You want to learn how to be a DJ but that means more than wearing the ‘right’ clothes and knowing the right people. Of course those things will help you propel your DJ career forward but if you lack certain basic skills it won’t matter what you look like or who you know. No one will be handing out DJ gigs to you.
Even in this digital age of DJing a DJ who is in demand will have perfected certain skills that ensure big crowds, packed dance floors and a general good time all around. So before you get down about your lack of gigs, ask yourself do I have these necessary DJ skills?
This is pretty much a no-brainer. You need to know how to mix properly in order to be a good DJ. Period.
The good news is that you can sign up for DJ courses online to help you learn the basics of DJ mixing. The ‘not so good’ news is that in order to become good at it you will need to practice and then practice a little bit more…and then keep on practicing until you get it right.
For the digital DJ learning how to mix is easier than ever, but that doesn’t mean you should do your level best to be damn good at it.
As a DJ you have one job; keep the crowd happy. The best way to ensure that you’re doing that is by learning how to read a crowd. If you can read the crowd then you’ll always know when it’s time to kick the energy up a notch or relax a bit until the room warms up.
This is a DJ skill you can learn inside or outside the DJ booth simply by watching. When you go to a club to hear another DJ, sit back and watch the floor. Take note of when the numbers on the dance floor start to dwindle and notice how the DJ responds. Then think about how you might respond.
You will need to determine if that empty dance floor is because they hate the Top 40 crap you’re playing or if it’s because the bar is suddenly empty. These things happen in waves and your job is to figure out when you need to do more and when you need to do less.
One of my biggest pet peeves about some of the up and coming DJs is the utter lack of respect and knowledge they have about music. This may make me sound like a pretentious DJ d-bag but…so what? If you want to be a good DJ with a long lasting DJ career then you need to know your music.
That means you need to understand how music works from the beats to the melody and the hook and every other element that makes a song, a song. Without this knowledge you will rely heavily on your DJ software to help you beatmatch. The other problem with a lack of music education (formal or informal) is that you’ll only rely on the most commonly played music on any given day or month.
Sure everyone loves those songs that get played ad nauseum on the radio, but a true DJ who knows a lot about music will be able to take unknown tracks or unusual tracks and blend it with those popular tracks for some amazing mixes that will blow the audience away.
Think about it.
Some DJs don’t see this as a necessary DJ skill but…they are wrong. The truth is that you need to be a shameless promoter of yourself and your DJ skills. I don’t mean you need to walk around wearing a sandwich board with your DJ website on it, but you should also put effort into spreading the word about your DJ awesomeness.
This means get your website set up as well as pages on all the popular social media formats. You want to make sure they are all linked back to one another, but especially to your website since this is where everyone will be able to find you.
In all business networking is key, but it is especially necessary in jobs where you are your own boss. There won’t be—for a long while at least—a marketing department to do all the hard work for you. You will be your own PR, manager and schmoozer. It ain’t the best part of the gig, usually, but it will help you become a regular on the DJ circuit.
Networking will put you in touch with other DJs who can pass on their wisdom, promoters and bookers for clubs and festivals, club owners, graphic artists, producers and music lovers who simply love nothing more than discovering new artists…and spreading the word about them.
These are DJ skills that will make you a better DJ and a more successful DJ so while you take DJ classes, make sure you’re also mastering these skills.
I hope I helped you master these DJ skills. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!
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