Want to know how to be a DJ? Well look no further, as that's exactly what we're going to show you how to do in today's guide!
Becoming a DJ requires technical expertise and a dedication to music as a whole. DJs come in all shapes and sizes, from music specialists who work for radio stations and clubs, to DJs that mix their own songs and publish full length albums.
The following steps are suggestions for aspiring Djs who want to learn the ropes. Though the use of this guide, hopefully you'll get on track with a successful and entertaining career as the “life of the party”. So read on to learn how to become a DJ.
Note: This guide was contributed by Dave Dunne at Entertainment Solutions, a party DJ hire company. If you've a original guide to contribute, you can contact us via the contact page.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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1. Decide What Kind Of DJ You Want To Be
Before you learn to DJ, you need to establish what kind of DJ you want to be. There are as many DJs types as there are types of music, and dozens of specialty occupations to go along with each genre. Do you like Top 40 songs and crowd pleasing anthems? Would you rather go into the eclectic electronic and underground circuit? The greatest distinction here is whether you want to be a party DJ for hire or a serious recording artist.
2. Buy Your DJ Equipment
The investment required for your future career as a DJ is modest, but it can still add up to a considerable amount depending on the type of gear that you need.
All DJs will need either CD decks, or a set of vinyl turntables to practice and perform. The discussion of which to buy has been going on for years, but at the end of the day you should just choose which one is best for you. Some will also benefit from having their own powered speakers, portable venue lighting and a laptop.
Depending on whether or not you will be traveling to several venues or based in a single location, you might find it more cost effective to rent gear while you are first starting out. This will allow you to test the various manufacturers and determine which brands you like the most.
3. Budget Properly
As a beginner DJ, it's way too easy to blow all your money on the shiniest new gear and sound equipment. Remember though, you'll still also need money for other thing thought your career. Because of this, you may want to consider looking at second-hand markets for cheaper gear. Many bands and DJs offload their used equipment at a discounted price, which will allow you to save big. This will leave you money to spend on other things, such as a course on how to DJ, travel money, venue fees and the like.
4. Learn From Professional DJs
If you want to learn how to mix, you need to learn from the best mixers in the industry. Consider yourself an apprentice of the trade and try to learn from every DJ that you can listen to. Pay attention to the way the pros match tempos of different songs, the way they amp up the crowd between sets, and the way that they promote themselves and set themselves apart. Learn from a professional DJ, and one day you will be a professional DJ.
5. Learn About BPM When Learning How To DJ
This may sound like a no brainer, but the reality is some DJs just cannot get the hang of this.
“The job of a DJ boils down to seamlessly blending songs into a whole unit for uninterrupted musical entertainment.” – Click To Tweet This
The BPM (Which stands for Beats Per Minute) of songs are vital to DJs because it determines which songs can be matched with others. While it is possible to blend songs with radically different tempos, you also run the risk of creating a jarring effect that breaks people from their rhythm and makes it impossible to dance. This is also known as Clanging.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
Like any career, being a DJ will be hard at first but get easier with practice. Start out playing for friends and family, and try to get their honest feedback about your performance. Don’t expect to see your name headlining major clubs at first, but instead work your way up from ground level while you build fundamentals and make the connections you will need later in your career.
Want more important tips on how to become a DJ for beginners? Well read on below…
7. Become A Music Expert
No matter what music you specialize in, you should have at least a passing knowledge of every musical genre and the elements that make them different. Popular music is frequently requested by people at clubs and parties, and even if you don’t like a song personally you should still be able to satisfy the wishes of your customers and clients by playing a mix that everyone else will enjoy.
8. Land Some Gigs
Ok, so on to the part every talented DJ wants: To get gigs! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, you should start out by finding some small clubs and venues and using them to make a name for yourself in the business.
There are many different types of venues for aspiring DJs, so don’t be surprised if you are playing a sports bar one day and a bar mitzvah the next. Take every opportunity that comes up to showcase your skills, and make sure you mix well-paid gigs with some gigs that you take on for your own enjoyment and self-promotion.
9. Show Your Personality
If being a DJ was just about making a playlist, Djs would be replaced by iTunes. In reality though, people buy into human Djs, and ones with personality at that.
Baring this in mind, you should make sure you personalize your set by being entertaining and engaging to the audience. Your main job is to get everybody dancing and having a good time regardless of your genre, and you showing you're having a good time will most likely liven up the audience as well.
10. Don’t Be Fazed
You aren’t going to be on the level of RJD2 overnight, it could take years before you will be a true professional DJ. Don’t let a little criticism throw you off course; pursue your dreams even if it means playing birthday parties and teenage discos for a while at first. It can be done.
So there you have it, 10 tips on how to become a DJ. The above points will help you become a DJ in no time; follow them and you'll be far ahead of most of the other beginner Djs out there.
Whatever type of DJ you decide to become, just be sure to practice your art. You want to stand out from the crowd, so as well as learning how to mix properly and have a good song selection, learn to enjoy yourself when Djing. Good luck.
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About The Author
Dave Dunne is a professional copywriter for Entertainment Solutions, a Irish based DJ Hire and Entertainment Company.