When you are first beginning your DJ career it is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of things that you need to learn. Don’t worry, anybody that has ever had to learn to DJ went out and asked for some DJ tips from a friend. Here are 7 DJ tips for beginners:
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Tip 1: Daily Research Will Make you a Great DJ
Never think that you know all the music in the world, this is impossible. Always be researching, always be learning, and always be open to requests.
You will probably never DJ for a crowd with the same taste of music. If you are going to make it in this industry you will need to able to cater to anybody who is a fan of music.
You will always be learning throughout this process, thus why you need to stay humble and take requests. In many circumstances, a request can be a great boost to your performance because it can guarantee that at least somebody will be on the dance floor.
In the end, you will develop a well-rounded taste of music and will be able to suit just about any type of crowd. Once you reach this level, you will be able to take on just about any sort of gig.
Tip 2: It is all About Your Skills, Not How Expensive Your Setup is.
A DJ setup is very comparable to having a musical instrument. Just like a DJ setup, there are both expensive and cheap brands for you to choose from.
However, a professional musician can make any cheap instrument sound amazing. This same concept applies to a DJ setup, no matter how cheap or elaborate your setup is, it can still be used to produce professional results.
Of course, there are many benefits of getting the most expensive products from the most popular brands. Just remember that some of the best DJs we know of today started off by using the worst equipment.
Some of the mixes produced by DJs in the 80s, such as this one, sound better than many mixes made by DJs with modern equipment today. If you need any DJ mixing tips, just listen to that song a few times.
Tip 3: Perform Comfortably, Practice New Techniques at Home.
Every DJ wants to be a master at scratching, transitioning, beat matching, song selection, and so on, while at the same time having a great DJ voice. Be realistic in your approach, only the professionals can do all of these things to perfection.
Start by picking one of these things and practice it day and night until you are comfortable with it. We would suggest starting off by getting good at transitioning, because that is probably the most important skill for you to have.
When you are performing at an event, never go out of your comfort zone and try techniques that you might fail at. You need to do your best to have a professional image when you are at public events, save your practice for when you are in a better environment.
One mistake can change the opinion of a client. It is important that you present yourself as consistent rather than unpredictable.
Tip 4: Know When to Turn Down an Event
Working as a professional DJ, you need to learn these things:
- Your service is more valuable than you think. Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations.
- One bad gig can ruin your reputation.
- Know what you are getting yourself into before you agree to DJ for any event. Always meet with a client beforehand and agree to terms in a written contract, never make verbal agreements.
There are also many DJ companies in the top results on Google that are not actually DJ companies. Many companies book clients online and find freelance DJs to pay them a much lower rate than what they charged the client.
If you are going to accept work from a middleman, consider the consequences of taking a pay cut.
Tip 5: Balance is the Key to Success
This one is a little complex. To put it simply, never do anything or any technique in excess.
If you are an excellent scratcher, limit the amount of times you scratch, unless it is for a competition of some sort. If you have this really cool sound effect you like to add in to tracks, don’t use it for every single song, perhaps every 30 minutes.
When you are DJing an event you will more than likely have a crowd that likes one type of music for dancing, and another crowd that likes a different type of music. Always cater to the crowd, but don’t switch genres without at least playing a few other similar songs.
Don’t expect your crowd to instantly zoom into the dance floor when you play a song they like. It takes momentum and back-to-back good song selections to get a crowd dancing.
Tip 6: Play Music that People Will Want to Hear
Let’s clear one thing up: you are a DJ. People hire you because they want you to bring the party to them.
When you performing at an event, always be playing music with a good tempo for dancing, and don’t be afraid to get on the microphone to help amp up the crowd. People don’t want to hire a DJ that is going play slow jams all night, even if it is for something special, like a wedding.
It is okay, however, if you occasionally throw in classics like Don’t Stop Believing, Sweet Caroline, and Bohemian Rhapsody, just be sure to include songs that are new and popular as well. Also, make sure to lay off throwing in songs people don’t know, people love having a certain amount of familiarity when they are dancing in a public setting.
Tip 7: Watch your Habits
This one isn’t talked about a lot in the DJ industry. At the end of the day, you are partying for a living, and you will naturally draw into your life people who party.
You will discover that many people like to offer substances to the DJ, or just do them in general at your events. Make sure that if you choose to do any of these things that they done in a legal, safe, and moderate manner.
It’s okay to have a beer or two while you are working, but remember that you will need to be able to drive home at the end of the night. Don’t fall victim to the culture of the party scene or you will quickly notice that you are out of work.
Final Tip: Take it Easy
It is unlikely that you will become the DJ that you want to be overnight. Make sure to practice and keep a positive mindset and you will receive good results.
You have your whole career to receive plenty of more DJ tips. Becoming a professional in this industry is not that difficult, it just involves a brief learning curve.