Why you should learn to DJ with vinyl
DJing has become almost ubiquitous, parallel to the popularity of electronic music as a whole. With the democratisation of DJ equipment, the notion that “anyone can be a DJ” is actually pretty accurate.
With that in mind though, there is a case to be made for learning to mix music the traditional way… on vinyl. That’s not to say that vinyl is better than digital, but there’s a level of refinement and nuance that can only really be gained from DJing with records. So here are a few key reasons why you should learn to mix on vinyl, as the foundation of your DJ craft.
FINE TUNE YOUR EARS
Mixing with vinyl really helps to train your ears to pick up on the fine details of beats, rhythm and tempo. Learning to beatmatch with records can be a lot harder: you have to really listen intently to the beats in order to keep them in time. But, over time, your ears become fine tuned to pick up on subtle changes and details in the mix.
IMPROVE FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Mixing vinyl is a lot harder than using a controller or CDJs. Thanks to the unforgiving nature of the medium, mistakes can often sound awful. You have to learn to jog records forward, or slow them down, with finesse and tiny shifts in tempo, which improves your mind-muscle connection and boosts those fine motor skills.
TRAINS THE CEREBELLUM
Fine motor skills are operated by the cerebellum, it’s the part of the brain that helps you to learn how to perform surgery, or paint a picture. By training yourself to control the speed of a record with your hands, and subtle shifts of the pitch control, you’re strengthening nerve cell connections in this region.
STRENGTHENS THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR CRAFT
No matter what you use to DJ with - Serato, a controller, CDJs, and so on - having experience with vinyl provides the perfect foundation for all of them. It’s the perfect training ground for the ears, brain and body, bringing them all into refined harmony.
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