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4.6 out of 5 stars
How to DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Having been a professional nightclub DJ for close to 30 years, I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation and a lot of pre-judgements. I thought, "Surely this would be just another DJ 101 handbook with only half the facts and the authors just trying to make a quick buck!"

I was wrong! First to anyone who is new to DJing, get a copy of "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life," the definitive book on DJ history which gives you the real, true story on where all of this came from. Then start from the beginning. It does a wonderful job of explaining the individual techniques and skills needed to DJ effectively without ever being condescending or giving you the feeling of being dumbed down. Some may say they can find all of this information on the Net, but take it from me, you can't because there is so much MIS-information on the Net. It certainly helps that the authors are DJs themselves and know what they are talking about. And I have to admit, even I learned something after all these years.

My only concern with the book is that it definitely has a UK flavor to it. While the authors show a vast depth of understanding of the music industry at large, it would be nice if they spent a little more time in the USA where all of this started. I didn't even find one mention of the record pool system (an invaluable resource for getting promos) and with a book with this much information, I was totally surprised that there was no index at the end. It would be nice to go back and find individual bits of information easier. A great read, a pleasant surprise. And the book is dedicated to 2 of the men who started it all...that's a class act!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
English DJs Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster, self-described as "great fun and good-looking," have created one of the most comprehensive and detailed books on DJing in How To DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records. Using their combined experience, their in-depth interviews with world-famous DJs, and most importantly their love of music, they have managed to produce a diverse volume of work that is indispensable to any DJ regardless of experience.

Presented in easy to understand terms with more than a little humor, How To DJ Right is a guide that not only delves deep into the history and theory of the DJ from the art form's conception in the 1960's and 70's, but also covers modern technology's impact on music today.

The two DJs cover everything from buying gear and basic techniques to musical theory and building collections. They detail to how to deal with record companies and even throw in some tips on how to get into a helicopter without looking foolish-- they advise ducking a little, but not too much... acting nonchalant, like it's a taxi. In addition to their advice, the book is interspersed with wisdom and commentary from some of today's top DJs including Fatboy Slim, Kool Herc, Danny Tenaglia, Grandmaster Flash, and a host of other pioneers and greats from this musical tradition.

Pulling much of their history from their earlier work, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, Broughton and Brewster created a work less like a history lesson and more like a hands-on lecture. The pairing of techniques and sage wisdom creates a work detailing subtleties in the DJ philosophy-- how DJs should think and act to be the "Masters of the Dance Floor."

The Englishmen do however seem to focus on philosophy over technique, a theme that could easily turn away the fledgling DJ-in-training looking for a more techniques-based approach to learning the craft. The techniques are not looked over per-se, but rather treated as secondary to theory. Readily apparent from the introduction, the pair holds little quarter for those seeking skills only. The new DJ may find the book lacking guidance on nuances of technique and style, those crucial details which separate the artisans from mere human jukeboxes.

