The very beginning: music, RekordBox and your USB stick

Your first steps as a DJ are made in RekordBox. This is the software to organize your music and prepare your tracks for spinning live.
Here you find a step-by-step plan and important to-do’s for a good start with RekordBox.

At DJ School Amsterdam we guide you step by step in the process of starting off, during our 1-on 1-on-1 lessons. But managing these steps yourself can give you a big advantage.

Simplified, the steps to start off as a DJ are these:

  1. Download and install RekordBox
  2. Buy and download music
  3. Get your collection to your USB-stick

Download RekordBox for free on their website. You need to subscibe once in the process, but don’t sign up for any subscribtion. After buying your music, Rekordbox is an offline app running on your computer


The most common sources to get your music are iTunes Store for allround music and Beatport for club genres. So don’t get your music from Apple Music or Beatport Streaming services. Always download your music from legal services and in the highest quality (MP3 320 kb/s or WAV.).


  • After downloading your files, move them to a designated folder which is especially and ONLY for your DJ music. So DO NOT keep those files in your Downloads folder. Locate this folder on your desktop, for instance. This way you always find it quickly and your are going to need it very often.
  • Never change the name or location of this folder anymore, after you put your first tracks in RekordBox. The songs you play in Rekordbox are the files in this folder. The actual songs are not in Rekordbox, but linked to this folder. This is why you can never mess around with the source folder and/or files.


  • Make sure your RekordBox screen is in ‘Export Mode’, and not in ‘Performance’. This is done top left of your RekordBox screen.
  • In ‘Playlists’, you click right mouse (or double finger) and you ‘Create New Folder’. This will be your ‘super folder’ and can be called ‘Best DJ Ever’ or your DJ name for instance.
  • Within this folder, make a new folder (again with right mouse or double finger), and call this folder ‘House’ for instance. This is the first of many genre-folders to come.
  • Make a folder for every genre you will be playing. So for instance, Classics, R&B, Trap, etc.
  • Right of the folder you see a plus + sign. Click this, to make a playlist in a folder. Call this playlist 1, 2 or 3, or low, medium or high, for instance. In these lists, your songs will end up.

  • Drag your songs from the DJ music folder (on your desktop) to one of your lists in RekordBox. Or, first create a ‘draglist’ or ‘new music’ list in Rekordbox and drag all your new downloads from your music folder to this list. Then, start dividing those songs into the separate playlists you created.


  • To get the music to your USB stick, you go to the ‘Sync Manager’, bottom left of your screen.
  • In the Sync Manager, you see your super-folder somewhere in the middle box. The box on the right is your USB stick, if you check-box the ‘Sync with a device’ above that box.
  • Checkbox your super-folder, where all your other folders containing playlists are in. You don’t have to unfold this folder. Just check it.
  • Click the grey arrow in the middle. If everything goes like it should, you’ll see Rekordbox syncing your music in a small bar in the bottom of the screen.
  • When syncing is 100%, close the Sync Manager, click the Eject-button of your USB-device in the file management part bottom left, and remove your USB stick. You are now ready to play!


To learn how to DJ properly, or for more coaching in this process, feel free to do one or more 1-on-1 DJ lessons. We love to help out!