The biggest DJs in the world all had to start out somewhere. If you have a passion for music and enjoy experimenting with different sounds, beats, and rhythms, you may like the prospect of becoming a DJ yourself. Understandably, you may feel nervous and uncertain about whether you’ll make it in the DJing world. However, with determination, resilience, and belief in yourself, there’s no reason why you can’t climb the ranks and be the top billing.
Whether you’ve had experience DJing before, or you’re completely new to the scene, here are ten easy steps to follow that will get your DJ career started.
There is a reason why this step is first. To get any kind of success, you’ll need to learn how to DJ. Pirate has some great tips on how to DJ for beginners, which teaches you the history of DJing, the kinds of DJs there are, and what skills and techniques you need to possess to start your journey. Pirate has studio spaces DJs can use too, including professional equipment to perfect your craft. While you won’t master the art of DJing overnight, as long as you practice regularly wherever and whenever you can, this will help you build a successful DJ career.
Read the Dance Floor
To become a successful DJ, you need to please your audience. If you’re playing tracks that aren’t to their liking, it’s unlikely you’ll get booked again. You need to plan your set well in advance to decide on what kind of music you’ll play as it needs to fit the mood of your audience. If you’ve been given a warmup slot, there’s no point playing huge tracks. Instead, you need to read the dance floor and psych up the crowd for the following act. As you get to learn what the crowd wants, this will help in building your career.
Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool that allows you to engage with fans and build up hype for your upcoming set. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to get your voice heard, you can learn about gig opportunities that allow you to showcase your talents. Make sure you use social media wisely, as the last thing you want to do is badmouth other artists. All kinds of people and promoters will check out your posts, so in order to get bookings and drive your career forward, make sure you stay professional and post regular content to keep readers hooked.
While there is nothing wrong with having a particular genre in DJing, it’s always good to switch things up and delve into other categories too. When starting out in the DJing world, it’s wise to experiment with your sound a little. This can help you understand what feels right and natural for you. If the crowd asks for requests, take them on board as you may listen to new sounds that you can incorporate into your set. Being musically flexible can only be a good thing, especially when it comes to attracting a wider selection of crowds.
Plan and Prepare
The key to a successful career as a DJ is the ability to plan and prepare your sets in advance. If you head behind the decks without a strategy in place, you may not have the correct sounds and effects on hand. This can hinder your set and not let you perform at your best. You need to establish when your set is taking place, and the kind of atmosphere you’re going to be in.
Bring a Backup
When launching a professional DJ career, you need to be prepared for all kinds of twists and turns. This is because problems can arise when you least expect them. If you’re performing in different venues night after night, things can go wrong, which means you need to work well under pressure and have a backup in place. Make sure you bring backups in a variety of formats, such as USBs and CDs. Doing so will stop your show from becoming a disaster!
Know Your Equipment Inside Out
If there is one tip that all DJs will benefit from, it’s knowing your equipment inside out. After all, your equipment is the key to a flourishing DJ career or a terrible event. Should you not know how each slider and knob works, you aren’t going to get the most out of your set. When buying any kind of equipment, you’ll want to study and observe it. As mentioned, practice makes perfect, so you need to have patience with your equipment.
In an ideal world, you would learn how to DJ and become a sensation overnight. Sadly, this very rarely happens. Instead, you need to understand that the industry is highly competitive, and you’ll have tons of rivals fighting for the same spots as you. To make an impact in the DJing world, you need to be willing to work hard for it. You’ll find that not everyone is going to love your sets, so rather than taking things personally, brushing off negative comments and keeping positive is key.
Master Technical Skills
While you may know your DJ equipment inside out, it’s wise to master a few technical skills too. This is because the most successful DJs in the world know not only how to use scratching correctly, but how to not overdo it too. You’ll need to master how to scratch at the correct moments and in the right instances.
Stand Out from the Crowd
To make it as a professional DJ, you’re going to need something that sets you apart from others. There are thousands of aspiring DJs just like you, so finding a niche and having a unique selling point is what will get you booked. Make sure to keep experimenting with different sounds, as you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from rivals.
Whether you have dreams of having your own residency in a club, or you prefer DJing at different events around the world, the only thing stopping you from achieving your dreams, is you! Following the steps above will help you master the art of DJing and turn you from newbie to pro in no time.