One of the best things to exist when it comes to music is the DJ. It is the perfect choice for everything. Be it a party, school dance, or a wedding. It can lighten and brighten up everyone’s mood.
Now, if you have a passion for DJing and want to pursue it as their career, then there are certain things you need to know.
From technical details to music-related, being a DJ is not just about mixing up songs. It is also about the people you are playing music for.
To help you out and to give you a kick start, this straightforward guide will help you get started as a DJ.
Your Beginners Guide To Becoming a DJ
What Is The Best Approach For Beginning Your Journey as a new DJ?
Before we talk about how to DJ, it is essential to know what type of DJ you’d want to become. In my article – What Does DJ Stand For? I talk about 5 Types of DJs.
- Club/ Bar
Each one is different. You do not need to be all of these. Try to focus on one area. And work on being very good at that area. I know a DJ that makes most of his money doing Bubble party for kids. I made most of my money doing Teen Events – Sweet 16, School Dances, and Proms. Other DJs make great money doing only mid-size weddings.
This website, we will focus on two types of DJs:
Mobile DJs are the second type of DJ. These DJs usually play music at School Dances, Birthday Parties, Sweet 16s, Proms, and Weddings.
Event DJ focuses more on corporate events and large weddings.
Full Time or Part Time
In the beginning, you will most likely be part-time. Having a “job” will help you make money to pay your bills. Hopefully, this “job” will not have you working Friday and Saturday nights. Side note – Event DJs don’t only work Friday and Saturday nights. You will need to be flexible.
Full Time = All your money comes from being a DJ
Part-Time = Some of your money comes from being a DJ, and some come from a different “job.”
Guide | Learn to DJ | Marketing
Create Your Brand
Decide On A Company/DJ Name
Get Started – Figure out your company name. It will help if you start by doing a thorough search on google for DJ companies and DJ companies in your area. That should help you eliminate a couple of ideas.
Ask for feedback from friends and other DJs online.
>Avoid hard to spell names.
Create a DJ Logo
You can create your logo or go to Fiverr.com and get one made up cheap. I had one done for this website. Create a DJ Logo Using Fiverr | I paid $17 For Two Effortless Logos
Register Your Domain Name
Register a Domain (yourDJcompany.com) from NameCheap (Affiliate Link). Find out if your company name is already registered. Pick a Domain with 2 or 3 words at the most. Avoid Hyphens It sucks to tell someone your email address with Hyphens – Example – [email protected]
Create a Website
After you buy a Domain – Put together a simple website – You could use a website builder (22 Best Free Website Builders). This is not the best option.
The best option is to build your own (or hire a website creator)
- Hosting fromBluehost.com (Affiliate Link)
- Install WordPress.
- Find a Template You Like.
- Spend Too Much Time Tweaking the Template.
- Install Google Analytics.
- Create a contact page with your email listed ([email protected])
- List your Social Media Accounts
- This Article Will Help You set up your first website – Ultimate Guide: How to Make a Website in 2021 – Step by Step Guide
Create a Professional Email Address
People will trust you more if you have an actual l email address. Do not email from your day job email address. or from [email protected]
First Name @ Yourwebsite.com or First and Last Name @ Yourwebsite.com
I would stay away from [email protected]
Create Your Social Accounts
Brand Your Name – Website URL – FB page – Instagram – Tik Tok – Twitter – YouTube – Twitch – LinkedIn – Snapchat – SoundCloud – AND Vimeo – Plus whatever is new.
You don’t have to develop every channel. But when you want to start using one of them, your name will be available. Start with these:
- Setup your Business Instagram account – add a profile picture and website link.
- Create a LinkedIn account – add an accurate profile picture and add website link — Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Post your site on local directories – Yelp – BBB – Nextdoor – Yellow Pages. You can also post on wedj.com or weddingwire.com – as long as you can list for free – do it everywhere.
- Setup and Optimize Google My Business Listing
Get A Business Phone Number
Plenty of free and paid options to help you set up a 2nd phone line only for your business
Once you have a number setup – Record a Professional Voice Mail Greeting –
Hey, there. You’ve reached [your name]. Please leave me a brief message about the reason you are calling and your contact information. I will call you right back at the earliest opportunity. Have a nice day!
You have reached [your name] at [your company]. Thank you for calling. Please leave your name, number, and a message, and I will get back to you.
