means the one that you're chewing up like I'm always queuing with my right ear. That's my cue here. Um, probably the best way to figure out which here's your cue. Ear is what year do you talk on the phone with, Right? Right. Left. Both you have and be ambidextrous. Tear listener. Uh, right. It should be the ear that you can talk on the phone and do other things. Essentially, that's what we're doing, right? You're like listening to something. You're paying attention to what you're hearing, but you're also physically being able to do other things. If I were to when I'm talking on the left side, I'm basically, like, shut off from the world like it's as if I am not able to do other things. I don't know. That's just the way of, like, trained my ears to then go so you can train your ears as well. So if you're not sure, just pick one and then always Just go with that and you'll train that year. Tear that eso here we're going to do. We're actually then tryingto drop in on the one. It's their snare. Those should line up. Okay, So I'm gonna do this real quick and take two of the same record when you use this instrumental that I was using earlier. Ah, this block rocker beat on a second, Okay? Used to the exact same record. I'm gonna set both things to zero eso both records is set to zero in this case, What we're gonna do in in studio is I'm gonna actually play the beat for you guys, and you guys are gonna all match up to the master because the century, that's what you're doing. You're only focused on one at a time. So the one that's plain is almost as if it's if it's plain, you're not really touching this one. So you're going to use this one and really focus in on one side. So when you guys are doing this, I'm gonna play the same beat for you guys, and two of you will come up here and try this exercise. Um what we're doing this. I'm gonna do the exercise first and then have you guys come up here? Okay, so, uh, here is the exercise. Um, I'm dropping the one on the one. Okay. So, uh, yeah. Got signal. Do we not have me? Ah, coming through the house here to see Maybe I have turned something on. Okay. Only getting one side. All right. Okay. Let me see. Ah, this is exactly were talking about earlier. So my fader is all live to the top. Somebody reversed it. Maybe I did when I was given that demo. Okay, so it's a good It's a good example of troubleshooting, though. It's like it's important to not, like, lose your head. Like while you're trying to troubleshoot something, and I kind of walk through what made sense. So, actually, there's a good example. Let's let's learn from it really quick. So I had I put the reverse switch back on. Okay, so this was all the way up. I was getting signal. Are we able to get in? Yeah. You see that? I'm getting signal in here, so I know that, like between here and here. That's right. It's them. What's coming out. So I thought that maybe there was a button that was on that was, like muting that channel of some kind. Like maybe the filter was all the way down, Um, or something like that. But then it turns out that exactly that cool. All right, So, uh, let's do this exit. I'm gonna do this on, um, I'm doing on the CD tray. I want to do it on the turntable. The kind of the same. The the adjustments that you'll see me doing are a little bit different. So the first things that I'm gonna do is I'm not gonna make any adjustment. All I'm going to do is they're two of the exact same record. If I drop them in, if I drop the one on the one, technically, they should line up, right? So, as always, I dropped the one on one they should line up. That will give me the, um, the reference point. Now, if they sound off, it's not because one is too fast or too slow to the exact same record. It's not that one is too fast or too slow. It's that it needs to be pushed back into place. Okay, so, um, I have this example of rubber bands really quick. So this is there's two different ways that I'm making an adjustment to. The record one is like, these are two of the exact same record, right? The exact same length. If one is off when you make a mark on it. These are just regular rubber bands. They're not magic rubber bands or anything. Um, but this is a good example. Okay, So and make a couple marks, I'll just make two marks. Two of the same can you see in the, um, camera? Here, let me see. I get it right here. Temp. Okay, so this is the start. And let's say these air my snares, Let's say Okay, so my two in the four so an drop and then the snares being lined up. Exactly. There we go. Ok, now, if they are different tempos, this is what this looks like. Do you see that? So the top one, the snare hits later and you see that it's changing over time, like over time. That's like the first There is pretty close. But later on, if I stretch it even a little bit more and make it a bit different. You'll see over time that it gets a lot more off. And this is because of then tempo, this is that the BPM is not exactly the same. This is that case. Okay, now, if I go back to the regular, okay, this is