Being a perfect DJ is knowing how to pull the crowd into a room and get them grooving. This article will help you learn how to DJ in the simplest possible way.
Learning how to be a disc jockey is not only about learning the music. You need to have sound knowledge of the equipment. You also need to know how to build your fanbase and take your skill to a professional level.
Let us dive into the process!
Gather The Equipment
As already mentioned, being a DJ means a lot more than just playing songs. You have to learn how to structure a set and mix it on the fly. Your deck is what’s going to control the crowd.
As a beginner trying to learn how to DJ, you may invest in basic budget-friendly equipment. You can upgrade your deck once you’re ready. A complete DJ setup comprises the following –
- Turntables or CD players ( you must have at least two of these )
- Two-Channel Mixer
- A Laptop with a Mixing Software ( optional )
The choice of including a laptop in your equipment depends on your preference for the type of DJ setup you want.
There are two types of DJ setups – Analogue and Digital.
An Analogue DJ set-up allows you to DJ in the most traditional way. The avant-garde DJs used vinyl records for DJing. To learn how to DJ the pioneer way will require you to stockpile a significant collection of vinyl records to play. These can be heavy on the pockets, so choose wisely.
A Digital DJ set-up allows you to be completely mobile. There is a lot less to learn while using this set-up. You will have a laptop with a BPM counting and mixing software system. Therefore, learning to do the transitions and beat-matching will be out of the way.
We live in an era of Digital DJ set-ups. You need to research thoroughly before choosing the right laptop and mixing software for your set-up.
When it comes to the software, consider purchasing a package. A software package will allow you access to the various software programs that you can use for DJing. These programs provide you accessibilities like live looping, scratching, delays and reverberations, real-time control, video, and karaoke.
Programs like Serato Scratch and Traktor are great as they can read any format of music and have a very user-friendly interface.
More Tips For Your First DJ Set-Up
While learning how to DJ, there are a lot of minor things that need your attention.
- You need to take care of your budget. Be as economical as possible. In the beginning, it is a bad idea to invest in expensive gadgets and deck. The main tools you need to spend money on are the turntables and a mixer. You can upgrade all the other equipment later.
Being an aspiring DJ, you might know a few professional ones in your area. Reach out to them for equipment advice. If that isn’t an option for you, here are two very reliable guides on best DJ turntables and mixers.
- Beginner or not, every DJ loves to experiment. But every experiment doesn’t qualify for public performance. Don’t forget to have a home set-up. You can use it to create tunes and beats to use at your final shows.
This set-up will also be of use if you ever plan on producing.
- Your collection of music must be gigantic. Have tracks of all genres of music with you all the time. As a DJ, you’re supposed to be a music expert. Always be updated with the trending music.
However, to become a professional DJ, you will eventually have to pay for the music you get. But for now, work with what you have.
Working Your Music
Be best friends with the music you play. Here are a few tips on how-
- The Beats Per Minute (BPM) of every song determines how smoothly it can mix with another song. Learn the BPM of your song by heart.
It is always best to mix two songs that only have few BPM off.
- The coordination between your brain and hands must be perfect. Set your hands on your equipment correctly. Learn about all its features and how to use them.
- Learn how to scratch. It brings the most exciting effect on your remixes. A terrible scratch at the wrong timing can turn the whole party down.
- A very crucial technique to learn while you learn how to DJ is to make smooth transitions between songs. The beat must remain constant so that people can dance to it without any interruptions.
- You need to be familiar with the songs’ intros and outros so that you don’t end up mixing vocals over vocals and produce awkward noise. You also need to take care of the songs’ volumes. They should be constant.
Most importantly, you must learn how to read the crowd. Being a crowd-pleaser will earn you more popularity. Play the music that interests the majority of your audience!
Be a multi-genre DJ. If you have multiple genres under your belt, you will get more opportunities for future gigs. But it also requires extra hard work. You will need to know the classics, the deep-cuts, and the current popular tracks of all the genres you play.
Hit The Crowd With A Bang
Once you have your hands set at your deck, and you know your music, you are ready to hit the crowd with your cool musical moves. Work hard and build an attractive charisma. Also, learn when to take a break and let the crowd take over. It gives the audience the illusion of control, along with having fun.
At the end of the day, you are just supposed to have fun. The more you feel the music, the more you’ll be able to control it. The more spot on you are, the more the crowd will want you at their parties.