Get Some Business Cards Printed
Business Cards Are Still Relevant. Buy some Business cards – I like moo.com (Not an Affiliate Link)
Information that should be on the business card:
- Full Name
- Business Email
- Instagram Account
- LinkedIn Account
- Business Phone Number
Guide | Learn to DJ | Sales
So you now have a website and social accounts. Now What? How do you get new people to find you?
Word of Mouth
You start with your network of family and friends. Tell everyone that you are beginning to be a DJ. Find ways to DJ at people’s House Parties, Birthday Parties, and Weddings.
The more events you DJ, the more people you will meet. Word of mouth will get you more shows. And some Mobile DJ companies do very well with just Word of Mouth.
Working for a Company
Doing all by yourself is the long and challenging way to be successful. If you have never DJ’d a wedding, how do you sell your services to a young couple.
You can start by working for a Multi-Op DJ Company. A Multi-Op DJ Company books more than one DJ. They do multiple events every week. They can teach you how to DJ their events – Plus, they provide music and equipment. They are also the ones who find the weddings for you to work. Working for a company is an excellent way for a beginner DJ to get started.
If you work for a good company, you will not DJ alone. You will learn from other DJs and see how they do things – everything from – what they play – when they play it, and how to Mc the event.
I wrote about How to MC a Wedding here How To MC a Wedding | Get Creative | Be Relaxed | 7 Essential Tips This is a great way to get a lot of experience in a short amount of time.
School Events can be different. You will need to make contact with the people that are booking the dances. In some schools, it is the Student Council – others, it is different student groups for each event. The Prom Committee is also separate from school dances.
I liked postcards. Every year I would mail out eight different postcards addressed to the student activities director. 4 times a year, I would drop off a full-page flier to the front desk and ask them to give it to the people in charge of the dances.
The problem with this method – it is random. I wish I made a more focused approach. Finding out the name of the person in charge and mail the postcards directly to them. I still booked a lot of school events. But I know I could have booked more.
It is hard to schedule time with a teacher or administrator. They always have students that need their attention. Trying to call or Email – I feel it is a waste of time.
Try to Get on a Venue Preferred Vendor List
If you have worked with one venue for a substantial amount of time, they may add you to their preferred vendor list. Being on the Preferred Vendor List – means that when somebody books an event at that venue, their brochure will show your name under the entertainment section. You gain a ton of credibility this way.
Advertising as a wedding and event DJ is one way you will be able to get clients. Thankfully, there are loads of ways to do this. We’re going to take a look at the five best ways.
Be Present on Review Websites
A quick internet search will show you the copious amounts of review websites out there. As a DJ, you need to ensure your clients have written good reviews about you here. These reviews are a sure-fire way to get more customers.
If you’re interested in the most popular review sites, check out these:
- Better Business Bureau
Another great website to post reviews – is on your site. Just like this company does Bellagala
Setup Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is essential. Why? Because it allows your DJ enterprise to show up when it’s most needed.
As soon as someone in your area searches for event or wedding DJs, your Google My Business page will show up in the results under the map at the very top of the page. Google My Business (GMB) might seem like it would be tricky to set up, but we promise you it’s simple!
Just head to Google, and the search engine will hold your hand through the whole process.
Get Yourself on Online Directories
Online Directories are a giant book of DJs in various areas. You need> to be on these directories if you are trying to make it in the wedding world. People want to know that you are reliable, and staking your claim amongst the big boys is the way to do just that.
Be Present on WeddingWire and The Knot
WeddingWire is an online international marketplace that allows happy couples to connect with wedding experts in their area. The site has a stockpile of everybody from photographers to caterers to DJs.
Guide | Learn to DJ | Skills
When it comes to learning how to DJ, there are three essential things you need to keep in mind: the software, basic mixing skills, and the DJ hardware. If you can master these three things, you’re on your way.
So, let’s take a look at each one of them individually.
Learn About The Software
For mixing up the songs and beats to make a track, you need good software. Today, in the market, there are many software platforms available such as:
Pioneer has come ahead with a music management platform for DJs named Rekordbox. (you can download the software here) This platform has plenty of uses, such as:
• Great for importing music
• Can create new playlists
• Useful for setting cue points
• Useful for other preparation work
The export mode gives you access to copy your library on the USB. You can then play it on any hardware device.
If you want your laptop to act as DJ players, you can also go for the ‘Performance Mode.’ Additionally, you can use a mouse or keyboard or other devices for mixing the songs virtually, such as the Pioneer DJ controller).
Most of the features here are free. However, you can also go for an upgraded version with additional features for ease and better quality.
