English DJs Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster, self-described as "great fun and good-looking," have created one of the most comprehensive and detailed books on DJing in How To DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records. Using their combined experience, their in-depth interviews with world-famous DJs, and most importantly their love of music, they have managed to produce a diverse volume of work that is indispensable to any DJ regardless of experience.
Presented in easy to understand terms with more than a little humor, How To DJ Right is a guide that not only delves deep into the history and theory of the DJ from the art form's conception in the 1960's and 70's, but also covers modern technology's impact on music today.
The two DJs cover everything from buying gear and basic techniques to musical theory and building collections. They detail to how to deal with record companies and even throw in some tips on how to get into a helicopter without looking foolish-- they advise ducking a little, but not too much... acting nonchalant, like it's a taxi. In addition to their advice, the book is interspersed with wisdom and commentary from some of today's top DJs including Fatboy Slim, Kool Herc, Danny Tenaglia, Grandmaster Flash, and a host of other pioneers and greats from this musical tradition.
Pulling much of their history from their earlier work, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, Broughton and Brewster created a work less like a history lesson and more like a hands-on lecture. The pairing of techniques and sage wisdom creates a work detailing subtleties in the DJ philosophy-- how DJs should think and act to be the "Masters of the Dance Floor."
The Englishmen do however seem to focus on philosophy over technique, a theme that could easily turn away the fledgling DJ-in-training looking for a more techniques-based approach to learning the craft. The techniques are not looked over per-se, but rather treated as secondary to theory. Readily apparent from the introduction, the pair holds little quarter for those seeking skills only. The new DJ may find the book lacking guidance on nuances of technique and style, those crucial details which separate the artisans from mere human jukeboxes.
The two gentlemen assert that playing records is not in itself difficult; rather knowing what records to play, when to play them, and what parts to play are lifelong activities for any DJ worth his or her salt. How To DJ Right is centered on the central philosophy that what makes greatness in the postmodern art form is quite simply the love of the craft and the love of music as a whole. With its blend of technical tools, sound advice from experts, and organized progressive structure, How To DJ Right is one of the most valuable books for any DJ.