The DJ Kings Blog
Starting Out As A DJ
Learning how to become a DJ, and starting out as a DJ in the beginning has its challenges, when expressing your music styles to any given audience there’s a lot more then just matching beats, or scratching over songs. It’s about being observant, and able to read a crowd and understanding the flow of an event.
It’s not difficult to start, but to stand out, and to be exceptional take time and practice.
In this posts I will go over the 3 main popular DJ’s, as a DJ you can perform at all 3 or focus your skills on one individual style.
Every inspiring new DJ wants to make it big in the club…The night club DJ is the in-house DJ that has a regular gig at the local night club or bar.Each club has a specific feel and audience… and expect a specific music style or blend. The night club DJ’s job is to keep the dance floor moving, often by doing long blends, upbeat mixes between songs, or some other trickery to keep people’s feet moving. The DJ’s job is to keep the energy up and down to balance between an active floor and a busy bar.
Clients book this DJ or fans go to see this DJ because of who they are, their reputation, and what people think they can do behind the decks. The more “exhibitionist” DJ’s also fit in this category, special artists that produced songs, create remixes and offer a unique performance.
This is a very different style of DJing . This is usually more of the entrepreneur type, businessman and typically where you will have the best chance for success in making a living.
This kind of DJ often needs to be willing to take requests (and sometimes even entire playlists), speaking into a microphone, and investing in his or her own sound equipment.
These 3 different DJ’s all work on the same basis of getting people to dance and performing a set playlist for there unique setting.
Why Do You Want to DJ?
Do you love music, finding new tracks, listening to the radio hearing the latest hits, do you want to become the new Tiesto, want to start a par time or full time business through music. There are a lot of reasons that you may wish to learn how to become a DJ. The most important thing is what those reasons are.
Whether that is for success, fame or fortune you have to ask yourself the why…. I’m a big fan of the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing with full conviction, passion, and effort. Fulfill your destiny so to speak and reach for the stars. Being a DJ is not a fast path to fame. Many people become DJ’s, the markets is saturated with so called DJ’s but very few become stars. You have to hustle, you have to have discipline, you have to love it, and you have to work on it everyday regardless of how you feel.
In today’s market (where “everyone” is a DJ), standing out takes a lot of hard work, skill and patience.
How does one know if being a DJ is a good fit for them, and their lifestyle? Coming home after a late night, working weekends, and being in a loud environment take its toll over time It’s important to consider whether being a DJ is “right” for you.
Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself.
- Do you want to start a business?
- Is it just for fun?
- Does sharing music with friends and family make you feel compelled to pursue this into a career?
- Do you want to be famous, enjoy having the spotlight on you?
- Is this just an extra source of income?
- Is this just a hobby?
One can test the waters before diving in if they never tried before, with simple software and basic start up equipment you can practice at home before taking your skills out to an actual crowd.
When I first started I found a beat up mixer and pair of old speakers I took from the family HI-FI system and starting just practicing blending songs and learning flow. Overtime I would record my mixes and lend them to friends to hear or play them in the car to see how well they played. Eventually I felt confident enough to play at a house party which started my life long love affair of playing to a live crowd. Birthdays, after grad parties, and other private events are your friends, these events help you practice to a live audience and if lucky can help you pay for additional gear as you move forward.
Playing live is also a great way to get noticed by others for bookings, sharing ideas, partnerships and job offers. From a hobby of playing music in my basement to performing at clubs, weddings, private events, and outdoor festivals it has to start somewhere.
This is probably the most crucial step in the whole process. Make your skills stand out in your specific niche.If you’re trying to break in to a particular scene, You need to show your skills stand out. There’s no magic formula for this approach, if nobody knows who you are, you’re not going to get many gigs.
Building a online presents, as well as playing at any events your can get. When I first started I played at birthday parties, even small kids parties, donated my time to different neighborhood events and offered my services to any social gathering for no cost or peanuts just to advertise my name. Over-time you keep hustling and making noise, you will meet like-minded people in the scene, and make yourself valuable to them.
If you’re getting into the whole mobile DJ world, try finding special one-off events that you can play (you might not want to start off with your first gig being someone’s wedding) that’s jumping in the deep-end before learning to swim. You may have to do some shows for free (be very careful here, as it’s easy to get as the DJ who works for free). In the club scene, throwing your own night is another great way to get some gigs, gain experience, and become known.
At each event start handing out business cards to promoters, friends at events, and people who show interest, have it linked to a facebook page or website with video and samples of your style and unique sound. Your notice if you’ve done a good job, don’t just sell yourself as a DJ… sell yourself as a brand.
I went from a “just a DJ” and started right away as THE DJ KINGS
As a DJ the hustle never ends, make sure to check your ego, and don’t let experience get to your head. You must be willing to evolve and mold yourself in order to meet the wants and needs of your audience over time. Having a positive attitude and always having a “how can I provide value” approach will keep you fresh and positive. Consider all this when deciding how to become a DJ.
Discipline, handwork and patience can turn a fun hobby into a blossoming career.