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 it won’t matter how you look or who you know if you lack specific basic skills. 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 generally good time all around. So before you get down about your lack of gigs, ask yourself do I have these necessary DJ skills?
Rock the Party: Skills Every New DJ Should Master
1. KNOW HOW TO USE MIDI CONTROLLERS
With technology improving and moving at such a fast pace, a DJ now must know how to create dynamic and live remixes. Learn to use midi controllers to create multi-layer live remixes and use modern gear to make your sets stand out from the rest.
2. EXPERT OF NETWORKING ONLINE
DJs need to be able to market themselves while developing a brand and social media is one of the most effective manners to do so. Imagine the power of growing your following and then pushing them notifications of where you will be next. Bring the crowd wherever you go.
Social media also allows you to become a thought leader in the music space. Never ending discussions of music at social media giants like Facebook, SoundCloud and other blogs provides a great platform for DJs to show their creativity and knowledge. They can show their work, meet other artists, share their experiences, stay abreast with changing music trends, the emergence of new genres, and most importantly take part in a continuous learning process to enhance their artistry and skills.
3. KNOW HOW TO REMIX AND MASH-UP
If you aim to be the best DJ, you have to know how to mash-up, remix and produce your own music. Various software like Audacity and Pro Tools make the task a lot easier for today’s DJs.
4. CROWD READING
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
5. BE THE MUSIC!
It’s true every other person you meet is a DJ today. Even a kid can detail you how and from where to download songs; how to add simple effects from any open source music software; how to mix songs; etc.
Technically everyone is a DJ.
As a result, being a robot and playing a track just for the sake of performing your job is as dull as listening to music in a worn out Walkman. Be more physically and emotionally involved in music just like great examples of David Guetta, Avicii, DJ St. Louis and many others.