Rekordbox software is the best software for those aspiring to become club DJ artists. It is also great for those wanting to use their laptop and USB for accessing their beats.
Another great type of software is Serato. Unlike Pioneer, they don’t have their type of hardware. However, they work with various other kinds of hardware manufacturers, making it the best and most accessible software with any hardware.
In this software, you get two options such as:
Serato DJ Lite: This software is excellent if you want to mix two channels. The ‘practice mode’ here also doesn’t require you to use any hardware if you’re learning how to DJ.
Serato DJ Pro: This option is suitable for those who are a pro at being a DJ. It offers various premium features and thus, can cost around $130.
We recommend going for Serato if you want to access various hardware options.
Traktor, by Native Instruments, is also a pretty popular software choice for DJ artists today. It is highly preferable for techno lovers with its various stem abilities and remix decks.
However, the only major con here is that you need to have the same company’s hardware, Native Instruments. This software doesn’t work with other hardware. Yet, once you have both of them, the entire DJ system is relatively safe, reliable, and has plenty of features, with the best FX.
There is also plenty of other DJs software present, such as Virtual DJ, Mixxx, Djay Pro, etc. In this article, we talk about them – Highly Effective DJ Software | Best Free and Paid Options 2020 So, do your research and find the best software as per your needs.
After this, the next step is to learn some essential tips and tricks for the DJ.
Learn Some of the Basic DJ Skills
Here are some of the most important and most basic DJ skills you need to know.
Let’s take a quick look at all of them.
Beat match the Songs:
Learning how to beat match your songs can help you become more confident and accomplished as a DJ.
So, now what exactly is beatmatching?
In simple words, beat matching refers to playing two different tracks at the same tempo and the Phase. Here, tempo refers to the speed, while Phase refers to the synchronization of both the beats.
For adjusting the tempo of the song, you need to use the player’s pitch fader. On the other hand, you can go for using a jog wheel for adjusting the Phase, touching one of your playing records, or pushing the pitch bend button.
Gain controlling helps whenever you need to change the level of the volume of the tracks or sounds.
To know how to do this, you will see a gain knob on every mixer channel. Gain control helps in changing the levels by watching the meters.
Now, every mixer channel also has a line fader that adjusts the number of signals you’re sending to the main output. You can also find a crossfader. Crossfader helps in fading between two channels with the help of the left and right movements.
Various DJ software has a specific gain structure. So, make sure you read up the manual. Also, ensure you stay out of the red and instead use an amp or speaker to increase the volume.
Equalizing or EQing
One of the most critical aspects of the DJ is to be able to blend various tracks. So, equalizing can help in altering frequencies and mixing tracks.
However, remember that equalizing may not help make a bad mix better, but it can help smooth the music tracks -Thus, equalizing can help reduce messy tracks and mixes.
These are some of the basic skills you need to learn when it comes to DJ. The next part is getting to know the DJ hardware.
Get to Know Your DJ Hardware
Becoming a DJ doesn’t require you to have specific hardware always. You can do it using a laptop too. Yet, if you wish to become more professional and advanced in your approach, it is a good idea to get some DJ hardware such as:
DJ Controller Setup:
One of the DJ hardware is the controller setup. These DJ controllers help in giving hands-on control of the DJ software. You can mix the beats and manipulate them without the hassle of your mouse or keyboard.
If you go for an all-in-one controller setup, you can almost get everything for mixing and recording the music. Their range usually starts at $100. Take a look at – The 7 DJ Controllers On The Market and 7 Best Under $500
If you’re looking out for mixing actual records, then a vinyl setup is a great option. 2 turntables and a DJ mixer. It is also great for those wanting to learn how to DJ from scratch.
Now, plenty of DJ artists may not prefer it due to the hassle of mixing records, along with the overall expense.
However, if you feel like the vinyl setup is your thing, go for it.
This type of setup- 2 CDJ and a DJ mixer – is the most common and is found in plenty of places such as nightclubs, concert arenas, fests, and many more. Initially, CDJs were used to play music from components such as compact discs. Yet, the newly-developed CDJs can also directly play music from the USB drive.
Timecode and HID Setups
The timecode setup is one of the most versatile ones. It offers you the feel of mixing records and allows you to use the software’s functionalities.
Additionally, HID setups allow you to control your DJ software using the CDJ as if they are a controller.
Now, the last and the final part of DJing is to know how you sound. You can do this by recording your set.
Recording The DJ Set
It isn’t too hard to record your set. Do you know the reason why?
