When electronic music became a thing in the mainstream, DJs were always seen as this mystical creature that could play any song at any moment. They were the cool guy who was untouchable and knew everything about music. In a lot of ways, that is still how we view DJs today.
But here’s the thing — anyone can be a DJ. It’s just like any other skill — you need to learn it, practice it, and then master it. And while there are no shortcuts to becoming an overnight sensation, you can follow some guidelines to get the ball rolling.
This is why I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before: write a series on how to DJ like a professional. The entire series will be published on Magnetic Mag and will also be available through my mailing list (subscribe below).
This is not going to be a technical guide, like “How To Program Your First Beat In Ableton.” But rather, a guide with tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the last ten years while DJing around the world with some of the biggest names in electronic dance music.
This is a step-by-step guide on how to become a DJ by gaining the necessary skills. It starts from zero and then provides a list of things you need to do in order to improve your DJing talent. This comprehensive guide will lead you through every stage, from beginner to professional.
After reading this article you will be able to play in clubs and bars, become a radio DJ and play at festivals. You will also learn how to make money as a DJ, how to find work as one, and how the music industry works. I have included tips on what gear you will need, plus advice on self-promotion so that you can become a famous DJ.
A lot of people start out with good intentions but then lose motivation after failing at their first attempt. Please don’t make that mistake. If you’re serious about becoming a professional DJ then keep reading!
So you want to learn how to DJ? Well, the good news is that you’ve come to the right place! This blog post will teach you how to DJ like a pro. We’ll cover all the basics from mixing and scratching to beatmatching.
Before we begin, there are few things you need:
A turntable or two (preferably Technics SL-1200/1210s)
A mixer with phono inputs (Pioneer DJM-500/600/800 recommended)
An amp with phono inputs (such as a Carver PM-1.5 or Yamaha M-60)
Some vinyl records in various genres of music (try starting with house, techno, drum’n’bass, or hip-hop)
Once you have these things, then you’re ready to start learning how to DJ. The first step is learning how mix tunes together without any beats overlapping one another by using syncopation techniques like beatmatching and scratching.
So you want to be a DJ? That’s fantastic! DJing is a wonderfully rewarding experience, and it is never too late to get started. However, before you begin your journey towards DJ greatness, there are a few things you should know first. This blog will provide the step-by-step guide to becoming the best DJ in town.
First and foremost, you need to decide on what type of music you would like to play. The most popular genres are house, electro, hip hop and techno. If you want to make it big in the industry then you should stick with one genre and do it well. Alternatively if you want to be more of a comic DJ playing in small bars and clubs then you could opt for a shorter setlist with varied music.
The next step is getting yourself some equipment. Depending on where you want to play will determine how much gear you need. If playing on a laptop is enough for your venue then all you need is Traktor or Serato and some headphones from brands like Pioneer or Numark. If however, your set requires something a little more professional then go for a Native Instruments Kontrol S4 or Denon MC6000 controller connected to high quality speakers such as RCF Art 322-A
Lets start with the basics. Unlike other music, DJing is a skill that only comes with practice. There are no shortcuts to becoming a professional DJ, but there are things you can do to make the process smoother.
The first thing you should do is get your hands on some equipment and learn how to use it. If you don’t have any equipment, ask around family and friends, see if anyone has something lying around. If you can’t get hold of anything then try looking at second hand shops or car boot sales for a cheap basic set-up (I’ll go into this more later).
Now you have a set-up, what next? Mixing music is like learning a language. I’m not talking about mixing in the sense of playing two songs together (although that’s kind of what it is), I mean the structure and the flow of music. You will eventually be able to identify different beats and rhythms, for example; hypnotic techno, uplifting house and heavy drum & bass. It all comes down to practice, so keep going!
The first part in this series of blogs is all about DJ’ing techniques. In this blog I will show you how to mix songs so that the transition between them sounds smooth and professional.
I will be using the vinyl controller Traktor Scratch Pro 2, so if you have a different setup, please refer to the manual of your controller/software.
We will use two songs for our example:
First song: Ein Tag am Strand by Paul Kalkbrenner
Second song: The Day Before Tomorrow by Monika Kruse (feat. Robert Owens)
I have chosen these two tracks because they are very different in tempo (130 BPM and 120 BPM respectively), but their keys match which makes them compatible to be mixed together. You can download the songs here
First we need a little bit of theory: In order to make a perfect mix, we need to match the beats of both songs and fade into the new song. This way it won’t sound like two completely different songs were suddenly playing at the same time.
The easiest way to do this is using sync mode. This function matches your tracks automatically so that you only need to focus on fading one track out while fading another in. There are many videos on YouTube
This will be a guide on the most effective way to practice DJing, how to learn all of the skills necessary to compete with other DJs, how to prepare for DJ competitions, and how to eventually become one of the best DJs in the world.
I know that you are probably thinking “Why should I listen to this guy?” Well, I am a professional DJ who has been DJing for over five years. DJing is my passion and I love talking about it.
As a professional DJ, I have experience with both vinyl and digital DJing, so I can offer many useful tips on both sides of the spectrum.
I have also competed in many DJs competitions and have won many of them. As a result, I will explain what it is that makes other DJs stand out from the crowd and win competitions.
So this guide will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a professional DJ:
How To Find Your Musical Identity (Part 1)