Why do DJs think they are musicians?
Being a DJ - Tips and Avoidable Mistakes
Being a DJ is a dream job for many. In the best case scenario, you will manage to inspire whole masses with your unique sound, to be booked internationally and to earn good money with it. Until then, there is a lot to learn about the right equipment and its operation - but also about the right approach and personal self-marketing.
Being a DJ: mediator between ingenious mixes and the fulfillment of guests' needs.
By Jan Hackmann
Being a talent for a DJ
You can find out about the technical requirements and the necessary shopping list as well as the know-how about connections and controls in our DJ guides. At this point it should be more about the mindset of a real DJ. And how he can be successful with it.
Also read: Being a DJ makes it easy
The pure joy of inspiring others with your own choice of music and luring them onto the dance floor is the basic requirement for being a DJ. It doesn't work without the pure passion for music and the development of a certain talent.
A good entertainer can read and respond to the dancing crowd. Do a lot, hang up a lot, appear often - that trains your empathy.
There are some basics and rules that go into making a successful DJ set. A good DJ will always take these to heart if he doesn't just want to play and mix with his art within his four walls.
Also read: Finding a DJ Name: How you will be remembered forever
Important points about being a DJ
1. Know your music choices
Your music is your capital. The more music you know and have available, the better. It's even better to know the songs from start to finish in order to create the perfect transitions.
And it is important to always have access: With suitable USB sticks for DJs, you can have your music with you at every gig and use it comfortably.
2. Sort your music collection
The better you prepare your DJ set, the more virtuoso you appear to the audience. You can also have something ready for every mood and react to the crowd.
A good place to start is to sort the tracks according to their tempo (BPM). Then you can combine the songs better without any unpleasant tempo surprises. The identification of the key also helps you to play a harmonious sounding set.
3. Increase your stakes
You should know the phases of an evening in order to create an arc of tension that inspires your audience to participate at all times. The first phase is more about warming up the crowd - familiar songs and fast beats heat the mood.
It is important to always pick people up where they are. A ready-made set to pull your own shoe through does not help to be a DJ. You play outside for the audience and not for yourself.
4. Find your style
When you have a certain reputation, the point is to develop your own style. That certain something that makes you unmistakable. Still, you have to make people happy at the party. Play what is basically appropriate here, but develop your distinctive profile, which is why you are in demand.
In the long run you cannot be successful (or arrive well) if you bend over. Your passion for a particular sound is what will ultimately convince your audience.
Also read: Mixer Guide
Being a DJ requires a lot of tact and empathy.
Also read: The best party songs for New Year's Eve to dance and sing along to
The most common mistakes in being a DJ
Some traps await you that seasoned DJs have come across and that you can avoid. They can help you make the step from mixing at home to being a DJ who loves to be booked at parties or events
1. You always play the music you already know
It's not just about playing all of the great pieces you know and serving a wide range in the process.
If you want to be successful as a DJ, you should specialize in one type of music and get to know it exactly. Develop a feel for your genre and learn to master it.
2. You think too technical
It is a fallacy to think that you can only hang up well if you have the latest player and the latest hardware. It is surely great to show up to the DJ set with a full professional case.
However, it is more important that your DJ equipment is easy to use for you and that your choice of music is correct and that you have mastered it.
Also read: DJ equipment for beginners
3. You want to be on the market too early
If you have the dream of making a name for yourself as a DJ, you need an unwavering passion for your job. Probably the most famous DJs in the world started early and practiced a lot and worked on their own distinctive style.
The deeper you get into your profession, the more likely your sets will be a success and people will notice you.
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4. You only focus on mixing
Of course, your ability to mix songs well is a foundation of every DJ. But the best mixed tracks are of no use at the party if your audience isn't into the music style at all. Your song selection is a lot more important than your mixing skills.
If a DJ is engaged at a certain event, he should also be able to adapt to the dynamics of the guests and the mood.
5. You forget about networking
As a DJ in particular, it is essential to establish a lot of contacts in the scene. This can be done via social networks, Facebook groups or relevant specialist magazines, but also via any live event. You will also come into contact with other DJs and producers at music fairs. Maybe you will find an experienced DJ who can become a mentor for you?
The more you are in the scene, the more you can learn and sooner or later you will find an opportunity where you will be recommended or booked. Networking is an essential form of marketing yourself as a DJ.
Also read: Hanging up with the laptop: What you need to know
Outlook for being a DJ
You won't become a good DJ overnight. This includes a lot of perseverance, openness and the will to keep learning. Not everyone has to become an internationally known top DJ in their main job, you can also work part-time with regular gigs in smaller locations.
The main thing is that you find your niche and are happy with what you do - and so are your party guests and clients.
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