How to become a successful DJ

How to become a successful DJ

Hundreds of DJs contact us each month asking, begging, and sometimes demanding that we place them in the next mega festival opening for DJ so and so. With EDM (Electronic Dance Music) getting so popular these days we totally expect to see this surge of fresh talent yearning to get in the spotlight. So whats the problem you ask? These new hopeful superstars lack a college of preparation. There is no Ivy league school that rich daddies can send their children to – to learn how to become the next Avicii. We love music – we love DJs – so here is few free lessons for those wishing to make it into the million dollar spotlight.

Lesson Number One, Learn to technically be a good DJ. Start off with the basics. The industry standard for DJ gear is Pioneer. DJM 900/800 and a CDJ-2000 or 6.  There is very little cost difference when purchasing DJ gear from the standard and the “banjo center special”. Don’t skimp here if you are serious.  Modern DJ equipment is very powerful and has lots of buttons and knobs on them. Learn how to use them all. Learn where your volume knobs should be and why. Learn about gain structure. Learn about audio codecs, the ins/outs of these codecs, learn about bitrate, learn the best way to store your music and play it back.  Nothing is worse than a DJ that has bad audio quality or even worse blows up the clubs he/she plays at. You won’t get far if you don’t do this.

The second rule to becoming a DJ is practice. Under the previous rule you should also start learning how to mix. We suggest House music for starters – the four on the floor pattern is arguably one of the easiest to learn.  Many of the current big name djs that actually mix have been doing so for years. They can usually effortlessly select a track, cue it up, match it, and bring it into a mix all while having a shot of jager and having some hot go-go dancer rub on their tushy. This takes the normal human beeing thousands of hours of practice to master.  You are not ready for a major club night with hundreds of people in front of you until you can master mixes while being distracted/ nervous/ perhaps intoxicated (altho we don’t really feel you should be intoxicated if you are serious about wanting to be the next superstar).

A very important step in your way up the ladder to super-stardom is opening for some other major DJ. It is important to understand your role in this situation. When you are playing Monday nights at the local pub – jamming in your friends and X G/F’s to be you are the star. You play the hits.. you play your biggest songs when you want to drop the floor into a frenzy. When you are opening for someone else you are supporting them. Your job is to know how that DJ is going to play, and to play a complimentary – but different – set in front of him/after him. What this typically means is… well… you should play slower BPM music. You should not play ANY of the tracks (not even a remix) that the headlining artists made or is associated with. It is important to set the mood on the dance floor for the main show. You want to warm them up and get them ready to explode – yet it is poor taste to try and steal the show by playing the ‘bangers’. Master this and we promise you the person you opened for will remember it… and perhaps reward you for it.

If you made it to and past these 3 simple rules you are well on your way to being a big name DJ. You have many sleepless nights ahead of you. you will be running to the airport to catch your plane last minute at 5am. You will inevitably wake up in the middle of the night and hit your head – forgetting your on a bus touring the country with HTG. We hope that you allow us to bring you the best in audio, video, and lighting design and support 🙂