Monday, September 13, 2010

Become a Club DJ

Let's face it, there is a lot to learn when you start anything new. Becoming a DJ is no exception. You'll have to know about cartridges, needles, mixers and tables. You'll need to learn what pitch and tempo is and how to scratch or beatmix. In many peoples opinions, the best possible way to learn all of the aspects of becoming a DJ is watch someone. Find a mentor or someone to study under. A lot of DJs are willing to lend a hand to people trying to get into the art in exchange for helping carry gear at a gig perhaps. Maybe you can wash their car every week in exchange for some hands on training. The best way to become a DJ is to learn from a DJ hands on.
There aren't many schools that will teach you how to become a DJ. The art of being a DJ is more of an underground movement. Nightclubs, parties, weddings, there are many events where DJs can show off their skills, but you'll rarely see it taught in a classroom. The best DJ teachers are the ones with the experience. The DJs who have been mixing and spinning for many successful years. The art of scratching may be overrated by some as well. Some DJs just don't have a need to do it. If you plan on becoming a DJ for weddings, the bride and groom probably don't want to hear a DJ scratching away. They just want the music to keep playing all night. It all depends on what kind of DJ you plan to become. If you want to battle, or DJ at hot night clubs or hip-hop grooves, you will probably want to learn how to scratch. When you decide to become a DJ, don't be afraid to try everything, the more talents you have, the more job opportunities are available.
The single greatest piece of advice that can be given to someone starting out is -- PRACTICE! Many aspects of DJing are reasonably intuitive and will present themselves the more you practice. The core of being this sort of entertainer is being able to work your music. Learn your songs well, and get your beatmixing down solid. A natural progression will start from there. The hardest part about writing this document is covering all the different choices available. From my experience and listening to other professional DJs, I've learned that most decisions are personal choices which only you can make. If you find yourself unsure about what direction you want to take, examine both for yourself. Its not nearly as easy as someone telling you "decision X is the best way to go," but you will be much more confident in your choice and will have much less room for bad decisions. The first few questions you have to ask yourself are common amongst beginners.
1. Do I really want to do this?
This may seem like a terribly odd question to be asking, but it is something that you need to evaluate carefully. DJing requires a lot of time, energy, money, and patience. If you aren't sure you have these sort of facilities, avoid making any commitments until you are sure.
2. What sort of equipment do I need to start with?
If you aren't sure about whether this is something you want to seriously pursue -- don't buy anything. Find a friend who'll let you use their equipment and practice on it a bit. (Don't forget to take them out to dinner in exchange!) Once you're sure you want to get into this some more, be ready to drop serious money on gear. Professional level gear should run you about $1000 to get started. This will include either a pair of turntables or a pair of CD players, and a mixer. You can use a home stereo as your amps and speakers while you get started. If you aren't sure that you're going to be doing this for the long haul and can't drop $1000 for equipment, then skimp as much as you can and save for the real stuff once you're sure. This means getting turntables with minimum features (ie: Gemini XL-BD10's) and a simple mixer. If you're going to spin CDs, this becomes tough real quick... the minimum priced pitch control CD decks are from Gemini and cost about $250 a piece. They are good starter decks, but moving up to better CD players in the future is something to seriously consider. Bottom line: Spend the least you can if you aren't sure. Buy the real stuff as soon as you can afford it and are sure that's the direction you want to take. And don't forget to buy a pair of good headphones! You can get them from Circuit City or similar stores for about $40 for a decent pair.
Become a Radio DJ
You need a pleasant speaking voice and excellent verbal skills for this job. On the air, you may introduce music, conduct interviews, and read commercials and even the weather forecast.
Steps
Take speech, drama and English courses in high school and college. Make tapes of your speaking voice and ask your speech and drama teachers for their opinion of your vocal projection.

Consider working part-time while you are in high school as a mobile disc jockey at parties. Observe experienced mobile DJs and you'll learn what's good vs. what's unprofessional. Find out from them what equipment you need. If you're really good, you can eventually advance to more formal affairs, such as weddings. The experience will be priceless.

Ask your guidance counselor for a list of colleges and universities that specialize in broadcasting.

Apply to several schools that offer a broadcasting degree with a radio emphasis. Although it's not always necessary for a DJ to have a degree, it will give you a major advantage within the broadcasting industry.

Gain experience at your college radio station by doing any work that will teach you about radio broadcasting, a station's equipment and the problems associated with airtime. Offer to be the DJ or radio announcer at the station during unusual hours. Then make a tape of the show and include the experience on your resume.

Get an internship of any kind at a local radio station while you're in college. It can sometimes lead to a permanent position. Realize that you will most likely be doing office work initially, not talking into a microphone or running the board. But you need this experience.

Consult your broadcasting adviser about the availability of entry-level radio jobs through the college.

Consider a radio job at a small community station after graduation if the opportunity presents itself. You'll probably begin with an entry-level position to learn the ropes, but your chances of speaking on the air in the near future will be far greater than in a larger market. The large markets want you to have had several years of on-air experience.

Tips & Warnings
Become an expert on a variety of interesting topics. Prepare demo tapes that demonstrate your knowledge and your excellent speaking voice.

Time management during a show and the ability to connect with your audience are key skills to have in this field.

Be prepared for the possibility of unusual working hours if you become a DJ.

18 comments:

  1. How about learning DSP(digital signal processing) .Learn faster byt learnnig a tracker like Renoise or Jeskolla Buzz.

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  2. i'm back and sharing the love!

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  3. Never thought about it, but indeed it must take a lot of work to become a DJ.

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  4. tldr loool
    always wanted to produce

    http://sekstastic.blogspot.com/

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  5. Following you and supporting you too! I LOVE DJING what type of music do you dj most? =D btw i uploaded something on making money from blackjack/roulette if your interested =)

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  6. not many people know that im dj pauly d

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  7. that's real dj skills. i hate djs who just bring a portable hard drive with them and play mp3s.. where's the skill in that?

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  8. Awe shit nigga im so cool get @ me


    arigiss.blogspot.com

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  9. Haha nice, I know a few djs myself. True facts.

    unmuerte.blogspot.com

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  10. sweet stuff my friend :)
    Those are some good ideas to try some day...

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