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Group DJ Lessons 
@ Pirate Studios

Content & Exercises to run your lessons

Content & Exercises


Hello DJ Tutor, 

Welcome to your LSEM - DJ Course Lessons Navigator


The point here is to locate resources that can be used in DJ studios to supplement the instruction of DJ course programmes.

This is just the stuff only you can see, and it's meant to go with the pages that DJ students can access through their Member's Area within their accounts.

You can also find links to these pages further down.

These sections are in Beta mode right now, so feel free to share your ideas about what to add, things that need fixing, etc.

Your ideas are always welcome, and you are encouraged to share them and participate in the development.


All the best with your classes and future star-making!

Yours truly,


Pablo Ranacat

Founder & Director




The 3 Level Course


Learn the essential skills from expert tutors to launch your professional DJ career

Entry Level
No experience Needed

You'll learn:

  • How to get new music

  • Download, organise & create playlists on Rekordbox

  • Equipment overview in detail

  • Beat-matching

  • Basic mixing techniques

  • Understanding 'Phrasing'
    to Mix Flawlessly

  • Memory Cues

  • Introducing Loops

  • Harmonic Mixing


Refine your technical skills
Nurture your talent
Earn confidence to DJ  

Beginners Course
or Technical Knowledge

You'll learn:

  • Take your basic knowledge
    to the next level

  • Advanced Set Structure

  • Start preparing your playlists
    to record your first DJ mix

  • Memory Cues & Hot Cues

  • Rekordbox in depth

  • Beat FX to Mix Creatively

  • Mix Harmonically

  • Advanced use of loops


Take it to the next level
Get club-ready
Start to get gigs

Intermediates Course
or Mixing Experience 

You'll learn:

  • Polishing everything
    you’ve learnt so far

  • Advanced Set Structure
    & planning

  • DJ Performance

  • Beat FX to Mix Creatively

  • Advanced use of Loops

  • Execution and recording of
    your first 1 hour DJ Promo Mix

  • This is a general idea of what will be taught throughout the whole course.


  • Please make sure you've read and understand the first tutor's page to get a general idea of the course and its goals, as well as the must-have gadgets you must bring and how it all works at Pirate Studios.


  • Make progress as a group: The above boxes show the content that is advertised on the website, however even though it would be great to follow it quite strictly, it's also good to always make sure that progress is made as a group.


  • Some students are slower to understand, so moving on to more advanced topics should be done when you know that they are all on the same track with what's already been covered.

  • Even if it's tempting to show off some features or more advanced mixing techniques, it's fine to do so as long as you explain that this is an example of what they will be able to do soon.


  • However, especially with FX, it can be tempting for students to start using them right away, which can be a bit of a hassle and make it hard for you and other students who might be a little behind to learn the basics.


  • Some groups never got the chance to start applying FX or Hot Cues to their mixes during this course, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because we can always offer them the opportunity to continue their learning journey by taking further, more advanced courses or even 1-1 lessons with us.

Every Lesson

Every Lesson:

Begin by reviewing what was covered in the previous lesson.

It's best to ask so they can explain; otherwise, you'll have to teach them again.


It's always a good idea to ask and remind them:

  • The one-hour mix is their final assignment.

  • Expand their collection of music.

  • Listen to the new songs they've got.

  • Have you put together any playlists?

  • Help them with their playlists. Have they set some memory cues on your tunes?

  • Have questions about Rekordbox?

  • Who wants to show us what you've made at home? Either on their laptops with Rekordbox or with CDJs.

Finish every session by reminding them of this same stuff and give them a general idea of what's coming next.


L1: Music, Rekordbox & Equipment Overview

Lesson 1

The first lesson, I usually compare to how warm-up sets pave the way for the rest of the journey.


I like to set the tone by easing in and allowing them to talk about themselves as much as possible.


Allowing them to introduce themselves one at a time and asking the standard questions about how they got into electronic music, how they decided to join the course, what parties they go to, if they have experience as DJs, and so on goes a long way toward making them feel at ease and leading to a nice introduction about yourself.


If you are the type of person who feels uncomfortable when the topic turns to you, you should try to force yourself to break the mould.


They want to know why you'll be their tutor, and by telling them about all of your accomplishments, you'll establish yourself as an authority figure and earn their respect.


You will do most of the talking in the first class.


Inform them that they will learn the majority of the technical aspects of the equipment during this first lesson. 

It'll be the most boring because they won't be playing music.


You'll go over: 

  • Where to get their music. Display websites to them. Give them some pointers.