The two gentlemen assert that playing records is not in itself difficult; rather knowing what records to play, when to play them, and what parts to play are lifelong activities for any DJ worth his or her salt. How To DJ Right is centered on the central philosophy that what makes greatness in the postmodern art form is quite simply the love of the craft and the love of music as a whole. With its blend of technical tools, sound advice from experts, and organized progressive structure, How To DJ Right is one of the most valuable books for any DJ.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're at all remotely interested in learning how to DJ, you should definitely pick up this book. The information in this book took me about 5 to 6 months to find on the Internet, browsing and posting forums, and reading websites.
It begins by discussing the DJ's philosophy, an important place for any beginner (or music lover!) to understand what DJing is about. The book thoroughly explains the various pieces of DJ equipment, which tends to be the most confusing aspect for most beginners. The techniques and terms of mixing songs together are clearly explained and illustrated. Scratching and some basic scratch techniques are discussed but not to an elaborate degree. The final aspects of the book are related to the all-important "dancefloor connection" and the music industry itself.
This book concisely organizes all the information you would typically find from DJ message boards and websites. It's low price tag and informative, utilitarian layout are enough to make it a must buy for anyone wishing to become more involved in the DJ scene!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've been mixing for more than two years now, and I wish I had this book when I started. I've also saved myself countless more years of future experience, just by reading these pages. I recomend it to anybody who wants to be a DJ. I also STRONGLY recommend anybody who wants to be a DJ to buy the Intellect DVD (search for it on Amazon). Happy mixing! :-D
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is just one of those good buys that you have to do in life. I have researched the web ,try videos ,and some other books to "culturize" my self about what and how djs do it and this piece of information is just simple the best one. Plus comes with lots of web addresses where you can expand what they are taking about. Easy to understand, light reading, and the best of it; it goes to the point NO BS. After reading it you dont only will expand your knowledge u will find that some of the things u were doing were just not enough. 5 stars for this book. It will teach you how to fall in love again with the music and what you can do with it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just recently started taking DJ classes, and this book has been tremendous help. Historically, the barriers to entry have been a bit high in the DJ field, often leaving beginners like myself wondering where to start: what equipment do I need? what are the fundamentals I have to work on? The book fills this gap, providing a comprehensive guide on equipment, techniques, online resources and the general nature of the industry in a very clear format. I've browsed through other books on this subject (a rather limited selection) and none of them come close in terms of breadth and quality.
The book hits on a lot of key points and has an encouraging tone, balanced out by a bit of sarcastic humor. For instance, it notes the likely frustrations from trying a new technique (yes, everyone stinks in the beginning), but this just requires practice, practice, practice. The book has also been right on the mark about how most people in the field, from experienced DJs to record store operators, are quite helpful. Even when I pass the beginner stage, it will surely be a useful reference well into the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book prety much covers it all, beat matching, scratching, blending ,eq-ing, playing records in key....Plus a lot of insight into the more esoteric elements of playing records. The authors who also wrote the wonderful "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: A History of the DJ" have a lucid grasp on the world of dance music and its main delivery device, two turntables and a mixer. (and of course, the Records!)The positive and playful tone of this book is inspiring as well as informative, peppered with interesting anecdotes and observations which illuminate the ambrosial nature of this misunderstood art.

I would also like to add comments regarding "Floyds garage punker boi" addressed by S.Ward. If Floyd knew what he was talking about, he would know that punk and contemporary dance music along with hip hop share a common genesis.DYI....! The histories of these forms of music are intertwined and share a similar defiance to authority and conformity. The Acid House era raised more hackles than punk could ever hope to do. Despite attempts by the major labels to commodify and exploit dj culture , it still remains underground with many of the dance music labels being DJ owned. Dancing in itself is considered to be sinful and subversive by many and is even banned in some countries. And thats what Djins is all about..making people dance.

So called "punks" like Floyd exhibit the same dogmatic, close minded nonsense of the very institutions punk originally rebelled against. And just where is punk these days? A bunch of suburban wankers prancing about in leather drag,(can you say Green Day? A Simple Plan? Good Charlotte?) raking in the bucks while pretending to "stick it to the man" Puleeze! Corporate sponsered rebellion.....?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book looked so simple after thumbing through the pages after I received it. In my opinion its designed like a 70's album and I prejudged the book. THE REALITY: This book has enhanced my DJ career to a level I cannot believe. Because of this book I can fill the dance floor every time. The book is candid to the point of explicatives (which I enjoyed). Also the book features many comments from the originators of our DJ profession to the current artists. I'm 3/4s of the way through and don't want this book to end. I've been DJing for three years. Corp events, Clubs, and Parties. I've always done well. This book is helping me do soooo much better. In fact after using several of the books techniques I was offered three new jobs after a single gig. On the last job a woman told me "You are an awesome DJ! We keep trying to leave and you keep us here". The book gave me that extra edge. Out of the five DJ educational books I have purchased, this one is making me money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been interested in DJing and electronic music for a long time, but I've never Dj'd myself. This book talks as much about the art of picking songs and performing for the crowd as the physical skills of manipulating turn tables.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a very insightful look into the world of the old and modern dj. His/her art, techniques, and some basic tips are covered in it. This is the DJ bible, and i greatly reccommend this to any stuggling DJ. Have fun with it!
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