Well, if you use your laptop or controllers, then you have the DJ software. Plenty of such software is capable of recording the set quite efficiently. All you have to do is click a single button.
If this doesn’t help, you can also go for specific software such as Audacity that allows you to record directly from record out ports into the computer’s audio input.
For different brands, there are various applications available too. For example, for the Pioneer mixer, there is an app named DJM-REC that you can use alongside.
So, these are some of the ways you can record your DJ set and gauge your performance. However, it would help if you remembered that sharing your DJ mixes can help you understand where you stand.
For this, you can post your sets and recordings on applications such as MixCloud. This way, you can get feedback from various people and also encouragement.
What Music Do You Need?
For the most part, you will need a large selection of music. Each event you do is different. Record Pools and subscription services will help you build your DJ Library.
- >> How Do DJs Find New Music | Instantly Add Current Upbeat Songs 2021
- >> Remarkable Wedding Songs That Should Absolutely Be In Your 2021 Wedding
- >> School Dance Playlist 2021 – Exclusive Songs For School Dance DJs
- >> Upbeat Party Songs That Always Gets People Dancing – 2021
- >>Best New Prom Songs 2021 | Create a Memorable Prom Dance
- >>Best New Summer Songs | Ultimate Beach Playlists 2021
- >>DJ Music FAQ | Answers To Your Great Questions About Music | 2021
What Equipment Do I Need To Be a DJ?
When you start DJing, you will need – Music, a Laptop Computer, DJ Software, a DJ Controller, and a Good Set of Headphones. Beginning with that equipment, you will be able to practice and get ready for your first event.
Buy or Rent
You do not need to buy all the gear right away. Please don’t. But I would spend money on getting Music (Weddings, School Dance, Party Songs), DJ Computer, Large External SSD, DJ Software, DJ Controller and a good set of DJ headphones.
After you have that – buy two speakers. I listed my top 10 here, but I would only buy 1-5. You can rent a wireless mic, lights, and subwoofers when you need them.
Find a local company that has DJ lights and DJ gear. Plan on renting the DJ equipment you need. This way, you can try out different DJ setups and additional gear and find what you like.
Plus some events, you might need more lighting – so rent more lighting. You will not have to worry about buying more lights for that one event.
Transporting all your gear can also be a problem. Should you buy a new vehicle or rent? Best Vehicles for DJs | Should You Buy or Rent | 2021
Story – I bought a DJ case when I started, from the money I had saved up. It was custom-built (my design). Everything I needed fit in that case. It was great on paper. Then I got it. It was 6′ wide, 2′ tall, and 2′ wide.
It was Heavy. The first time I was going to use it was at a couple’s wedding. I was setting up by myself. I had to carry(drag) that case up a flight of stairs to the banquet hall. After that event, the Case never left the house again.
How Much Does To Cost To Be a DJ?
With the DJ Equipment, you need to start. It will be around $1730. You will need a laptop ($1200), DJ Software (free), DJ Controller ($330), and DJ Headphones ($200). Try not to buy cheap gear just so you have the equipment.
After you have that gear, spend $1300+ on speakers and speaker stands. Buy the bags for the speakers and stands to help them look good for many years. Cheap speakers are acceptable for your basement, but having the wrong gear for an event will not help you with your word of mouth.
I had a couple of mentors when I started. I did things the same as they did. Used the same gear and advertised the same as them.
Eighteen years later, I realized – They were not the right people to follow.
Look for people that are in the business that are also happy and successful. Learn from them and also from other people you meet.
Learning how to DJ is all about recognizing your goals, having a full-proof plan, and a proper understanding of how to follow each step.
DJ Links and Resources
Set aside time during the day to learn about the DJ business – Connect with other DJs on Instagram, in Facebook Groups, and on DJ Forums. These people below share everything you need to know about being a DJ.
Youtube Channels to Follow
In this guide, we have tried our best to cover every step appropriately to help you out. So, we hope you’ll follow through with it and pave your path as a successful DJ. Want to Learn to DJ? It can be a great full-time job or just fun on the occasional weekend.
- What Should a Mobile DJ Wear 2021 | Successful People Dress the Part
- 6 Honest DJ Headphones Product Reviews | Best Over The Ear
- Best Vehicles for DJs | Should You Buy or Rent | 2021
- Create a DJ Logo Using Fiverr | I paid $17 For Two Effortless Logos
- What Makes A Great Wedding DJ? 5 Things to Look For
- 5 Important Questions to Ask Clients Before You Say Yes to Their Event
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