Step by Step Guide on How to Become a DJ

Step by Step Guide on How to Become a DJ
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If making people want to dance to the songs you play is an ambition of yours then chances are you want to become a DJ. This article from Ambient-Mixer shows you a step by step guide on how to become a DJ and what you need to do to make sure you are successful. The truth is that most of us have gone to a club or party which had a DJ to play the music for everyone to dance to. However, most of the times we as an audience take for granted how important a DJ really is when it comes to making sure a party is huge success or a flop. Still, being a DJ requires so much than just actually playing songs for the crowds. You will also have to learn to mix on the fly, how to structure a set and what it takes to keep your audience moving.


History of Mixing

Back in the days when DJ’s used to battle it out on the streets of New York City, legends such as Cool DJ Red Alert, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Malley Mall and many others became inspirations to millions of people who dreamed of being DJs. Mixing and scratching was everywhere and most of the songs in the late 70’s and 80’s focused on rappers boasting about their DJ being the best as he or she scratched & mixed in the background. The DJ movement became very popular as everyone was saving their money to buy equipment and inspired to become a DJ.

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Deciding and Buying Your Equipment

Since you cannot become a DJ without the proper music tools, one of the first steps to becoming a DJ is choosing your equipment and deciding what is best for you and those you want to entertain. For the most part, a lot of DJ equipment consist of

Two turntables or two CD players
2-channel mixer
Mixing software (optional)

Too many people make the mistake of purchasing really expensive equipment the first time they want to get into mixing and DJing. However, most times they end up realizing that they could have done the same or better with less expensive set-ups. Numerous famous DJ’s advice people to practice on someone else’s devices first if they are lucky enough to have access to it. This will give them a chance to see if they are in fact ready to do this for real and what it takes to actually do it. One of the reasons this step is important is because thousands of aspiring DJ’s spend tons of cash on DJ gear. However, once they play with it for a few days, they realize it is not for them and the expensive equipage ends up catching dust. The end result is selling that expensive equipment a huge loss. Be sure this is what you really want to do and then decide.


Decide on Digital or Analog

Back in the days of traditional DJing, it was mandatory for them to have two direct-drive turntables where vinyl records were used to scratch and mix. However, with technology advances, CD-style and straight-digital set-ups became more common for others. While they both have their advantages and disadvantages, either can be used for becoming a DJ and playing music for gigs.
Analog set-ups require you to acquire a large sizable collection of vinyl records of different genres for your audiences which can be very expensive. Still, you will be able to learn the skills of legend pioneers who used only vinyl for mixing and scratching. On the other hand, digital set-ups offer you the option of being very mobile. The learning process will also be easier since learning transition and beat-match is much more straightforward on digital set-ups with a software system and BPM counter. Whichever one you decide on, you will also have to decide on mixing software which are available from many companies.


Learning to DJ

One of the first things you want to do is to learn what it takes to be a DJ. For anyone that knows an already established DJ who is willing to help him or her then this is a huge plus and the best way to learn. There are also DJ schools where you can learn the basics. However, most of these schools are expensive. In the end, most great DJ’s learned on their own practicing and watching others. Those willing to learn on their own these days are much better off than the pioneers who started it all. There are many websites which offer how to videos and great resources to help you learn the basics.


Getting Your First DJ Gig

Once you have your equipage and learned how to use it, the next step will be getting your first paying gig. Most DJ’s starting out will play for family and friends for free just to get exposure and show off their skills. Nevertheless, you will eventually want to make money from this; especially if you are thinking of making a career out of it. Using social media as a way to promote your skills is a very great way to get your name out there. You can also distribute flyers, business cards and let people thinking of having a party know that you can offer your services for a price. We also recommend that you create your own website which will give you more credibility, visibility and allow more people to contact you. The only way to become a great DJ is by promoting yourself and your skills. The fact is that most DJ’s spend more time promoting themselves to get gigs than actually doing the DJing.

Make sure you read The What and Why About Music Mixing

Once you begin to get gigs that pay you, be sure to always leave your clientele satisfied. Some DJ’s make the mistakes of playing the music they want to hear rather than what the clients or audience wants. Keep in mind that your job is to entertain by letting the music be your tool which moves the audience.

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