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Thread: A small explanation of phrasing.

  1. #1
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    A small explanation of phrasing. (Updated with short mix explaining phrasing)

    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.

    http://soundcloud.com/connormgs/phrasing-example
    Last edited by Connor; 09-18-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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  2. #2
    Technoez Rek_Aviles's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    Member DJ Boom Bap's Avatar
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    Ah, and but then we throw in the non remix Top 40 track or random rap song and all is amuck.

  4. #4
    Then it just takes the instinct to do the transition at a good moment, will come with time and practice
    I wish you'd pay more attention to the music I love, because the music tells you everything that I'm too scared to say

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  5. #5
    Member DJArmani's Avatar
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    great explanation . taught me a little too.
    Confidence, and hard work is the key to success in anything. Lost track of battle record
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  6. #6
    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
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  7. #7
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    One thing to remember is that your 32 beat phrases are often in groups of 2.

  8. #8
    Member Finnish_Fox's Avatar
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    Listen to ragga jungle. You'll have to pick up phrasing naturally pretty quickly... or else. Bwahahahahahahaha.
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