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How To DJ: A Beginner’s Guide

So you have decided you would like to try to learn how to DJ. Great idea. Even if you don’t do gigs, learning to DJ can be a fun way to play your music at home. Instead of simply pressing play on Spotify or Apple Music, learning how to DJ takes time and practice to get better at. In this article I will explain the basics of how to DJ and what you will need to get started.

How to DJ

First, you will need equipment. Here you have a lot of options. DJ gear can get expensive so think carefully before you make a purchase. Do you own a lot of vinyl records? If so, then buying turntables may be a good idea for you. If you own mostly digital music files, it might be a good idea to obtain a digital set up. Start by heading over to the Pioneer website. You can take a look at a wide range of DJ equipment there.

You can purchase what are called “DJ players”. These are machines which are standalone music players. You would need to purchase 2 players and a also mixer to connect them to. This is what most professional DJs use in clubs. Standalone players can cost thousands of dollars and the mixer to connect them to is generally equally as expensive. One less expensive alternative is to buy a “controller” which you connect to a laptop. This is sometimes viewed as a slightly less reliable set up since laptops can malfunction and have other issues. DJ players are considered to be reliable, dedicated, standalone music players.

What music will you play?

Once you have acquired some equipment, you will need to consider what genres of music you will be focusing on playing. You can purchase your music from a wide variety of online music stores, such as iTunes. I would recommend checking out the website Beatport. It’s a great website to discover new electronic music and it’s a favorite among DJs worldwide. Check out Beatport often for new releases and try to stay up to date with your favorite genres. Spend time listening to a lot of different music to find out what you love the best. Download the tracks you love and add them to your DJ collection.

Learning to mix

Learning to mix is not something that is easily written about. The best DJs are able to create a seamless mix between their tracks. Listeners are taken on a journey through a wide range of music, each song blending seamlessly into the next. That’s the ideal situation. However, sometimes certain tracks do not mix very well. The job of a skilled DJ is to find ways to make tracks sound interesting and complementary when mixed together. A good DJ is a great at improvisation. They know how to correct mistakes quickly if something goes wrong. Having a background in music theory can also help you as a DJ. Remember, practice makes perfect. Learning to mix takes time. Put in hours of practice mixing and you will see improvements over time.

Conclusion

Being a DJ is not extremely difficult, you just need to spend some time doing a bit of research to get started. You will need DJ equipment, music, and the ability to mix that music together in an ear pleasing way. Try to find opportunities to DJ for other people. You will learn what people enjoy and what they don’t. Also, it forces you to keep mixing track after track. Playing live is the best way to hone your skills.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie