6 DJ Skills All DJs Need

Are You Prepared For Your DJ Career?


Pro DJ skills

Being a professional DJ is about more than getting gigs and living the DJ lifestyle. Of course DJ gigs are crucial to the professional part of your career, but successful DJs excel at much more than the nuts and bolts of DJing.

As a business person, which you are, you need more than one skillset to manage your career, your DJ skills and your finances. You will have to learn how to be a multi-tasker and a quick thinker because when you work festivals and clubs…pretty much anything that can go wrong will at some point.

Master DJ Equipment Basics

I know you’re already protesting that you favor one brand of DJ equipment and you know how to use so why—why, oh why—would you need to learn how to use those others? Well the simple answer is that you never know when your equipment will crap out. What will you do if you forget an important wire or you have a last minute DJ hardware disaster and you have to take what you can get?

The other reason you need to master pretty much all DJ equipment is because…just because. A friend of mine took a DJ gig a few towns over and he’d never seen the venue. He showed up only to learn the DJ booth came complete with equipment. Good thing he’d worked on a few different machines or that would have been a disaster.

I’m not saying you need to buy different brands of DJ equipment, just understanding the basics will make you cooler and calmer when it hits the fan!

Stay Calm

This isn’t technically a DJ skill but it is a skill that every DJ should have. No one wants to hire a hothead to entertain their patrons and they definitely don’t want to make them a regular!

Look your job is to work in a dark, crowed, sometimes smoky atmosphere filled with people who have had more alcohol than they should. So on top of worrying about all the things that could go wrong between leaving your house for the gig and finishing the gig successfully, you will have to deal with drunken clubbers, belligerent song requests and the hurt feelings of any rejected wannabe DJs.

How you deal with them—calmly and rationally—will determine how often you get rebooked for certain DJ gigs.

Professional DJ skills

Always Have A Plan B

Boy Scouts aren’t the only ones who always need to be prepared. Considering that you have to take pretty much everything you might need in the event of a DJ disaster with you, you will need to be able to anticipate trouble.

So you will need backups for everything including your set list, cables, DJ software, wires and anything else you might need. So planning will be a major part of your life as a professional DJ…and being a pessimist. It took me a learn time to learn this lesson but if you expect the worst to happen, you will always be prepared to handle it. And that is more important that keeping a positive outlook.

Manual Beatmatching

Okay so maybe there’s no reason you need to learn beatmatching except…there is. If you want to collaborate with other DJs then you need to be able to sync without the help of modern technology. Besides the fact that is a great skill to have, you really never know what will happen at any gig anywhere in the world.

In fact it isn’t just beatmatching that you should learn without the help of your DJ equipment. Think of gains, output volume and mixers; can you do any of that on your own or are you so used to the machines doing it that you didn’t bother to learn?

Your goal is to have every track come through crisp, clean and loud. Knowing how to do these things on your own will make sure that always happens.

Financial Management

As a professional DJ you don’t need to be a super smart and savvy financial planner, because hey they pay people to do that boring stuff. But you will need to know how to manage your earnings, invest in your career and your future. This means that until you have enough money to pay a professional money manager, you’ll have to know what you’re doing and be smart about it!

This means not upgrading your equipment too soon and being smart about taking gigs that require an overnight stay. Can you afford an overnight stay or will the club pay for it? These are all things you’ll have to think about as a pro DJ.

Being a professional DJ, as you can see, is about much more than loving and playing music. You will be responsible for managing all aspects of your career until you can afford to have someone else handle for you. But even then…you should always know what’s going on with your business.

I hope I helped you expand your DJ skillset. 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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