back to regular if I don't drop it in at the right time. But they're set to be the exact same, and I don't drop it in at the right time. It would look like this. It's got to be a better way, but this is pretty good. Okay, so you see that? Do you see that? Now? My fingers were kind of in the way. This is that it was dropped off, so it doesn't need like there doesn't need to be an adjustment to the pitch to the tempo. This won't do anything. This won't fix anything. In fact, if this is off like this and now watch if I stretch this, it's not gonna do anything. It is not the right adjustment. This isn't what is wrong here. What really needs to happen is what years now? Yeah. Left or right? Yeah. This thing is getting nudged right So the paint on which one I dropped in is the one that I have to nudge to get back into place. All right, so there's two types of adjustments here. There's one that's going to be this nudging. We sometimes often call this like tapping and pushing, pushing and tapping this like, slow down. Or I call this a minor adjustment. So I'm either going to speed up the record a bit. Slow down the record a bit. And there's different adjustments that you're gonna use on either CJ or the turntable. Different types of adjustment to do the miners. Or so there's one that's a minor adjustment. Or there's a major adjustment, which is a tempo adjustment having do with the pitch. Okay, so but the first thing before we get too deep into that, I just want to focus first on, like our reference point, trying to get that one tow line up with one like nine out of 10 times. When you first do this exercise, it may be that it's like two out of 10 times you want to get this so that it's like nine out of 10 times, 99 times out of 100 so that you know that that's not an issue. Because then when you start using songs that are different BPM, you know, we're using just two songs that are the same. If you have this issue of not dropping in on the right time and then now you're working with other be PM's like now you're that's what's really confusing. You don't know if it's your hand if it needs to be faster or slower on the tempo that you're not sure what the change needs to be, so always start with two of the same record. So here we go, we'll start to the same record. Uh, I'm just gonna play this one. I'm just gonna practice bringing this in over and over again. In fact, let me talk through. I shouldn t do it first and then I'll put it up there. So here we go. Do this out of that, um, out here, sitting here. Forward, forward, forward. Bring it back to back to I'm gonna let it play for, like, a bar Stevens on forward. Over. Now, if my timing is off, it's gonna sound like this, right? bring it back or in my town like this, they need to be pushed together. This could also happen if I'm not exactly on the beginning of like, where that one is. So if I'm too far back meaning so I literally have to be at the edge of the sample, like at the edge of that kick, like, right up to the one toes on the edge. And then you notice I'm doing this little scratch to, then drop in. Now, the reason why I'm doing that is because this timing is gonna be essential for dropping it in by drop it and cold. The chances of me nailing it are a lot smaller. Be the same as if the four of you guys five you guys, you're running around the track. I'm standing here watching run around the track. I'm about to Then jump in with you as I'm watching you around the track. What am I doing? Prepare how my preparing. You know what's coming. I know it's coming, but my physically do anything. Okay. Anything else, George? Good. Okay. I probably trying to time your pace, right. So I kind of be like okay. Yep. All right, So that then when you come, I'm like, right there with you, right? So this scratch is the running in place. This is that running in place, getting the timing nothing crazy. I'm not doing doing anything where I'm like, showing off here. It's all, like, four purpose. It's like even a simple eight note which is forward, forward, forward, forward, drop or like maybe 1/16. Like I find that the 16th is a little bit more accurate cause I feel like it's almost more real time. Fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore, fore drop if you don't get all four of those, If you don't get the entire last bar, you just get the last two beats of it. That's cool, too, or even the last beat. Remember, it was more so so that this lines up on the one eso um it goes like this and drop and this is gonna play. You're gonna let it play, and hopefully you're hearing snare, kick, snare. But now you're gonna rewind us back to the very 1st 1 Get ready to go. You've got sort of four beats until the before and then Forward, forward, forward, forward drop. Now again, this could be 16th if you wanted. This shouldn't be like whole notes, though. One and drop like you should. You should have some sort of movement here, so at least you know, eight notes, 16th notes, something like that.

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.