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How to become a DJ?

Written by Jim Pavloff.

How to become a DJ? A very popular question at present time. Many guys keep asking me this question. They think that I know some magical secret which I can share with them, and they will use it and in two-three months they will become famous and valuable djs. But I can tell you that there is no special secret here. Every person chooses his way individually, and there's too few things that I can advise. But instead of this, I can share my own experience with you and tell about how to learn some certain things related to dj'ing - and this is the main goal of this whole category of articles called "How to become a DJ". Read on.

So, what means "DJ"? Who is it? DJ (deejay, disc jockey) - is a man, who carefully selects musical material and plays it for a certain audience. At the beginning the word "disk" related to old phonograph records. Later, a new word "disc" came, which is now mainly relates to a compact disc. But the main meaning of this word is not changed, because at present time a Dj deals with any type of musical media.

There are several types of deejays. They are: radio dj, who plays music on a radio stations; club dj, who plays music in night clubs, on a disco, or even on big stadiums; hip-hop dj, who plays from several turntables, using a special scratching technique, together with an MC, who rhymes rap along with his music; and also there's other types of deejays, like for example, a reggae-deejay, which means a vocalist, who sings music in reggae style, while the other man called music selector is responsible for selecting and playing a musical accompaniment.

Here and further we will speak about club deejays, of course. There are two different types of a club dj. First - is a resident dj. He is a resident of some night club, works there constantly, or time after time, and he must observe a special musical policy and musical format (usually pop or commercial music) of the night club. It's a good start for a beginner, because you get an experience of playing music for the crowd; you start to know what music is needed for a certain type of audience, and you start to understand, how different music influences on a certain types of people. However, there's no place for creativity here, because club directors will not want to deal with your own musical taste. The main goal for them is to provide a maximum flow of clients in the club, and also is to provide an optimum visitor's circulation mode between a dance floor and a bar, which finally comes to a maximum money extraction of all these things.

And now we will talk about second type of a club deejay. This is an independent dj, who has some certain level or popularity. He is invited to many clubs and plays there the music, which he likes himself. At this case he is a master of the situation, in that way that he dictates the musical format of a club party. However, it doesn't mean that this dj is not concerned about how the crowd will respond to his music. In any case deejay is always being concerned with a crowd's musical taste. In some certain way. And he can slightly change the music style of his dj set to get closer to the crowd's taste. But not too much! Dj must not to go with the crowd all the way, because there is a risk of loosing his individual style, musical image and authority.

Club dj must have a large variety of interesting music material, new different records of the world club scene. He must "keep his nose along the wind", that means he must be interested in knowing all the new influences, as in music, so in new progressive audio gear and sound hardware. However, all of these is not enough at present time. There's too many deejays, and I will not tell you an examples because they are the majority, who just play some different records while not have their own music, written and created by themselves. In past, it was normal. But nowadays a tendency has changed more closely to a deejays-musicians, who can write/create their own interesting and original music. There is no deejay without this concept. If you are not going to deal with music writing, and just want to "roll the discs" in a club just for fun or for flirting with some girls around - then, being unknown to a more wide audience, in a couple of years, you will just become unnecessary to anybody. So what to do?

Exactly to answer this question I did create this website. I will try to share and explain here my methods and secrets dealing with music writing and better sound quality achievement. And, of course, I will tell about main general functions that any deejay must know and be able to do (for example, mixing tracks while playing on a turntables and mixer unit). I will tell you about dj gear, and about how to work with it; also we will speak about other things, like for example, how to make your own dj mix (compilation) from several different tracks using Ableton software. Read on about all of this, and much much more, in my next publications on this topic here on my website.

Respect, Jim Pavloff 2010


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