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How Do DJs Find New (Unheard) Music

How DJs find new music has to be seen in a context with a better-formulated question, how does an individual DJ find music he has not yet heard? Finding new music can be very time-intensive and it is hard to find the right sources. That's why I have concluded several sources for you to find new music on for your DJ sets.

So, how do DJs find new music?

DJs find by constantly looking for new music which is called "crate digging". This can be done in several ways which include listening to online DJ mixes, podcasts, radio shows, live sets or they are purposely listening to big collections of music.

In the following paragraphs, I have explained how you can have the right mindset to find new music and I have explained in detail all the ways you can use to find yourself new music and what you can use to download the music. If you want more information about record collecting Wikipedia has a great article that you can check out.

How to Have the Right Mindset to Find New Music

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First of all is it important to understand what crate-digging is? This will be explained down below.

Crate Digging is a hip-hop term used by DJs and collectors to allude to DJs or collectors looking in thrift shops, record stores, or flea markets for second-hand vinyl. For the modern are it's referred to people scouting for new music online. This is called digital crate digging.

For crate Digging to be a success, it's very important to have to right mindset and therefore you need to learn to think like a DJ.

When you have found a track that you really like, try to actively remember the track name and artist's name and see if the artist has released other tracks that you like. You can also do a broader search if you look for other releases or artists from the same record label.

But this can also be done the other way around. You can also look at other record labels that the artist has tracks released on. Another great way to dig a little deeper is to look at the artist that has remixes made remixes of the music that the original artist released or the artist which whom the original artist has had collaborations.

It is also very important to keep track of what you found which brings me to my next point.

Where Do DJs Find New Music?

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There are several places where you can discover new music. If you are looking for acapellas it's the same story. Later in the article will be explained where you can find, download or buy music or acapellas.

DJ Mixes

DJ Mixes are great places to find new music since other DJs have done the scouting for you partly. The rest comes down to your own preference.

Soundcloud is a great place to find DJ mixes. Completely listening to DJ mixes also provides you with information about the mix itself which you can learn from, instead of only the songs themselves.


You can subscribe to a few podcasts to find new music. If you search for podcasts in your genre there's a big chance you quickly find enjoyable podcasts with great music for you to discover. If you're not in a hurry you can just listen to the complete podcasts which often provide you with fun and helpful information.

If however, you're in a hurry you can scan and listen to small sections of the podcasts to quickly listen if you can find songs that attract you.

Radio shows

Radio Shows are often played at fixed times in the week. You can listen to it while you're doing other things to see if anything catches your attention. The radio host often gives the song name before and/or after the song has been played.

Live sets

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Listening to live sets is a great way to discover new songs and it mostly gives the same value that a DJ mix does.

Purposely digging

There are a ton of ways you can purposely dig for new songs. Which is explained in the section on how to have the right mindset to find new songs. You can also try to find a big archive of music from someone else and scan through that.

Own releases

Don't forget your own releases. This might be a no-brainer but working on your own productions will result in more songs that you love to play to your audience and a lot of people take advantage of this valuable chance you have when you're making your own music.

How to Identify DJ Songs?

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The moment you hear an interesting song it's key to identify it before there's another song already playing. There are several ways to identify songs that correspond to the context the song is heard in.

DJ Mixes/Podcasts/radio shows

These places often have a complete tracklist with timestamps in the description of the site. If not, there's most of the time a comment section in which you can ask for the song at a certain timestamp.

Live sets

These are a bit harder to identify songs because most recognizing software can't easily pick up the loud sounds in combination with the noisy environment. But you can always ask someone else if you see them vibing well to the track, chances are they know the track.

Random Places

These are often great places for songs to be identified with Shazam because often it's in a quiet enough environment so the other sounds won't interfere with the identifying process.

How to Keep Track of Songs and Ideas?


The moment when you have identified a song it's important to store the song in a safe place that you can access from multiple devices. I suggest having a note app that stores information in the cloud. Google Keep is a wonderful app that is available both for Android and IOS and can be accessed by a computer as well.

When you have identified the song you can place the name of the song and the artist's name in the notes app. You can even mark the song if you really like to song so that you can later quickly identify the top songs.

When you have more time to really listen to your song you can just look up your song on your favorite streaming service or on youtube. You can then add a description to your note in brackets "(Description)" behind the song's name.

When you get to buy the song you can mark off your song if your list by marking it with an "X or Bought". You can also move your song to another list which is called bought songs.

For more tips and tricks of the Google Keep app, you can watch the video below to get some inspiration on how to keep track of your songs in Google Keep.

Where to Buy Newly-Found Songs

There are several places where you can buy your music including Itunes and Google play. It's important for you to know if they offer FLAC (free lossless audio) formats if you want those so you won't end up with the wrong product. If not, however, Itunes and Google Play are wonderful places with my preference going towards Google Play because I myself have an Android Phone.

Another way to buy your music is through record pools which are subscription-based services. I have made an article about the best places for DJs to download music from both free and premium places. I suggest going for the premium places because they offer superior sound quality.

Where to Buy Newly-Found Acapellas

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You can buy acapellas from Apple Music and mostly from the same places as DJ music but there are also a lot of other sites that specialize in acapellas. I have made an article about the best places for DJs to get acapellas from. This article offers both free and premium places to get the acapellas from online. It also includes a few record pools. Again I suggest going for premium places because they offer better sound quality.

More Info

How to organize your music library. There are tons of ways to organize your music library but the key thing is that you should work with folders. Add head folders and subfolders. You can then try to fix your metadata of the songs if they don't have it correctly already. This way you can locate songs in different ways.

A Few Essentials and My Recommended DJ Equipment by DJ Ferdi Vol
With so much information on my site I wanted to bring it down to an all in one place where I list my updated personal recommendations for 2021 and popular items that people have used themselves with succes. You can check it all out below.
DJ Essentials
The absolute DJ essentials every beginner has to start with or any advanced DJ has used or is still using.
DJ Controllers
It can be overwhelming to choose the right controller as there are countless things to consider. Having the right experience is key to know what controller someone needs. It's the thing you will use most and you can find the right DJ Controller here.
Better headphones results in better overal audio quality as well as easier beat-matching and comfort while using them on the fly. These best DJ Headphones for 2021 are tested first hand.
DJ Gifts
It can be hard to find the right gift to give a DJ but it's also nice to treat yourself with some DJ gifts that you didn't even know existed.
Ferdi Vol Author
Written by Ferdi Vol
Hi, I am Ferdi Vol and I am a DJ from the Netherlands who has been DJing for over 6 years now. I have always had a passion for music and DJing, so it was only natural that I started my own blog on becoming a better DJ.

I love researching and writing about new and exciting things in the world of mixing, including tutorials, reviews on hardware and software, as well as finding the latest and greatest. My goal is to help people become better DJs by providing them with all the knowledge they need to do just that!
About Ferdi Vol
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