What Does It Take To Become A DJ?
As quoted in our previous article (Top 7 DJs who should be on your New Year 2018 Playlist) DJs add life to already existing records. To do so, a DJ needs to match his musical expression with popular music. But, it has more than just that or getting a hold of beats or refurbishing songs. It is about speaking volumes to your audience to a level of ecstasy.
If you are an aspiring DJ, below are some steps to follow for the production of your music:
- First and foremost, know precisely why you want to be a DJ. Genuine interest and in-depth knowledge are needed. (Read about different genres of music)
- Take inspiration from other DJs. See what they do and how.
- Learn and practice the tools to mix music on free versions of Virtual DJ, Mixx, Tractor, etc. before finally purchasing the licensed versions.
- Begin with learning basic skills such as beat-matching, mixing, EQing, and phrasing.
- Start recording your mixes and be open to criticism.
- Focus on building your audience and branding your style.
DJs sharpen their efficiency by hard-work and practice on the equipment (hardware and software) they use to mix music. Technological advancements made it a piece of cake, for example, the software available, for the aspiring DJs. DJs use a combination of hardware and software to mix music, and part of their training period is vested in learning how the usability of these tools. While many still use Vinyl Records in hardware, software making digital sampling easier. Every DJ develops a patent technique in the play between hardware and software.
Basic skills like fading beat and phrase matching etc. should be the first lessons to be learned. Volume fading enables a smooth transition in between songs. Counting beats to match the BPM (beats per minutes) of songs is the next thing to do. Also, learning how to isolate and alter a piece of music, like the bass line, is essential. In scratching, the turntable is used to create music out of an existing recording. Scratching is an expert skill and takes a lot of practice.
Not to mention that DJs must also put in tremendous efforts and time collecting music. This may mean collecting records or creation of digital collections for sets or even both, and that is a forgoing and expensive process.
Nowadays there are numerous self-taught DJs. They learn via online classes or tutorials available online, in the form of both written/audio/video tutorials. There are several schools across the sub-continent offering classes for aspiring DJs. But, what matters the most is the experienced garnered by DJs by regular live performances to sharpen your skills. There are no certification or license requirements whatsoever, to become a DJ.
Learn more about the below most widely-used DJ equipment:
- DJ Controllers
- DJ effects and samplers
- DJ interfaces
- Handheld Recorders
- Portable and USB turntables
- Rackmount CD and Media Players
Build your Playlist for Parties
To become a DJ know more about favorite DJs, EDM music, latest songs and create your playlist for upcoming parties. Start playing at local parties/ events near you like the new year, Christmas and other festivals.
Figuring Out What To Charge For Your Events:
Well, this can be tricky as well as subjective. It depends on a lot of factors such as your following, the kind of music you promote, the type of event, the venue, the amount of effort and time you are putting in, and also your audience.
An average DJ for a musical night kind of event charge approximately 15,000 – 25,000 INR but, that again, is subjective to the hours and your following.