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  1. How To Become A DJ: A Beginner Guide
  2. Get access to all our free DJ training!
  3. Get access to all our free DJ training!
  4. How To Become A DJ: A Beginner Guide –

The one mistake I see up and coming DJs do that is never cool is to bang the shit out of it before the headliner goes on—as if to impress that next DJ.

How To Become A DJ: A Beginner Guide

That is not cool. If you really want to impress the next DJ and the crowd, play appropriately and sexy and let the night have a nice build. A perfect technical mix with no soul is never as good as a less-technical mix with lots of vibe. The music is what moves your audience, and the flow of music from one track to another can truly create a journey if you take the time to plan that journey. Old school house DJs like Derrick Carter have mastered this method, with sets that build up into banging music and then down into something deep for a moment, pushing and pulling the energy of the set to make the crowd more excited.

I remember visiting Turnmills in London a few years back when Mr. C and Carl Clarke were spinning, and I was totally blown away by the pacing these guys kept over the course of their set. From 10 PM until about 2 AM there were hardly any vocals and not very much melody; even the lighting was stark black and white.

But as things warmed up around 2, they slowly started to give the crowd what they wanted, which resulted in hands-in-the-air response until 6am that morning. To achieve the best sound quality during a DJ performance or recorded mix, make sure you are getting a good strong signal both in and out of the mixer, but always take care not to push any of your levels into the red. This is a simple rule but one that most DJs are guilty of breaking from time to time.

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When the mix is hot, and people are jumping, most DJs want to pump up the volume. But boosting the channel gain or master volume into the red will distort your signal, making the music sound degraded and killing the vibe. In addition to this, most venues have a master limiter at the final stage of the signal before it goes to the house system, so turning up your mixer past 0db will most likely not have an effect on your overall volume, it will just make your music sound squashed.

The three or four band equalizer on each channel of the DJ mixer is your most valuable tool for professional DJ performances. There are a couple of basic rules to keep in mind when using EQ; these can be applied to DJ mixers as well as music production. Keep your EQ at as a default, unless you are making a particular adjustment. That is to say, the EQ sounds best at unity gain, so keep your EQ at 0db whenever possible. For instance, if you are inclined to turn up the bass, turn down the mids and highs a bit instead and turn up the channel gain if needed.

Another good rule of thumb to follow when DJing is, only use one sub-bass source at a time. You can swap the bass lines back and forth with the EQ knobs or use the crossfader to mix between the two tracks, just remember to only use one bass source at a time for optimum sound quality and crowd response. Many DJs use effects to help transitions from one record to another and to enhance their DJ performance.

We also had a guest contributor put together a guide on how to use artwork on a YouTube video — both tutorials will help you market yourself better, and are key for any DJ promotion. Any mixes that you upload to YouTube can use your DJ brand and logo as you can use them in the video artwork. Social media is an essential DJ promotion tool which is free, accessible, letting you interact with fans and promotors in a place where pretty much anyone can find out more about you.

The key take-outs from that post talk about 5 essential tips to consider with a DJ Facebook fan page:. A word of warning though: social media can be an incredible time resource.

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The benefits to having your own DJ website is that you can consolidate all of your DJ marketing assets in one place, you have control over it, and nobody can delete it or block you from using it which can happen with suspended social media accounts. Example pages you should have on your own DJ website. If you know nothing about web design, then you can usually find someone locally who might be able to set something up for you on the cheap.

In terms of hosting it, if you have your own website you can upload it so anybody can download it when they need it. Your press pack file might be quite large, and might not get through some email systems, so a good tip here would be to sign-up with a free account to a website like Hightail.

This lets you upload files securely, and then send emails to people from Hightail giving the recipient a download link. It can save a lot of time and worry! The brand development side of things all adds into the mix of your self-promotion strategy. You can also pay to promote yourself too, with some advertising methods. Being a natural sales person can put a lot of people out of their comfort zone. Those might be USPs you have, but then selling them into a potential client can require negotiation skills.

I talk about negotiating your DJ fee in this video below. Whenever you get an opportunity, make sure that your social media pages and website addresses are on any form of marketing materials — clearly listed and visible. The best DJs in the world actively post on social media, interact with their fan-base, and provide value to their followers. Now you have all of your DJ marketing materials and assets developed, you could consider business cards. Business cards are great for corporate and wedding DJs as they can be left at venues, with people you meet, and other business contacts.

Assuming you already have your logo and website address sorted out, you can then use an online printing service such as VistaPrint which has an easy to use business card generator. All you need to do is upload your logo and contact details, choose a template design, and then get some printed very cheaply. I would also recommend that you buy a business card holder from Amazon so you can store your business cards safely without them being scuffed and ruined.

The one I use is by Tapp Collections — see latest prices on Amazon. Some DJs sell their own branded merchandise such as T-shirt and caps.

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DJ Paul Van Dyk has his own merchandise website selling gear. This might be something to consider to help promote your DJ name further down the line, but if you do decide to sell your own merchandise you can do via your social media channels and own website. You can see an example where a DJ from the hard house genre has paid for a sponsored Facebook ad to promote a DJ mix. This is a sponsored and paid advert created by a DJ to promote a mix.

How To Become A DJ: A Beginner Guide –

The great thing about Facebook advertising is that the advertising costs can be very cheap, and your ads can go viral and get shared multiple times by people in your target demographic. Facebook themselves have extensive tutorials on how you can set up ads. You will need a Facebook fan page in order to do so. Gather email addresses at any opportunity and import them into a free email system such as MailChimp.

With MailChimp you can have up to 2, email addresses and send 12, emails a month before they start charging you for sending, so should be fine for most working DJs. My advice is to send out no more than 1 or 2 emails each month containing latest news, your mix downloads, updates or gig availability.

HOW TO GET GIGS (the answer will surprise you) - #AskDJCarlo

Unlike social media, nobody can ever take away your email list. If the headliner is famous, people may want to leave after they get off. My advice for the closing DJ is to play a lot of classics. I always say, start with a classic track after the headliner has left. When I play my longer sets, I program my music as three different DJs in my head.

In my opening set, I play progressive. In my peak-hour set, I play the typical Markus Schulz set. In the after-hours, I play more twisted music mixed with classics. The problem is, an abrupt change in tempo could lose the energy of the crowd, so a continuous mix is actually better for the club and you. What do you usually carry with you when you travel? Markus : You have to get used to packing light. I do not check in any luggage, so everything I take on the road with me is carry-on only. Every hotel has laundry service. I also suggest keeping your DJ set foolproof. Play on the gear, and move onto the next show without getting frustrated over the technicalities.

Obviously, your contract rider should spell out what you need, but keep your needs as simple as possible so there is less room for error. Markus : Right. I also carry some SD cards that have at least the last month of music backed up on them.

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I only had a backup with me. I had to play, but I sent someone to my hotel room. For the first 30 minutes, I played off my backup until they came back with my main music collection. If they really love your music and your sets, they want to know more about you. Social media helps you stay connected with fans on a more personal level. I notice that different types of posts generate different kinds of feedback.

When you post a picture of yourself in a studio, it gives your fans a look at what it was like. I think the theatre of the mind is still a very powerful thing. Markus : The biggest thing is experience. I started by playing at the smallest clubs inside hotels. It helped me read the crowd and set up the mood for the night. There are two types of DJs. One is the guy who had a hit record and goes on tour as a result.

They have to learn how to DJ in order to perform because they have a hit record. The other type is a DJ who came up from the art of DJing.