View Full Version : A small explanation of phrasing.

09-11-2012, 07:44 PM
Any song you listen to will have what are called "phrases" in them. When you get used to DJing (or producing for that matter I suppose, I'd hope) you'll start to notice how songs are structured, how after a certain amount of time, nearly every time you'll notice the song sorta shift a little bit and it'll sound a bit different, that's called "phrasing."

Phrasing in a DJ mix will make your mixes seamless as your tracks will essentially be lined up so that if you're doing intro/outro mixing for example, the outro on track A will start when the intro on track B ends, causing a seamless mix.

Phrases are very easy to identify. There are four beats in a bar (or measure, same thing), eight bars in a phrase (correct me if my terminology is incorrect). Start a track you really like and just count the bass kicks (4/4 music like house, count the snares for DNB but for DNB count it like 12 34 22 34 with a little gap between the 34, you'll know what I mean when you try it with DNB with how it sounds and whatnot).

1234 2234 3234 4234 5234 6234 7234 8234

You'll notice that the song will change a little bit, you might hear a cymbal crash and the song will shift a little bit, that's the start of a new phrase. Try counting the beats/bars/phrases for an entire song and you'll catch on quickly. I myself figured out phrasing just by realizing that "hey, a song often does this, sounds like this or shifts like this when a new phrase begins." I didn't learn phrasing through counting beats or anything, nobody explained it to me what it actually is, be it through counting beats or anything of the sort. I suppose I just realized the structure of the music I mix.

I never want to spread false information so if anything here is incorrect please let me know.

Here's an example.


09-11-2012, 10:05 PM
Good explanation.

And yes, after a while you won't have to count and will instinctively know when a new phrase starts or is about to change.

DJ Boom Bap
09-11-2012, 10:14 PM
Ah, and but then we throw in the non remix Top 40 track or random rap song and all is amuck.

Lost Connection
09-12-2012, 05:51 AM
Then it just takes the instinct to do the transition at a good moment, will come with time and practice

09-12-2012, 03:01 PM
great explanation . taught me a little too.

11-13-2012, 12:54 PM
I'm glad this exists. I forgot what the term phrasing was used for. I used "beat blocks" as a replacement and felt like an idiot. xD

ben mills
11-13-2012, 01:04 PM
One thing to remember is that your 32 beat phrases are often in groups of 2.

11-13-2012, 01:35 PM
Listen to ragga jungle. You'll have to pick up phrasing naturally pretty quickly... or else. Bwahahahahahahaha.