“I have always loved the culture of hip-hop, and wanted to one day be a part of it. I feel that DJing is the best way I can accomplish that – I want to feed the musical thoughts and ideas in my mind to the turntables in front of me. I bought a set of turntables and a mixer a couple of years ago, and started collecting vinyl. I found I enjoyed collecting the vinyl a lot more than I liked trying to mix it, as I could never get it to sound right, would get frustrated, and just quit.”
“I saw a write-up in the WaPo about Beat Refinery, and signed up for classes that day. I’ve had my turntables for a long time, but hadn’t really been able to do anything with them. I came into the class with low expectations – not for the content of the course, but for my ability to perform the material. I spoke with one of the instructors, Stylus Chris, about my personal concerns with my ability to DJ and that I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. He told me that I am selling myself short, and he was absolutely right. I didn’t think I could do any of it until Chris and DJ As1 broke down the basics for us, and it felt like a light bulb went off in my head. I knew I could do it. Before long I was able to beat-match, mix, baby scratch, determine how many bars were in a song’s intro, and how to drop in a track on cue. On the first day of class, As1 and Stylus Chris told us that what we’ll learn and be able to do in 6 weeks will be knowledge and skill that took them years to get. Coming up on the end of the class I believe them.”
“The first day of class we were given a homework assignment: come up with your DJ name. I chose the name DJ Miles Money. If all goes well, you’ll read that name again sometime.” – Bill R.
“I was in a rut. I needed something new to add a little spark to my life. So when I saw that Beat Refinery was opening on a local blog, I thought it could be just what I need to get out of my funk and get creative.”
“I had my first class last night, and let me tell you: if you love music and technology–this is something you should try. Each student gets their own DJ set up—which includes computer, turntables, mixer, headphones, and speaker. From what I am told, the equipment is top of the line. The whole class is built around learning Serato Scratch Live, the computer program that allows you to mix, scratch, and beat juggle with the best of them (if you have the skills). The computers are loaded with tunes, and you can also bring in your own music to suit and create your own style. Additionally, the teachers are pro’s. My class is taught by DJ As-1 and DJ Stylus Chris, who were both very helpful and energetic in helping us newbies learn the basics.”
“At the end of the 6 week course we are all expected to be able to do a 3-5 minute set and answer some basic questions about DJing So while I think I have a few song ideas up my sleeve, I still need to work on my DJ name….time to get to my homework.” – Katie F.