Are you passionate about becoming a DJ but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Here you’ll find a step by step list of instructions that will help you to live your best life DJing at all of the hottest spots in town. Unfortunately, DJing isn’t as simple as it used to be - there is much more to learn!
Many people will assume that learning how to become a DJ is an easy feat that includes listening to songs and adding some scratches over the top. However, this is completely untrue and, like most things in life, DJing takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and patience.
Without further ado, let’s get right into the first step needed to become a DJ, shall we?
Table of Contents
- 1 Step One: Choosing what type of DJ you’re going to be
- 2 Step Two: Finding the right software
- 3 Step Three: Learning the skills and techniques
- 4 Step Four: Building your setup
- 5 Step Five: Creating your first mix
- 6 Step Six: Making yourself known and heard
Step One: Choosing what type of DJ you’re going to be
Before you even step up to a turntable, you’re going to need to determine what kind of DJ you want to become.
Below are some of the most common types of DJs that you might want to pursue.
Club DJs work hard to ensure that the dancefloor is the best part of the club throughout the night.
They might be a resident DJ at a club in which they perform every night, or they could be a guest DJ that comes in and mixes the vibe up from the regular DJ.
Radio DJs are people that you hear on the radio, adding fun little anecdotes about their lives in between songs.
Some radio DJs have control over the music they play, while others don’t get a say in the matter.
Mobile DJs perform in different venues every night and they’re often freelancers. They can play at weddings, proms, or other kinds of events.
Mobile DJs need to be able to transport all of their gear around and plan their entire set depending on the individual event.
Performers are DJs that build up a following and put on shows for fans to come and hear them play. They’ve often perfected their skill at DJing and use it to their advantage.
These DJs can make it big in the music world by featuring on other artists’ tracks.
Step Two: Finding the right software
Now that you’ve determined what kind of DJ you’re going to be, you’ll need to find the right software to use.
There is three main software that DJs use - Rekordbox, Tracktor, and Serato. If you ask any DJ within the industry what mixing software they use, they’ll more than likely say one of these three.
High-quality software is essential to beginner DJs because it allows you to do everything from creating playlists, mixing tracks, and setting cue points ready for your gig.
There are many kinds of free DJ software available online, such as Serato. Having said that, sometimes it pays to opt for a more expensive alternative.
However, if you’re on a budget as most beginner DJs are, then certainly opt for the free version. In some cases, this is best so that you don’t waste any money if you find that DJing is not the right choice for you.
Step Three: Learning the skills and techniques
DJing is full of tricky skills and techniques for you to learn, and these can be a little overwhelming when you’re just starting out. You should determine how you learn best - by watching videos, reading books, or learning as you go?
There are some great video tutorials online that you can follow, and these are more often than not free! Alternatively, you can pick up some ‘DJing for beginners’ books to read. Some people prefer to learn as they go, which will involve you throwing yourself into the deep end.
Step Four: Building your setup
Beginners might want to use their chosen DJing software and practice only that, to begin with. However, online DJing can only take you so far and therefore it might be time to begin building your own setup.
Setups give you easy access to all of the controls laid out in front of you so that you don’t have to spend too much time trying to find everything on a small laptop screen.
There are plenty of DJ setups available for purchase - some connecting to your laptop to stream the music from there, some that still use CDs or vinyl for their sound. Choose a setup depending on your personal preference and budget.
Again, beginners might prefer to use a cheaper set up so that they don’t waste too much money.
Step Five: Creating your first mix
Now for the fun part! Once you’re content with your mixing, you can start to record yourself as a first draft of a mix.
The majority of DJ software will allow you to record your music, so do so and listen to it back. From here you can rerecord or tweak it in post-production to create your very first mix!
Of course, your mixes will get better over time - something that you think sounds amazing as a beginner might sound terrible to you once you’ve honed your skill. So, repeat all your tracks and even show them to friends and family who enjoy the type of music to offer their honest opinion.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something new - it might just be the best track you ever make! Finally, don’t stop recording because you make one mistake as this might sound great and completely intentional in the final product.
Step Six: Making yourself known and heard
Once you have some samples and are almost ready to release your music into the world, you might want to start getting your name out there.
If you’re only DJing for a hobby, you might not worry about this. However, if you’re aiming to get money or recognition out of your skill, you’ll need to build a brand.
Begin with social media and sharing your music online. Soundcloud is a great site for budding DJs, and you can also host virtual gigs on Twitch. Building a following will make you much more likely to get recognition, and some venues might even start coming to you to book you!
Step Seven: Never stop learning
Once you get more used to DJing, no matter where you’re doing it, you’ll be able to learn more about the craft and keep getting better.
There are so many levels to DJing that you’ll be learning for years, so don’t stop trying to better yourself if you want to reach the top.
Becoming a DJ is far from easy, but we hope that our guide has made it a little easier to get you started. Good luck, we can’t wait to hear your music one day!
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