Do not be demotivated when you look at the amazing professionals all over the world. Everyone started from scratch and took their sweet time to rise to the top. This especially stands true for DJs. Just like you, your idols have also faced hurdles with sweaty palms and heart palpitations, getting up on stage for the very first time. If you have a passion for music, you’re already on the right path.
Your mindset is the most vital thing when it comes to being a DJ. You should be able to set goals and put some effort into kickstarting your career. We have interviewed some of the top dogs in this industry to help you out with a few pointers. These will help you overcome the hurdles that you face on the road to success.
Invest in Some Basic Equipment
If you have decided to pursue mixing music as a professional career, it is important to start investing in your dream. You do not have to buy something that is extremely expensive or top-of-the-line, just get a basic controller to help you learn various mixing techniques. You should keep practicing till you start understanding the basics of mixing.
You can learn the art of Dj’ing in academies and even online. There are definitely some DJs out there who are self-taught as well. Hone your skills so that you are confident enough with what you are doing. Your ear for music and your passion can only take you so far without any skills.
Understand Your Software
There is a multitude of software and hardware out there for the sole purpose of mixing music. It can take a person years to understand each and every single software out there. This is why you should choose it carefully. Most dance clubs and shows use Pioneer for DJ performances, which is why you should practice on this. It comes with a software called Rekordbox, which can be used on your laptop as well.
Do your research and practice till you know everything inside-out.
Make an Artist Profile
All artists must have something to show for their work, and as such, DJS too should have a platform where they can display their skills. Get your name out there and make your profile on various platforms in order to help you generate traction. Get in touch with different websites that feature DJs on their platforms.
When you put up your mix, choose an attractive cover picture. According to leading experts in the industry, mixtapes uploaded daily on a platform can catch the eyes and ears of listeners when they look attractive. Do not forget to listen to your mixtape before submitting it to make sure there are no mistakes.
Learn How to Read the Crowd
It is quite vital that a DJ knows his or her crowd like the back of their hand. It might be surprising, but even when you plan your sets and practice them, not everything goes according to plan. Your priority should be the crowd’s mood. The crowd can make all the difference between a banging DJ set and a mediocre one.
Remember to play according to the time slot that you have been given. If you are playing a techno party, do not start playing 130 BPM when the artist after you will be playing 125 BPM. Go according to the flow of the whole party, not just your own set. Understand the vibe of the people around you and try giving them what they want.
Own Your Social Media
Besides uploading mixtapes, it is important to have a social media presence on every platform. It helps keep your fans engaged and in the know about all of your next gigs. Social media is a great thing. Most people actually end up getting a lot of gigs when they are active on social media. You can even find events where you can get some practice through the use of groups on platforms such as Facebook.
Remember to not start bad-mouthing other artists on social media. No one will respect you and your work if you do not respect another person doing it. Take some time to learn how to master your social media presence so that it benefits you in the long run.
Be Fluid with Your Genres
No one becomes a successful DJ by just playing one kind of genre. Sure, everyone has their own style and niche and slowly and steadily even your audience will know what to expect from you. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to only one kind of music for the rest of your career.
Innovation and creativity can be practiced in mixing as well. You can easily try mixing two songs of different genres and blend them together for a nice surprise for the crowd. Explore new ideas and music and try becoming more musically flexible. This will not only make you feel more confident but will also open up a ton of opportunities for you ahead.
Control Your Alcohol
It might be very tempting to drink an extra glass or two of the complimentary alcohol you get as a DJ when you plat your set, but remember to keep your calm. It is truly unprofessional to get drunk or even a little wasted before or after your set. People in the club will want to meet you after your set, and you should be at your best. This is how you gain followers and fans who stay for the long run.
Do not ruin your image in front of event promoters and organizers. You wouldn’t walk into your office drunk, and if you take DJing as a serious profession, you should not be drunk during your gig either. If you drink too much before your set, chances are that you might make a mistake.
Becoming a professional in this field isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of hard work and there are many challenges that you have to overcome. Use these tips and tricks to help you ignite your career.
*Photos by RODNAE Productions