Helpful tips for being a DJ
Updated: Feb 21
Tuesdays are DJ Tips days on Lets Go Big tunes, from beginner to expert, they are bound to be of help.
Step 1: Learning What DJs Do
There are many different kinds of DJs, and many different reasons for those DJs to exist. Let’s start with getting serious about YOU: What kind of DJ are you interested in becoming?
The Club DJ
Each club has a different feel, reputation, and audience… which also means that clubs vary in what they expect from their musical selection. Typically, the job of the resident DJ at a night club is to maintain a moving dance floor. Often, club DJs will perform long blends (transitions) between songs, or some other trickery to keep people’s feet moving.
This DJ must know how to ramp the energy up and down, and maintain a balance between an active dance floor, and a busy bar.
The Performer (Turntablist)
People go to see this DJ because of who they are, their reputation, and what people think they can do behind the decks. Their mixes are displays of raw skill, impressive tricks, and clever transitions.
The “exhibitionist” DJs fit here, such as turntablists (e.g. those who focus on cutting and scratching), “controllerists”, and other types of live performers.
The Mobile DJ
These are the ones who perform at your wedding, set the tone for your corporate event, or provide a memorable prom party.
Often the entrepreneurial type, mobile DJs have a lot of things to keep track of. In some cases, they are solely responsible for the setup and teardown of equipment, planning the show, managing the crowd, and making any announcements.
This kind of DJ often needs to be comfortable with taking requests (and sometimes even entire playlists), speaking into a microphone, and investing in sound equipment.
The Radio DJ
The concept of the DJ owes it’s origins to radio.
The radio DJ’s job varies greatly, from the person who announces the weather between songs, to full-on music curation.
While many corporate radio DJs have lost control over the music, the art lives on in podcast format.
What About Producers?
People often confuse DJing with music production. DJing is playing pre-recorded music to an audience; producing is the original creation or recording of music.
In other words, someone produces a techno song, and then a techno DJ plays that song at a festival. Sometimes that is the same person.
It can get confusing, since many performances are hybrids of the two.
All in all, it’s important to realize that there are many different types of performers. Some are strictly DJs, some play a “live PA” (complete with hardware synthesizers or drum machines), and many land somewhere in-between. It’s a spectrum.
What excites you about becoming a DJ? Is it the idea of directing a dance floor in a big dirty warehouse? Playing big tracks at summer festivals? Starting a wedding DJ business? Building an audience for an online radio show?
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