  • Rekordbox fundamentals. A tour of Performance mode, including playlist creation and exporting them from Export mode.

  • CDJs basic features

  • Explain 'Signal Flow' by showing them the main knobs and faders from when the song leaves the CDJ until it finishes playing out the speakers

  • Prepare in advance and play them a few really good mixes and demonstrate how it's done

Lesson 1 Content

Extensive pages for you and your students are being created. These will be available through the member's area. They are a work in progress, so here is some information to get you started.


This is a free course I created last year that I am no longer using because the plan is to start producing high-quality video content. 

Anyway, I'm happy to share it with you so you can get some inspiration.


These are two videos, along with a few others, that serve as an introduction to becoming a DJ.


Ideas for where to get your music and how to get started DJing at home using Pioneer's free-forever version of the professional Rekordbox DJ Software, as well as an introduction to using the DDJ-400 USB Controller.

Music Websites + Rekordbox

Music Websites + Rekordbox

Music Websites + Rekordbox
Where to find and buy your music from - Online Stores

Where to find and buy your music from - Online Stores

Play Video
Rekordbox & the DDJ-400 Controller + Your first mix

Rekordbox & the DDJ-400 Controller + Your first mix

Play Video

The next video below is of the first lesson of a course I taught a few months ago. 

A student was unable to attend the lesson, and because the first one is so technical and difficult to catch up with, I had her on Zoom while recording the entire session.


It's a little disorganised, but you can definitely get the gist of how to proceed, the pace, and the amount of content to cover.

All of these pages will be expanded. 

In order to accomplish this goal, I really hope that I can count on your input and participation.

Nevertheless, everything will be done in due course.

Lesson 2

Let me begin by saying that what I'm writing down here is simply the method that I thought up and refined over time.


I don't mean to tell you exactly what to say at any point. The goal here is to give you some ideas for how to lead the class, with content and activities that work with a group of learners while also assisting them in making significant progress on the course's syllabus and learning to DJ as quickly as possible.


But, by any means, I am aware that you are an expert in the field.

So take everything with a pinch of salt and make it your own!

You can start every lesson by:

  • Reviewing everything you taught in the last lesson.

  • Ask them, make them talk.

  • Asking them if they have new tunes. Listen to them. 

  • Any doubts about Rekordbox? Open your laptop and show them around again. See how they sorted their tunes, etc

  • Any further features about Rekordbox at this point would be great to show at this point. Like how to move and reset the Grid, for instance.

Begin the lesson:

To demonstrate what needs to be done, mix two tracks yourself. Make it simple for them. Prepare them in advance.

This usually makes them happy and even quite excited.

At this point, feel free to follow the previous Step-by-Step mixing instructions above in this same page.


From here, I introduce the following exercise...


The Two 32s


  • One 32-beat loop must be set on each CDJ in order to accomplish this.

  • This summarises the most basic information needed to start beatmatching and mixing.

  • You'll be syncing the beginning and end of these two loops, playing them simultaneously, beatmatching, and synchronising your mixing moves to the first beat.

  • Choose two easy loops with enough sounds on each EQ band but not in a busy/intense section of the track. Full drums plus some sounds coming in and out are usually sufficient.

  • I like loops that have something different going on during the last bar so you can explain how producers use this to mark the end of a phrase and anticipate the start of the next one. This is useful so that students become accustomed to recognising the phrases not only by looking at the screen but also by listening to the song arrangement.


The exercise is good for:

  • After you've started the class by doing a review of all of the CDJs' basic functions and features, you can dive in and start using them.

  • You'll review and use:

    • Loading tracks

    • Select tracks for harmonic mixing by using the Filter section (press and hold the button below the rotary knob)

    • Introduction to Loops. There's no need to go into detail here; just demonstrate how to make a 32-beat loop by setting the playhead to the first beat of a phrase and accessing it via the touchscreen display. Going into detail here would be too much for some students.

    • 32 Beats = 1 Phrase in a song. Perfect for sharpening your phrase detection skills and learning how to use EQs and faders to mix to the beat.

    • Set the BPM to the same value as the other song using the Pitch Slider

    • Beat matching: Set the Tempo Range to +/- 6 and compare to +/- 10.

      • +/- 6 = 0.02% variation per notch. You get 4 possible settings without moving away from the BPM number, including decimals.

      • +/- 10 = 0.05% variation per notch. You get 2 possible settings without moving away from the BPM number, including decimals.

