Beginner’s guide to becoming a DJ

Whether you love music or enjoy the quirks of mixing, getting a job as a disc jockey (DJ) is relatively easy to start but difficult to stand out. If you believe in your talent and know that you have what it takes to create music, then this is your guide to becoming one.

There are so many things to account for when starting. This includes what kind of DJ you want to be, the equipment required, software, and so much more. A great step to take when starting is to listen to other DJs and their work. With localdjs, you can explore a wide variety of music you can take inspiration from. 

DJing isn’t an easy way to make a fortune overnight, as common belief would have you believe. You need to work hard, be persistent, and be patient. With this, here is everything you need to know about getting started: 

Get the best software for DJing

The first step into DJing is acquiring software that allows you to create the mixes. There are different kinds of DJ software you can try out. The variety ranges from ones that just have the basic functions and those that have all of it including hundreds of effects and features. 

There are free demos that you can try if you aren’t ready to spend big money just yet. It is common for this software to be under $100. The best part about these is that you don’t need heavy equipment to use them. A simple laptop is enough to power the software up.

Look for the best equipment

Though mixing with your laptop alone is great when starting when you want more control and precision when creating songs, DJ hardware can help. Although it costs more than the software itself, it is almost necessary to get these. There are several types of setups to consider:

  • DJ Controller
  • CDJ
  • Vinyl
  • Timecode and HID

These are highly dependent on your preferences so research and choose wisely when deciding which setup to follow. 

The basics of DJing

There are several basic skills to consider when learning how to become a DJ: mixing, EQing, phrasing, beatmatching, and prep. We’re going to cover them briefly.

Beatmatching

Beatmatching is getting two tracks to have the same tempo and phase. Using the pitch fader, you can adjust the tempo of the song. You can adjust the phase through different means depending on your software.

Phrasing

Phrasing is mixing your tracks at specific points and intervals of the song. This is needed for most of the music genres you are going to mix, may it be electronic dance, pop, hip-hop and many more.

EQing

Equalizing (EQing) is the act of boosting or cutting frequencies so that multiple audio tracks blend nicely.

Gain Control

There are several levels of volume adjustment in any DJ rig. The gain knob on each mixer channel lets you adjust the level by watching your meters. You then adjust the level using the fader on each mixer channel.

Getting gigs and a following

The final thing to jumpstart your DJ career is to create a following and get gigs. By making an online presence through social media, you are promoting yourself and your work to different people who may acquire your services. 

Create connections with localdjs and socialise with your fellow music makers. By doing so, you are opening yourself to possible gigs that will ultimately make you some money in the long run.

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