How Do I Become a DJ – 5 Things You Need To Know

dj-nightclub

Being a DJ today is very easy, you don’t need much. People pretend to be a DJ after playing some music on Itunes and soundcloud for their friends party.

I’m stopping you right here, this is NOT being a DJ, but a good friend for sure. To become a DJ you’ll have to put some work and a small investment to start.

But first, if you want to know how to become a DJ, there are 5 things you need to know!!

1: Your Music – Know what you are playing

I know it’s pretty obvious right. However, there are a lot of DJs who are playing in the dark. That was my first mistake when I started. I had a ton of music on my computer, so I was ready to play anything. But what I didn’t know is PEOPLE ARE GOING TO ASK AND REQUEST. So when they ask you to play a specific music

  • You need to know where the music is in your computer
  • Make sure you know if you have the music before saying YES
  • Make sure the music can be reading on your mixer/decks/software

To avoid all this pressure during an event or private party you need to do this small work regularly

  • Sort your music: By artist, years, name of your choice, kind of music… ( even if you are using CD or Vinyls do this work )
  • Listen to every single new music you purchase or download. You need to know the BPM (Beats Per Minute), how long it is and make sure you know who is the artist and what is the title.
  • Look for the new release, stay connected and be the first to play the last tune
  • Don’t forget Shazam it’s an incredible tool. Go in a club or party and get your Shazam ready!

 

2: Which Event – Know where you going

You can be the official DJ of a club and then you don’t have to worry about where you going to perform tonight. But if you just started you are going to take every single opportunity to build your experience. So make sure you know where you going before you sign anything or say YES.

 

  • The Club: The people come for you, they’ve planned to dance anyway so you can play whatever you want (except for special event). On the other side some people on the dance floor are regular customer and they would know if you’re timing, beatmatch and mix or not perfect. The environment can be very very very hot and you have to play between 3 to 8 hours depending on the opening & closing time of the club. So be prepare !

 

  • Birthday Party: Very friendly, not a lot of people (remember there is always exceptions) and usually you will start around 10-11pm and finish around 2am. Free food and free drinks but you are professional so ZERO ALCOHOL TOLERANCE

  • Wedding: My favorite!! You can start at 12pm for set up the cocktail with a chill, deep house and jazz atmosphere. Dress code must be smart. Don’t forget the battery for the MIC because is going to be you best friend. Usually start at 9-10pm and finish around 3-4am (sometimes it’s endless)

 

  • Corporation: Very easy, usually on afternoon for a cocktail during conferences, exhibitions or corporation’s birthday. Start around 2pm and finish before the evening. For corporation’s anniversary you can mix until 2am if requested. Dress code must be smart.

 

I’m not going into details in this post because in all these events there are a lot of things to know (Equipment, Price, Which Music, Contract or No…..). I will do another post about the different events no worries.

3: Your Audience – Who are you going to Entertain

Now you have your music and tune ready, you know where you going, but you don’t know who will be there. So you need to be prepare for that before having any surprise. And to know all this information you are going to ask to the person who’s paying you.

 

  • Club: No worries, they come for you and they over 18, so no need to worry about this one

 

  • How old they are: You are probably not gonna play 1h of tango and paso doble for a 20’s birthday. Make sure you know how old are your guests

 

  • Where they from: Not talking about the city but the country. Let just say you are performing at a wedding and the best mate of the groom is Spanish. Take the mic and just say “And now we’ve got a special message for (Spanish guest name)” and play the Spanish music. So make sure you’ve got some tune from different country in your inventory

 

  • Which class: Low, middle or High class. Iv’e notice some difference according to my experience
    • Low class: You can play absolutely anything as long as you’ve got your best friend (the mic) and you make them dance, jump and sing. (just be off your head and go crazy)
    • Middle class: The most common one. A bit of MIC entertainment and a lot of music, usually 80’s it’s the top music selection
    • High class: leave the MIC on the side, and get ready to mix and perform to perfection. Usually a good preference for house, funky and last release. They probably seen a lot of popular DJ so be professional

Everything you need to know about your Audience=> just here

 

4: Your Equipment – What do you need ?

