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Is Serato DJ Good for Beginners? (With Beginner Tips)

Beginner DJs need good DJ software. Serato DJ is one of the most popular DJ software out there. I’ve tried many DJ software programs, so today we’re going to look at Serato DJ and if it’s the right fit for a beginner DJ

Serato DJ is great for beginner DJs because it has a Lite version available that has all the basic DJ functions that a beginner DJ needs. Without the more advanced DJ functions, the layout is simple and easy to use. Serato DJ Lite makes you focus on the basic DJ skills and is therefore a good DJ software for beginners.

While Serato DJ is a great DJ software for beginners, you do need to know a few things to get the most out of your Serato DJ software. Continue to read this post to find a few tips for your settings and what DJ controllers work well with Serato DJ.

Why Serato DJ is good for beginners

As I mentioned above, Serato is a great place to start, especially the Serato DJ Lite version.

There are a few reasons why Serato DJ lite is good for beginner DJs. Below I’ll go over the most important ones.

Simple layout

The images below show a comparison between Serato DJ Lite (1) and Virtual DJ (2). While the layout of Virtual DJ on image number 2 is set on lay-out type “beginner”, it doesn’t look as clean and simple as Serato DJ Lite does.

serato dj lite layout
Serato DJ Lite
virtual dj layout
Virtual DJ

When you’re just starting out as a DJ, learning to DJ is hard enough. You don’t need complicated software that you first need to figure out, on top of the DJ skills that you need to learn.

Serato DJ Lite is far from complicated and the simple and clean layout makes it so much easier to use as a beginner DJ.

Serato DJ Lite Includes All the Basics

As a beginner DJ, you don’t want to get caught up with all the different methods and techniques that a DJ can use to mix and make cool transitions.

What you do want is to learn the basics. The functions that Serato DJ Lite offers are just enough for beginners who have to focus on building a good foundation of the basic knowledge and skills of DJing.

Here is a list of all the functions within Serato DJ Lite

  • Volume faders
  • Crossfader
  • Tempo/BPM adjusting
  • Loops
  • 4 Cue points
  • Beat grid

With Serato DJ Lite, You Don’t Need a Controller

When you’re not sure if you want to become a DJ, it could be a waste of money to buy a DJ controller right from the start. Especially since the good ones aren’t cheap. I recommend that you check out post on how to DJ without a controller.

Another reason why Serato DJ Lite is perfect for beginners; you don’t need a controller to start DJing. You can make great mixes and transitions with just the Serato DJ Lite software alone.

Serato makes this easy by using short-cut keys for each function. Below is a screen capture of the Serato playback shortcuts within the software.

shortcut keys serato dj lite
Serato DJ Lite Shortcut Keys

Multiple Beginner Tutorials Are Available

There are multiple great Serato DJ Lite tutorials available that will teach you how to use Serato DJ Lite. These tutorials will help you a lot when you’re just starting to use the Serato DJ Lite.

It’s Free

Serato DJ has beginner DJs on their minds. With the free Lite version of Serato DJ, beginner DJs can practice DJing without spending too much money.

Serato DJ offers beginners the opportunity to grow as a DJ first, before actually having to pay for expensive subscriptions and DJ hardware.

Settings Tips for Beginners on Serato DJ Lite

  • Cues & Loops button

Enable cue points by clicking the “cues & loops” button in the top middle of the screen.

Especially using cue points are a great way to make a DJ’s life easier. Cue points are set points within a song that you can quickly “jump” to.

When you want to mix in a new song from the first beat, you set your cue point on the first beat so can easily find it. When you want to mix in a new song from the drop, you set your cue point at the start of the drop.

What you can also do with cue points is set them as a reminder for yourself. For example, you could set a cue point on an instrumental part of the song, to remind yourself that it’s a good point to start mixing in a new song.

  • Analyse files

Analysing files is a must for 2 reasons.

  1. After analyzing, it will show you the beats per minute.
  2. It will save you processing time when you first load a song onto deck 1 or 2.

You can analyze your files by adding music files to the Serato DJ library and click on the button “analyze”. When it’s done analyzing, it will show the BPM of all the files in your library.

  • Show Streaming services

If you use streaming services such as Tidal, SoundCloud you can check this box and integrate your library into Serato DJ.

You can also check the box “show iTunes library” to integrate your iTunes library.

  • Create Crates

Create crates to keep your files organized.

In the middle of the left side of the screen, you’ll find a little symbol, like a crate, and a + symbol. Press this button to create a new crate.

Organize your files so that you can always quickly find what you are looking for.

What I also do when I’m organizing is create a crate for new songs. I want to have a special crate for this because I have to practice with these songs and I have to set cue points. Once I’ve done this I’ll add them to a crate that fits the genre.

Another crate I always use is a practiced songs crate. There you’ll find a couple of songs that I have learned to mix together. It’s always good and safe to have a practiced DJ set available.

Where to Download Serato DJ Lite

You can download Serato DJ Lite for free on Serato’s website. On the right side of the page, you’ll find the download link.

You’ll also find the system requirements, manuals, support, etc.

When you’ve advanced to a higher level of DJing you can easily get a license for Serato DJ Pro through your Serato Lite software or the Serato website.

When It’s Time to Buy Your First DJ Controller

There will come a point in your DJing journey that you want to start using a DJ controller. I highly recommend that you do, because it really enhances your DJ experience and fun. If you ever want to buy a DJ Controller to start with, you can visit my article: Best DJ Controllers for Beginners.


Serato DJ Lite is a great software for beginner DJs who are serious about learning how to DJing. It’s a great software to learn to master the foundations of DJing. It’s uncomplicated DJ software that is able to develop your DJ skills and take them to the next level.

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