As any DJ will tell a less experienced DJ, the music they remix is of the utmost importance to their work. However, with modern technology making cataclysmic shifts in every industry where intellectual property is a matter of success and failure, it can be difficult for even the most honest DJ to get every last song they need at a price they’re willing to pay. Music piracy, something of a dirty open secret in the music industry, remains more popular than most people are happy with, but with the easy availability of bootleg music across the internet, this shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Still, there are DJ music resources that are not only legal but also free. However, there are a few downsides.
The main downside to getting free music to mix up is that the music is very rarely from the artists and labels that are at the height of their popularity. A handful are artists whose popularity have waned, but the vast majority of free music on the internet is from acts that are almost entirely unknown, some even unknown as underground, unsigned acts. On the other hand, this does not immediately mean that their music is not good, but filtering the future hot shot acts from the songs that are forgettable with good reason can require a DJ to listen to a great many songs over a long period of time to get even one good song that they can use in their remixing work. While a truly dedicated DJ can power through these difficulties, it won’t be easy. Other difficulties associated with getting free music online is signing up for anything from hundreds of email newsletters to flooding your social media feeds to near constant monitoring of each site for the one gem you can use. Patience is key in all these endeavors, however.
Popular sources of free music on the internet are growing ever less common as more and more artists and labels find new ways to monetize their work as might be expected from people who have little other choice. Still, a few places do persist, with all the difficulties mentioned earlier.
Soundcloud remains a popular location to both download free music for use in DJing remixes, as a great many popular acts and exponentially more unknown acts flocks to the site to put music up for download to generate hype for their work, with more joining up every day, increasing the DJs options. It is, however, something of a less than ideal place for a DJ to upload their work, as the site has strict policies about the use of copyrighted materials. While some DJs can get around this, newbies to the field will likely be taken down if they upload a copyrighted remix.
Bandcamp is another popular place to get free music. Popular with indie acts and labels, there are a lot of different musicians and DJs offering music here; however, very few of them are very well known. Other popular sites for free music are Facebook, Noisetrade and Jamendo, though these sites have more than a few downsides.