      • Start off with +/- 6 to give yourself a better chance of accurately matching the speed. Explain that the more precise you are in your track preparation and mixing, the more time you have to spend at the mixer concentrating on the transition rather than on such technical details. Both are important, but how they work together is what makes people feel and what we should care most about. Initially, beat matching seems difficult, but with practise, we become accustomed to it and it just becomes a necessary step in creating a great mix.

    • On the mixer

      • Plug everyone into the headphone splitter.

      • Listen to the track on your headphones.

      • Explain how to set the level of each track (trim) by playing it at one of the loudest possible points while having all EQs set at 12 o'clock.

      • Explain EQs again. How they work: 12 o'clock is unaltered, move it to the right, it boosts, and to the left, it cuts off.

      • Show how you can turn down the EQs before mixing. I call this 0-9-9, with 0 being the bass all the way down and roughly 9 o'clock for mids and highs.

      • This is obviously just a starting point for them to learn the basics, and then all rules are theirs to break as they make progress.


Once all is set, move on to playing one track, pretending is the Master track, playing out to the dancefloor, or Track A, and cueing Track B on the headphones.



  • Tap the Cue while counting the beats. You could say that while it's not necessary, doing so does help you get in the zone before you finally... Play on the first beat of Loop A, syncing both loops from the start. Let them run initially, then demonstrate how to compare the two tracks using the phase metre on the CDJ's display. Explain how you can switch between the two modes by tapping the screen, and demonstrate:

  • Both are made by beats and bars, and they read the Grid on the track that Rekordbox set while doing the track analysis.

  • 'The Squares' go from left to right, kind of like racing cars.

  • The Lines' go from right to left, and the one that's arriving at the playhead first is the one that's going faster.

  • Allow it to run for as long as necessary until the beats drift apart. If necessary, make it evident by changing the speed a bit.

  • This is what you'd do on the headphones while the track is playing out, so you have a couple of minutes to do all these adjustments.

  • Since we are always racing against time, as Track A plays, we need to get to play Track B towards the end of Track A , normally at the beginning of a phrase within the last 2 minutes. So even if you are not exactly ready to mix, you should just go for it and start playing it to mix it anyway, and then continue with these adjustments while already mixing, so you don't miss the opportunity to mix before you run out of time to do a good transition.

  • Once you are ready to mix, press Cue to get back to the beginning of the loop, Tap the Cue to the beat until you press Play at the beginning of Loop A.

  • Match the beats.

  • Call 0-9-9

  • Start mixing to the beat by applying each fader mix-in and EQ adjustment to Beat 1 of the loop. While waiting to get to beat 1 again, ensure that the beats continue to match and, if necessary, adjust with the job wheel and pitch slider. It might be a bit of a long wait, but it's a nice amount of time for students to get their heads around the whole thing.

  • Continue doing this repeatedly. When you're finished mixing, simply switch the tracks on your headphones and start mixing them the other way around for fun.

  • In order for this to work, you must ensure that the Master CDJ is also switched so that the Phase metre is comparing to the "New track A."

Simply have them repeat this process by taking turns. It should be nice and simple, but complex enough to keep them interested throughout the class.


This is an exercise that I return to from time to time because, as I previously stated, it completely encapsulates all of the knowledge required to mix two tracks.


You can conclude by telling them that from now on, we'll try to figure out when to mix the tracks so that we can always come up with great mixes.

L2: Two 32-beat loops

Lesson 3:
Basic Beatmatching & Mixing

You covered the 32-beat loop last week, and I usually take it from there and start making them mix whole tracks, which makes the sessions more enjoyable.


For today, just have them mix using:

  • The beginning and end of both tracks,

  • Pressing play towards the end of track A, the Master (ie, after the last breakdown or gap, within the last two remaining minutes)

  • And from the very first beat of track B, the one mixing in.

  • Always keeping the phrasing in mind


I typically have them play the entire third class so they can become accustomed to everything they have learned.

Make sure everyone connects their headphones to the splitter, and try to keep them attentive to what everyone is doing so they can continue to engage in conversation and offer each other their opinions.


The more they work together, the more they learn, and the more fun the class is.

This is also crucial so that they don't get restless or bored while waiting. Some people are selfish and they just jump ahead loading the next track, while others may be too shy to complain about it and end up not happy.


So please come up with rules in advance as to how this interaction will go, making sure they all spend roughly the same time on the decks.

Considering that they all shell out the same amount of cash to attend, it's crucial to keep their expectations in check.

There should be 1–2 mixes per person; if someone is taking too long, it's fine to wait till they do the right thing, but everyone should be aware that time is passing and others must be compensated.