Ask any DJ why they chose to become a DJ, and you will get a surprising amount of results, and the answers will probably seem familiar to you.
Most of the responses you might hear from professional DJs, of course, revolve simply around their love and passion of music, the gift of discovering unique sounds, and the desire to inspire people to dance.
Do you ever wonder if becoming a DJ is the right career path for you? If you any of these previous answers sound a lot like you, well, DJing might be a perfect gig for you!
In this musically rich career—and with the right training—you get the chance to observe, react, and connect to your audience with matching beats and scratches laid over their favorite songs for a one-of-a-kind experience that they will likely never forget.
The 5 Best Ways to Become a DJ
If you want to have the drive to become a DJ, the great news is that there are many ways that you can approach your dream career in music. To become a DJ, you can either start on your own the DIY way, or go through a school DJ program like the one at MI. The best thing is that the choice is yours and the possibilities are endless.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best ways to become a DJ and do what you love:
1. Choose Your Medium and Build Your Music Collection
This tip shouldn’t be difficult for most aspiring DJs, at least in terms of it being your passion. Spending time at the local music shop is probably standard operating procedure for most aspiring DJs, but you also don’t want to break the bank before you start working professionally.
Let’s start this step by determining whether you want to focus on spinning vinyl or digital.
Many club DJs focus on vinyl for a variety of reasons, such as better and deeper sound quality, as well as the actual quality of the artists and songs you spin. Vinyl-based DJs tend to have a more personalized approach to building their library.
Digital DJs, or CDJs, can work with volume, notes The Guardian. It is clearly much easier to load thousands of songs onto a PC or Mac, and load that into your gig bag than a stack of records. This path makes sense if you want to work at parties, electronic dance music (EDM) events, and other celebrations. The vast selection in your possession will make you a hit since you can pull up just about any song to please the crowd.
With those factors in mind, vinyl-oriented DJs can find music on a budget by visiting used record stores, thrift stores, and garage and yard sales. It also wouldn’t hurt to visit online auction websites like eBay to hunt for bargains and specialty items.
For CDJs, resources abound, including the following:
- SoundCloud. This social music platform allows you to download other musicians’ tracks. You can also upload and share your own music.
- Beatport. Beatport is a massive DJ music store, offering music in premier digital format while also providing unique music discovery tools for DJs.
- Traxsource. If you want to delve into the underground DJ scene, this is the spot.
Additional spots where you can find reasonably priced digital music selections, or music subscriptions, include Juno Download, Direct Music Service (DMS), and DemoDrop.
2. Learn About the Different Types of DJs
We’ve already covered DJs who use vinyl versus digital music formats, but it will help you to dig deeper into the type of DJ you want to become and what you will do on that course.
- The Club DJ. A club DJ may work in a single club, or he or she may make the rounds, according to different clubs’ needs for certain events. Universally, club DJs’ objective is to keep people moving on the dance floor by monitoring the mood of the room.
- The Performer or “Turntablist.” The turntablist DJ builds his or her reputation, and people visit a club or event to see this performer. Often known for specializations like cutting and scratching, these DJs are also sometimes referred to as “exhibitionists.”
- The Mobile DJ. A mobile DJ is the classic DJ who performs at weddings, graduations, and other events where you provide a steady stream of crowd favorites.
- The Radio DJ. Inspired by radio announcers, the radio DJ injects his or her personality into the experience by making announcements and engaging in banter between songs.
3. Study Some Basic DJing Skills
You can learn some basic DJing skills on your own, thanks to the wonders of the internet. A few key points that may serve as a good launchpad include the following:
- Beatmatching. The basic idea of beatmatching is to line up two tracks playing at the same tempo and phase.
- Phrasing. Phrasing refers to mixing your tracks together at points that make sense to you.
- Gain Control. This factor revolves around various aspects of volume adjustment.
- EQing. With EQing, you are cutting or boosting frequencies to allow multiple audio tracks to blend seamlessly.
There is a great deal more to learn, so exploring the internet or looking into an in-depth DJ program may help you expand on these skills to get more meaning and expertise as you move forward.
4. Explore the Various Software Tools Used by the Top Professional DJs
Music Radar recommends several high-quality software programs for laptop DJs, including the following for Mac, PC, Android and iOS users:
- Native Instruments Traktor Pro. Released in 2011, this program is still going strong since it is appealing to new and seasoned CDJs.
- Serato DJ Pro. Serato led the charge for digital vinyl systems software nearly two decades ago, and they have adapted with the times and technology to continue providing reliable software.
Additional software programs for aspiring DJs, include Pioneer DJ rekordbox DJ, Mixxx, PCDJ Dex, and Atomix VirtualDJ Pro.
5. Find a Music Program to Help You Tune into Key Information, Techniques and Tools You Need to Become a DJ
One of the best ways to launch your journey to become a DJ or CDJ is choosing a comprehensive music program from a school like the DJ School at Musicians Institute. With the right instruction, guidance, and pacing, you can decide what kind of DJ you want to become, how to collect the right music, the latest software for your career, and all the skills you need.
Are You Ready to Dedicate Yourself to Developing Peak DJing Skills?
At Musicians Institute, you will have the chance to combine your creative skills and natural talent with all the latest tools, techniques, and industry professional guidance available.
Even though you could do it on your own, you can learn more intensively, quickly, and thoroughly when investing in pursuing a certificate in DJ Performance and Production.
Contact us today via email, telephone call, or a request for information form.