You are not going to bring your phone and a jack plug at the wedding. So you need to bring enough equipment but for this you need to ask some question. (No need to worry if you are performing in a Club)

 

  • How many people: You’ll need some powerful sound system if you’ve got over 200 guests

 

  • Where is the event: House, Mansion, Castle, Indoor or Outdoor (check the weather).

 

  • When is the event: Day or night ? No point to bring all your light system for an afternoon cocktail

 

  • Where am I playing ?: You need to know if they got only one plug socket or more for you and if you next to it. Make sure you’ve got enough extension cords. If there is a sound limiter or an automatic power cut after a certain time.

 

  • Sound stupid but make sure you’ve got your tunes, headphone and laptop with you!!

 

5: Entertainment – You are the show

Ok so you’ve got your music and equipment ready, you know where you going and who will be there. One of the most important thing the DJ forget: You are not just here to play some music, you are here to Do the SHOW, people got a lot of expectation from you. So there are couple things that can help you

 

  • Your best friend: THE MIC. Is the number ONE, just with him you can make people do anything !!

 

  • Dance: learn some famous move or dance, jump in front of your mixers and show the move to your audience

 

crowd

  • Fancy dress: A hat, a Wig or fancy sun glasses. Anything to show them how crazy you can be

 

  • Some goodies: buy some neon bracelets and give them away during your performance

Ready to jump into the mix

As you see, be a DJ is not that simple. Remember those 5 things you need to know

 

1:Is my Music ready and update?

2:Which Event am I going?

3:What kind of Audience is going to be there?

4:Which Equipment Should I Bring?

5:How can I Entertain them?

 

If you take care of this before jumping into your performance, everything is going to be much easier and you are going to look more professional.

Imagine you want to hire a DJ and he’s asking you all the details about your event. What are you gonna think ? “This guy knows his stuff, I let him do whatever he wants” make sense no ?

If you have any questions please comment below and I will be more than happy to help you.

Charles

5 thoughts on “How Do I Become a DJ – 5 Things You Need To Know

  1. Wow, that’s very interesting. I’ve always wanted to know what being a DJ involves. Your article was very informative, and now I know why some DJ’s in the past didn’t play some of my music requests, lol, perhaps they didn’t know where the particular song was. There is a club in my hometown which looks like a ramshackle building, but on the inside it is an incredible house party. They have been in our town for over twenty years and are doing excellent business. The DJ’s play exactly the right music for their audience and they always adapt it, depending on who their audience is (on some nights there are more locals and on other nights there are more tourists). They also have a club animator whose best friend (like the DJ’s) is the mic, and he is great on the mic. So, I understand what you are talking about when you say that the mic is the DJ’s best friend 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Such a great and interesting article, it was a pleasure to read it. I always wanted to be a DJ when I was younger and I even was creating some dance song with FL studio, but I never realized that being a DJ you have to take so many things into consideration and be prepared for anything. I really liked how you grouped your advice in different categories like an audience, location, equipment, music, that was very helpful to easier separate and find tips which are relevant to me. Thank you for sharing this interesting and helpful post.

    1. You very welcome Marius
      I’ve tried FL Studio for a while but I gave up and decided to focus on “how Entertain people”
      Tough software for me
      Never too late to become a DJ 😉

  3. Great article, very informative for a beginner without going too deep into the details. I have to imagine one of the worst things that can happen is not being able to pull up a specific song by request, so having everything categorized is smart. And I underestimated all the gear that’s actually needed to bring to a show. And I like the bit about how to entertain, because its not just pushing play and standing back while the music plays. Its important to engage and interact with the crowd. Keep up the great work!

  4. Thank you for the informative article! It’s always something I’ve been interested in and curious about. This post definitely answers a lot of the questions I had. DJ’s are super important when it comes to influencing any event and I never realized how much work went into the planning process. I think a lot of people underestimate that, but like anything else, I’m sure the best DJ’s put a lot of effort into preparing for an event. One of my friends has been talking forever about becoming a DJ so I am going to pass this along to him as I think it would be super helpful. Thanks again Charles!

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