DJs who are just starting their careers find it difficult to attract clients. At this stage, DJs say yes to any opportunity whatsoever, even if they are not a hundred percent comfortable performing. While it is a good attitude for a beginner, you should remember that messing up gigs and not playing well can hinder your chances of becoming a successful DJ. Therefore, you need guidance and DJ tips to get better at the job. Take a look at these tips regarding different aspects of DJing to become a better professional artist.
Understand The Purpose Of Mixing
People usually think that matching the beats of two tracks, forcefully superimposing one track over the other, and using unnecessary syncs to make a playlist is the purpose of mixing. Contrary to this popular belief, mixing is the primary task of a DJ. It is perfected only when you sync two tracks such that the transition between them occurs in smooth layers. Knowing how to use the DJ mixers to do so is an art. While it is crucial for the tempos and the beats to match, the final track should sound new and fresh.
In simple words, DJ’s tend to mix tracks only for the sake of it. As a DJ, your focus should be to form a seamless flow between the songs to produce new music. Making the music sound fresh is where your creativity comes in. You can use features like percussion layering and bass line sync to match the vibe and tune the energy of the track.
There are features in modern DJing software that help you in mixing and manipulating the original tracks. However, we advise that you make the changes considering what sounds good to the ears. Do not be dependent on the numbers that the software displays.
Using Filters And Equalizers
Using the EQ and filters is crucial for mixing tracks properly. Needless to say that you become perfect at using EQ and filters only with experience. Handling DJ controllers to master the EQs is difficult. However, you should remember from the start that using too few EQs and filters will never get you noticed. On the other hand, if you overuse them for your setup, the music will sound rash. Seeking advice from experienced DJs, or even your listeners can be helpful. There is no point in randomly twisting the knobs.
Talking more about filters, their sole purpose is to add spice to the track. You have to strategically place the filters at breakdowns or snare roles in the audio. These are called tension points of the track that become smooth with the use of filters.
Behaving Like A DJ
DJing is not just about mixing tracks. It is also about your demeanor as a professional. Like an army chief needs to show discipline to lead by example, a DJ needs to show the right amount of enthusiasm to set the mood. Having said that, jumping dramatically and being over-animated is also not required.
As a DJ, your job is to play music for others and make the event fun. Therefore, keep interacting with the crowd and show interest in performing rather than playing. Organizers can sometimes be extremely blunt in pointing out your lack of interest or overenthusiasm. It will be the last thing you’ll want to hear, as it impacts your career adversely.
If you are getting paid for a DJ gig at a loft party, club, or festival, you need to behave like a professional. You cannot afford to mess up the performance by not being well-prepared. All the people coming to the event are your customers. Their requests should be your top priority. You have to be approachable to them and cater to their needs.
What Music To Play?
Music lies at the heart of DJing. If you have chosen to become a DJ, it is evident that you are a music lover. Therefore, reflect this love for music through your performance and play genuinely good songs. Moreover, select tracks that you know you can mix well. If there are requests from people, always acknowledge them. If you feel comfortable playing commercial and popular tracks, do so.
It is a common trend for DJs to start playing tracks because they have high numbers on YouTube. However, do not rely on these views, rankings, or charts. If you do not think that your skill can make the tracks interesting, you can always choose not to play them.
Learn To Scratch
Among all other skills of a DJ, scratching is the most popular one. Moving the records back-and-fourth to produce special percussion sounds is called scratching.While people appreciate some scratching between tracks, sometimes, it can become irritating as well. You need to understand that scratching is a skill, and it will only get better with practice. Most ameteur DJs tend to mimic others. While your fingers can move in the same manner on the jog wheel, it does not mean that it will produce the same effect.
So, practice scratching and come up with a style that compliments your playlist. You cannot merely add scratching anywhere you like. It needs a thorough understanding of the audio to know at which point a scratch will sound good.
If you want to do commercial DJing, you must promote yourself to get more bookings for events. Start social media marketing, advertising, etc., to spread the word. Moreover, many DJs release their mixtapes to attract clients. Lastly, impress people with your talent every chance you get. Word of mouth can work wonders for you.
These were some DJ tips that could be helpful for beginners. Even people who have had several years of experience tend to forget the basics. Therefore, these tips can also serve as a reminder for these DJs to get back on track. Becoming a successful DJ is all about giving top priority to professionalism and creativity. Spending time on preparations, and practicing what you already know is always useful.
There are very few DJs who can master the art of freestyle DJing and do it consistently. Follow successful DJs and never miss a chance to seek advice from them. By doing all this, you will surely become a top-tier DJ one day.