With how affordable DJ equipment has become combined with the availability of almost every possible track you could ever want on the internet, its easier today to become a DJ than ever before. And we see it too – every other guy is posting flyers advertising his party DJ-ing services.
But how many of those ‘party DJs’ will we see DJ-ing 10 years down the track? This guide will tell you the 3 most important qualities an aspiring DJ must possess to be able to make an actual career out of a passion for music.
1. They do it for the music, not the girls and the free drinks.
They pay the overpriced cover charge to get into the club, pay an arm and a leg for a drink that would have got them a bottle down the street, they try to chat up girls who ignore them. Then, they see the DJ in his booth. VIP section when he takes a break…if he can be bothered to stay and put up with the plebeians. Drinks on the house when people are not popping bottles for him. A girl on each, and one on his lap. They think, “Man, I want to be THAT guy!” Those are the guys who won’t be that guy. There’s another guy at the club. The guy who has been paying attention to music that was being played, in what order, in what combination, and how the crowd reaction varied to each. When he watches the DJ, it’s not for what he’s drinking or which girl he’s with, he watches his hands – watches him twist and turn knobs, slide bands up and down, how he handles his records. That second guy is in it for the music, just like the DJ was years before.
2. They understand the music.
We all like music that appeals to us. But DJ-ing isn’t simply the enjoyment of listening to music, its the enjoyment of the dissection of the music, the breaking down of what you hear into its components and an almost addiction-like obsession and desire to create your own by mixing, matching, tweaking and pruning all the myriad of components into something you want to call your own. Simply mixing the same tracks the same way because you liked how they sounded when you heard someone else do it before is silliness. DJs don’t listen to music, they get ideas .
3. They adapt their music.
The dance floor is a democracy of which you are the leader. The citizens of the dance floor have surrendered their music decisions to you and it is your responsibility to give them the best possible form of entertainment ever. Easy enough? Not always. The citizens hold the power, and they vote with their feet. If you don’t want the floor to clear as soon as you’re announced, learn what they like, teach them what to listen to and simultaneously learn what they want to hear. Your technique will evolve for the better.
If there is a magic formula for success as a DJ, we haven’t discovered it yet. Still, these 3 qualities can set the foundation for the longevity of your career as a DJ. Try them, tweak them, share them.