6 Habits That Will Teach You How To Be A Better DJ

What Are You Doing To Be A Better DJ?


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You are a professional DJ. Congratulations! You have achieved the first step in realizing your career goals. You have a few regular gigs and now you are looking to capitalize on your growing popularity and become a full-fledged music pro. The problem is you feel as though you’re doing everything right and yet your DJ career seems to have stagnated.

Why?

The answer is…I dunno. There are many reasons DJs experience a setback in their move to the top and mostly it is due to complacency. You’ve found a recipe for success that has taken you from part-time DJ to full-time professional DJ so you stick to it. That makes sense, but it also does nothing to separate you from all the other DJs with a small but loyal following.

Now is the time to kick things up a notch! Do more and do it better if you want to see more changes in your career. Adopt these habits and you’ll not only become a better DJ but a more successful one as well.

Wake Up

While it is so nice to get a full night’s sleep after being up all night you should ask yourself if you really need those extra hours of sleep. If you need them to function, sleep and enjoy it. If you don’t need it but you’re just taking it because you can, wake up and get to work!

Having a creative job like DJing that doesn’t rely on banker’s hours can make it hard to maintain a productive schedule outside of prepping for and performing at gigs. But if you want to take your DJ career to the next level you’ll need to wake up earlier and get a start on the day.

Don’t burn daylight when you could be writing new tracks, recording, reaching out to promoters, working on your website or setting up a European tour. Get my drift, here? Use those hours when other DJs are sleeping, to catapult your DJ career to the next level.

Don’t Overdo It

There is a time and a place for multi-tasking, but it isn’t always and everywhere. It has become commonplace, almost a badge of honor, to be able to do a million things at once. The problem with that is that there’s no way to do a million things at a time and do any of them well. Don’t let yourself fall into this hole of trying to do it all because you’ll end up with tour dates booked too close together, half-assed tracks and boring interviews.

Set aside time to do what you need to do so that each task gets your undivided attention. Take one hour to answer emails and another for social media. Give yourself a 2 hour limit for setting up future tour dates and then another two for scheduling studio time. This way you get to devote quality time to each task while also getting everything done. The other bonus is that you can make smarter decisions because everything is laid out. You can schedule studio time in Atlanta because you have 3 consecutive dates in the city so you know you’ll be there.

This is the part of your DJ career that ain’t glamorous, but it is the part that will help you get to the point where someone else is doing all this busy work for you.

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Specify Your Goals

If your one goal is “make it as a pro DJ” and that’s it, it’s no wonder you’re having trouble achieving your goals. You need to make specific goals for different points in time. For example your goal for this month may be to get 10 gigs and 15 for next month. Or your yearly goal may be to play a few big festivals or collaborate with another DJ.

Write down these goals and the time frame you’d like to achieve them, but keep it realistic. The point of this exercise is to lay out clearly defined goals so that you can put plans in place to achieve them. If you want 10 gigs this month, you should have a big list of people you need to get in touch with to make that happen.

Network

Just because you don’t wear a suit to work doesn’t mean you are free to avoid things like networking. Besides, networking with DJs and other music professionals is way more exciting that interacting with a bunch of suits.

This is an important part of the job so make sure you build time into your schedule each month to attend industry events. Whether it is SXSW or NAMM or any of those other events that happen all over the world, make sure you know when they are happening and make plans to attend a few. It’s part of how you will move forward and become a better professional DJ.

Do Something Else, Too

Sure you live and breathe music; it’s your life. I get it, believe me, I do. But I also know that it is important to do something away from the hustle & bustle of professional DJing. Go climb a mountain, learn how to make fresh pasta or take up sculpting. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something that nourishes your mind and soul, while providing the perfect escape from your work.

Having something else to focus on will make it easier to maintain your focus when you are working and it’ll prevent burnout. New DJs often overdo it, working constantly to the point of exhaustion.

Listen To Those Who Do It Better

I recommend a DJ mentor as soon as you can find one, or at least a confidante. If you can’t do that you can always find other ways to get advice from people who have been DJing longer than you have. Sign up for newsletters, read interviews and watch tutorials and speeches given by other DJs as well as those who work with DJs.

This will teach you a lot about the industry from how to get an agent, make your own music and get a spot at the hottest festivals on the globe. You don’t always have to have an ‘in’ to get insider info.

What habits do you have that you think make you a better DJ? We’d love to hear from you!

I hope I helped you start habits to make you a better professional DJ. 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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