DJs are artists and artists, by our very nature, are always growing and changing and evolving. We have to develop our technical skills and those skills that are harder to define. That “it” that separates good artists from great artists from phenomenal artists. And like any type of art, getting to where you want in your career is a slow walk through heavy mud. We want to learn everything there is to know like yesterday and we want to be the best in the field the day after.
But if you’ve been in the DJ game for any length of time you already know that chances of that happening are slim to none. So you have to make it from one day to the next, focusing on ways to grow as a professional DJ so you can get to that pinnacle of success you want so bad you can taste it.
The question is how.
Keep reading for the answer.
Do Something DJ-y Every Day
Things are constantly changing in the music industry, which means as a DJ you have to keep growing and improving your skill set. When you’re in that DJ booth you have to bring it, every single night, or you run the risk of becoming ordinary.
It isn’t just about being in the know in terms of cutting edge music, it is just as much about the technical side of the industry. So you should spend at least an hour each day doing something whether it is curating your DJ library, practicing mixing in key, and yes even checking out those so-called gimmicks like tablet, watch and phone DJing.
The other upside of making sure to hone your skills each day is that it may unintentionally lead you down a different path. Something might just strike you while you’re listening to new music, beatmatching or practicing mixing that will give you that thing you need to help you stand out in a crowd.
Make Mistakes & Move On
Making your way in any business is difficult no matter how talented you are and truthfully, unless you know someone getting your foot in the door is hard as hell. That means you’ll make mistakes, you’ll take paths that aren’t yours to travel, you’ll forget backup cords and you will have moments that make you question your future as a pro DJ.
But you have to keep trying new things—and making mistakes—if you truly want to succeed as a DJ. So you decided to give up mobile DJing and take all those wedding gigs that are offered, but then you decided it was a mistake…what do you do? What you definitely don’t do is keep going down the road that isn’t working. Take wedding gigs because hey, you need the money, but make an effort to slowly get back into mobile DJing.
If you aren’t making mistakes then you really aren’t trying to be the best DJ you can be.
Focus On The DJ, Not The Superstar
Let’s be honest here, there are a certain number of you out there who want to be famous more than you want to be a famous DJ. The truth is that some of you care more about playing big venues than being a badass DJ people fight to hire.
Those guys aren’t who we’re talking about here. Those of you who love DJing and would love to play any of the gigantic festivals around the world, you need to make sure your focus on being a DJ instead of a superstar. If you put in the work and you do an awesome job whenever you step inside the DJ booth chances are good your time will come.
Just because people are telling you how easy it is to be a digital DJ doesn’t mean it is easy because that’s a relative term. Yeah it is easier in that you don’t have to carry around crates of vinyl or CDs and you have a lot more options for learning how to DJ. But even if you perfect the technical aspect you still have to perfect that indefinable something that separates that local club DJ from the Glastonbury headliner.
Don’t Fear Hard Work
Being a really good DJ doesn’t mean you have to have more talent than the next guy, I’d argue talent has little to do with it. It means that you have to be willing to work harder and longer than the other guys competing for the gigs you want.
Are you putting in the hours inside the DJ booth? Networking and marketing? If so you are already on the right track. Make sure you’re constantly improving your skills, techniques and sound and you will notice that from one month to the next, one year to the next, you are getting better and better. You will book bigger and bigger DJ gigs, collaborate with guys you used to admire from afar.
Enjoy the ride and the adventure will be that much more rewarding.
I hope you are following these tips to keep growing in your professional DJ career. 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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