How to Count Phrases & Identify the Main “ONE” Beat in Each Phrase ★ Music Theory Tutorial for DJs

Hey hey! It’s your girl DJ Shortee here, and I’m stoked to share some insider tips that are going to help you to think like a musician so you can take your DJ game to the next level!

Are you ready to learn the perfect spots to drop in your tracks?

Or maybe you just want to impress your friends with your newfound understanding of song structure? 

Either way, you’ve come to the right place! 🎶🎧🎵

(But first…do you already know how to count beats? If not, first peep this video & article where I teach you how to count beats! Then come back here to pick up where you left off… )

In this music theory for DJs tutorial video, I’m going to teach you how to count musical phrases and identify the all-important “one” beat in each phrase. 🎶👌

We’ll start by diving into what exactly a musical phrase is and how many bars can often make up a phrase in different genres of music, like hip hop, pop, rock, and electronic dance music. 

Knowing this is crucial because it helps you anticipate important actions like when to drop in a new song, how long to mix your tracks, how long to scratch or when to make your next move in a mix, in general. 🤔

Next, I’ll show you how to recognize the “one” beat in each phrase, which is where the magic happens! 

This main “ONE” beat signals the start of a new phrase and is where you might want to drop your next song in to mix or start a scratch solo for a showcase during your Dj set. 🎉 

I’ll teach you how to listen for different musical clues, like drum fills, cymbal crashes, and new instrument introductions, to help you to identify the “one” beat in different genres of music.

But don’t worry, we won’t just talk theory the whole time! We’ll also practice counting phrases together with an electronic music track, and also a hip hop breakbeat, so you can see how it works in real time with a few different styles of music. 🙌 

With practice, you’ll be able to feel the phrases and instinctively know where the “one” is in each phrase without even having to count. 🕺

By the end of this beginner dj lesson, you’ll be able to count musical  phrases and identify the main beat “ONE” of each phrase.

Hope this tutorial helps ya out… Let me know how it goes in the YouTube comments! 🚀



ps — Now that you know how to count beats, you’re ready to learn to beat match by ear so you can DJ without fear 🎧

👉 Click here to learn to Beat Match like a BOSS! 


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