When starting anything new, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start – hence the reason for this blog post. We are on hand to provide you with 4 key questions to ask yourself at the beginning of your DJing career. These questions will help you visualise your direction and set you on your way to musical success.
- What type of DJ do I want to be?
The first thing you need to decide is what type of DJ you would like to become. Below are the 5 different types of DJs and what their jobs entail:
- Club DJ: A club DJ usually plays on a weekend and provides club-goers with sets of commercial music.
- Mobile DJ: A mobile DJ will have their own equipment and usually get booked for personal events such as weddings.
- DJ Producer: These artists create their own music, making this the most competitive and lucrative branch of DJing.
- Technical DJ: DJing includes many different individual skills such as scratching. If you can master one of these niche skills you can make a living from this skill alone.
- Radio DJ: These DJs focus on the selection of songs and other responsibilities such an interviewing, rather than mixing alone.
2. What format do I want to use?
Another decision you will have to make is the format you are going to commit to using.
You may be engrossed by the sound quality of vinyl but these remain a less popular choice because of the expense attached to, and the obstacle of, sourcing certain vinyl records.
The compromise for a lot of vinyl lovers is Digital Vinyl Systems (DVS). They are the ideal solution for those that want to connect their digital library with actual scratching. The only downside to this format is that all of the technology and wires involved mean more things can go wrong – at the wrong time!
Alike the old 5 pound note, the CD is still in circulation, but we question for how long. More popular alternatives include USBs but are warned, some venues may not have the correct decks for you to plug your USB into. An alternative is your laptop as it can store many more tunes than your USB stick.
3. What else do I need to do?
In the digital world of today, there is much more to do than having the talent and work ethic. You also need to practice your trade and seek out all the help you can get from more experienced DJs. You need to market yourself on social media platforms and even create your own pages and blogs to capture a following – remember, popular DJs often earn more than experienced ones! DJing is an art form that allows your creative juices to flow and while not everyone will hear you DJ before booking you, they will likely see visuals such as flyers and other promotional material. If you can get this right by being creative, it will improve people’s expectations of your abilities behind the decks.
4. What equipment will I need?
The equipment you need is an important consideration for the direction you have chosen, but also because it can get pricey if you make the wrong purchases.
Practising is important, and without the correct equipment, you will not be able to improve your abilities and develop as a DJ. Beginners should aim to acquire these items to ease them into the industry while being able to practice their skills well:
- DJ Controller (if you use Serato or Traktor)
- Mixer Setup
- Turntables or DVS
5. Away from the hardware, what software will I need?
This software is ideal for storing your music collection, creating playlists, and preparing song sequences for clubs. If you chose the USB option above, then this is the ideal accompanying software for you. A paid version with additional features is available.
If you have a fast laptop and want to DJ from it then Traktor may be your ideal option. The simple layout and functions make it great for newbie DJs looking to develop their skills at home.
This wallet-friendly and easy to use software is aimed at bedroom DJs just starting out in their careers. If you aim to be a mobile DJ for weddings then this is the software that most of these DJs are using. Be warned, don’t enter the club with virtual DJ or you may get laughed out onto the street; its beginner’s tag has a bit of a stigma within the clubbing scene.
The Most Important Thing
Of course, this blog post does not exhaust everything that you need to consider at the start of your DJing career. Most importantly, how will learn and develop your basic DJing skills and techniques.
Some people learn from home, some people choose a DJ course, the booth choices can be a good idea for beginners as many DJ schools in London offer a DJ set after finished the course, which is good for your networking and career.