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Thoughts on Becoming a Professional Music DJ

By Edited Jun 6, 2014 2 2

I find it amazing how many people want to become a music DJ, yet they do not have a passion for the music. As a DJ you must have passion for your music and for getting the crow to come alive. It is a common myth that people have regarding DJ’s is that they simply play music and that is it. This is serious DJing and serious DJ’s do so much more than simply play music. Even if you have a passion for being a DJ and love the music you may find that you rapidly tire of it, especially if you are playing 5-6 nights a week at local clubs and bars.

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You may strive to be a DJ who mixes his own beats and builds a great reputation like Terminator X or DJ Jazzy Jeff. You may also be desiring to simply spin some tunes for an audience and get them pumped up and dancing. It is exciting as a DJ to see the crowd get pumped up because of your musical selection AND what you say to the crowd. Being a DJ is a true career choice but you must be willing to adapt and always learn new skills and practice current skills.

When the Disco era died off a few Disco DJ’s were able to stay partially employed; however eventually they were out of work and their skills no longer needed because they refused to adapt to new trends in music. A DJ must not only adapt to new musical trends but should be able to foretell what some of the coming trends will be. On the other hand there were many other Disco DJ’s who knew the Disco era was coming to an end and they needed to keep evolving with current trends in music to keep the crowds happy. If you are hired by a club or bar to be the DJ then it is vital that you play music the crowd will like. If you hate Dubstep music and are a DJ at a club for young hipsters then you need to find a new club to work at.

Although you need to play music the crowd likes and is currently popular, you can also throw in some new and old songs you like and also out a personal touch on them by mixing and scratching to get a new sound. Even though disco is dead, many of the beats from the Disco era have survived and have been repurposed into modern music. The roots of all types of musical genres eventually come together, and the branching off of new genres will continue. A successful and popular DJ will understand this and be able to combine old music with current music as well as working on new trends of music that may not be popular or “all the rage” yet.

DJ Tools
50 years ago dubstep music would have had a market share of almost nobody. It would have sounded to them like complete trash, but in today’s world Dubstep and other forms of electronic music have risen to new heights if mainstream popularity. Obviously dubstep will not be popular in 50  more years, but many of the fresh and unique beats used in new dubstep will still be reused in whatever forms of music are popular in 50 years. I am sure however Rock Music in one form or another will still be around in 50 years.

DJ’s must understand beat structure and how to properly intertwine it within their music. It does not matter which forms of music you are being a DJ for, as beat structure is necessary and evident in all types of music.

Many wannabe DJ’s start of by buying as much equipment as they can. This is a big mistake as a lot of fresh and new DJ’s do not full understand what equipment they need, much less how to properly use it. It is better to start if slowly and work with an established DJ. You probably not going to get paid for this work but if you can simply hang out with him or her and drill them on questions you can learn a lot. You will also be able to get some hands on experience using real live DJ equipment.

If you are interested in making your own beats and music yet do not have any experience doing this and no DJ friends you can ask for guidance then I would suggest you start off by learning some music theory, sign up for a premium account at Soundation.com, and simply start listening to a wide variety of songs on Spotify to get a feel for different genres.

Soundation is an online based music program that allows you to mix and match beats using nothing but your computer. You can literally make an entire song using a wide variety of instruments and then you can export the song. At this point you can use a music distribution service such as CD Baby to get your music listed on ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, RDIO, and many other venues for sale. Soundation is often the first step to becoming a DJ who mixes his own music.

After this you will gradually begin to use synthesizers, keyboards, turntables, and many other live tools to make your music Once you get beat scratching down to an art you can expect to take your new found skills live as you DJ at some of the hottest parties in Miami with hot beautiful babes begging to go home with you at the end of the night. Ok, that may be a little dramatized but it truly can happen even if you currently have no musical experience. The only thing you need is the drive to become one of the hottest DJ’s in an area and then work your butt off and you will see your skills continually improving as you build up a fan base and eventually become the successful DJ that you have always desired to be.

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Comments

Oct 6, 2012 6:30pm
Marlando
Okay I'm impressed--great informative article again and don't know how I miss this one since I check ev everyday--I especially like this piece because when I was a teen I always thought I would like to be a DJ--2 thumbs up
Oct 28, 2012 4:20pm
mikhailk86
This was a great article. Music is a way of life that will never die out, although there will always be different trends in it. Right now at this very point in time, it is the era of progressive house/electronic/trance and dubstep. And Armin Van Buuren is ruling the world right now. Voted no.1 on Dj mag, yet again. To choose to be a DJ as a profession requires real skill, hard work and time. But once you make it, you 're on top of the world.
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