Being a successful DJ nowadays is almost like running a company. It’s a wonderful world of mixing music, where everyone wants the world to groove on their beats. Some start early and some take ages to realize their true potential. For everyone who is planning to start their career as a DJ but is confused about how to take things ahead, this is the place for you. We are here to spill the beans on a few secrets to be a successful DJ. It isn’t just matching beats, or scratching over songs. It’s about being observant, empathic, and reactive. You can’t learn Djing in a few weeks or a few days. You need at least years of practice unless you are gifted or have loads of money and a great network.
It takes years of practice, a great ear for music, creative mind and much more. None of the famous DJ got it easy, they all either started a very young age or took years to learn things. Rising to fame with your first composition is one in a million chance. Contrary to popular belief, learning to DJ is not an easy route to overnight success. This takes work, and hustle, and time. It’s not difficult to start. But it is difficult to stand out and to be exceptional.
We are no expert but with all research, we have concluded with these points common in every successful DJ’s story to help you “fine tune” your skills:
1) Explore your forte: There are many sub-categories to this genre. You can be- The club DJ, The Performer (Turntablist), The Mobile DJ, The Radio DJ.
a) The Club DJ- The sole duty of Club DJ is to keep the floor grooving. This DJ must know how to move the energy up and down, and maintain a balance between an active dance floor, and a busy bar.
b) The Performer (Turntablist)- They are the live performers. People watch them because of their reputation, their track record and what they can do from behind the console.
c) The Mobile DJ- These are the ones who perform at weddings, corporate events, or prom parties. In some cases, they are solely responsible for setting up equipment, make announcements or play requests.
d) The Radio DJ- The concept of the DJ owes its origins to the radio. They are responsible to make new music, jingles, music curation. The art still lives on in podcast format.
The most important are PRODUCERS- they are the one who create original content and their own tracks. DJing is playing pre-recorded music to an audience; producing is the original creation or recording of music. Producers create music and DJ plays them in an event.
2) Set up your goals: When you take up DJ as your full-time career choice, you need to be sure of what your end goal is. Is it to be a successful DJ or just to earn some money. One needs to be completely honest as to be successful you need to grind yourself day and night but to earn money you can use other ways and may deviate from your path.
3) Mess around with tools- Get handsy with the equipment. The very basic step is to get familiar with the tools. There are many tools and software in the market, you just need to find the right one and start practicing. Know them like the back of your hands before you start making music. For being Dj- you need some sort of controller or turntable, that already comes with software and if not then you can always purchase or download the software. But if you are planning to be a Producer you need to buy a digital audio workstation (DAW) software application. Try to use them without any guidance to make mistakes and learn from them and feel the tools and landscape of it.
4) Try to make from scratch: After you get familiar with the consoles try making any music from scratch. Make any new composition of 3 minutes or edit any music to make a remix of at least 30 minutes. Once you are done editing or composing upload it on any social platform or JamJar app. You can find other DJ’s there and share your compositions with others. People can tip you on JamJar app if they like your composition. Also, you will know where you need to focus more. JamJar is a digital tip jar where you get paid by fans directly. This will help not just in motivation but in your marketing too.
5) Tutorials: There are already many tutorials streaming on the internet for your help. Once you get critical remarks or advice from your fans or friends you will know your weak and strong points. You can easily find tutorial videos on youtube or other platforms from the experts and can easily work on it. Go on YouTube and learn about EQing your tracks so they blend better. Whatever you think you need to know, the info is out there. You should probably have two more songs/mixes done in a week if you learn ardently and passionately
6) Branding: The most important aspect of any DJ’s fan following is based on branding, we would obviously buy merchandise or tickets of the artist who is famous or a bigger brand. Hence, we would suggest you focus more on the branding aspect to become famous in your audience. A popular face would obviously be on an added advantage when a new song or album will be released. They would earn more gigs and be more sold out. Once you have that name, set up a page on Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp, or whatever (or a combination of these). Basically, it will be a place to post your sets/songs for the world to see.
7) Control your nerves: DJ’s get nervous, and it’s ok to feel like this, but the most important thing is how you control them. Any successful DJ would keep a check on his nerves as he knows one wrong move can lead to spoiling his own show. They don’t care, it’s not their problem! Good DJs realize that and fix stuff unobtrusively and deftly. So, guys always know how to keep them in control.
We hope you would know to be able to make a clear decision if you are passionate enough to take up DJ as a full-time career. By now you would have made note of things we require to be a successful DJ. If you have any other things to share you can always comment and let us know what all we missed.