How To Improve Your DJ Skills
I was thinking of ways of improving DJ skills. When I researched this information, I found some valuable information.
So what are some ways on how to improve your DJ skills? There are several ways to improve on DJ skills. The best is practice always makes perfect. Identifying with the audience is an essential factor since no two groups of people are the same. Courses teach better skills to be the best DJ.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As with any other skill or technique such as riding a bike, throwing the ball, or dancing, practice makes perfect. You hone your skill-set first by observation, then by execution. Want to improve your DJ stance? Try these techniques:
Listen and Observe: Igor Stravinsky, a man who knew something about music said, “Mediocrity borrows, genius steals.” Meaning: don’t just copy, you need to feel and practice your skill, to know it so well and deeply that it becomes one of your authentic moves.
Practice: It’s fine to start at home, in your bedroom or basement. Then move on to DJing for family, friends, and people who know music. Be sure to ask for feedback. To get people to answer beyond a lazy, “It was good, man,” you need to ask specific questions. Ask your first audience to name two things that were stiff or not quite on target, and then to tell you about three things that made them smile (in a good way) and want to dance.
Review: Another move to make is to record your performance and review it later. Practice until you feel secure in your handling of the equipment, knowledge of music, mixing, ability to talk into the mic comfortably, and to read the room.
Apprentice: Then, it’s time to move into the spotlight. Look for local work. For your first few gigs, as you are gathering references, experience, pulling together your profile, and finding your fans you might offer to work for free at local events that you want to support. Try a friend’s wedding, street fest, youth club, a new club, rave, or wherever you feel that you can make a difference. Or offer to be a roadie for an established DJ to gain pointers, experience, contacts, or a chance at the mic. If you want to enter the radio market, see if there’s an internship program at your local station.
DJing is an art form and, as with any creative endeavor, the dedicated individual is constantly growing and evolving. To be a DJ at the top of your game, make it a point to continuously learn. Watch other DJs, take workshops, visit industry forums, keep up with the constant changes and advancements in technology, and the ever-shifting musical tastes in clubs, and the new music.
Identifying With the Party Crowd
Part of the job description for a club or event DJ is being part of the nightlife. Most people who are attracted to the idea of being a DJ are already inspired by the mood and the music of the party crowd. You may even have decided upon this field after watching a fantastic DJ work the console.
Off the job, some DJs may be introverts, recharging their inner batteries with a book or meditation. However, when behind the mic, these introverts get in touch with their outer extroverted side. After all, we are all complex and colorfully multi-dimensional beings. While it may help to be a party animal, it’s not strictly necessary. Just know that you will be keeping party animal hours and attending to your business needs during the day.
An on-the-mark DJ exhorts the crowd to party, dance, and celebrate. He or she builds the action and the mood of the evening, listening to requests, and observing what songs bring the crowd onto the dance floor. When you identify with the party crowd, then you’ll give the audience the occasional slower-paced number to catch their breaths (or head to the bar or exchange phone numbers).
True artists of the scene can feel the energy of the room, and they can raise it. A fine-tuned DJ is always in control, not only the songs and sounds but of the ambiance and environment and the mood of the venue. The main ingredient, aside from a love and knowledge of music, is a love and respect for people.
The whole scene evolves around the listener. Plus, you need to work well with everyone including the club’s manager, the promoter, the waitstaff, and the house talent. You need to take requests with grace and style. You don’t like the requested song? Well, you don’t need to make someone feel foolish for asking. Many times you’ll be able to fill requests, sometimes you won’t. However, you should always be chill and kind.
Taking Courses and the Benefits
Possessing a solid education will not only give you a solid DJ technique, musical knowledge, and finely-tuned skills, but it will also introduce you to the basic (and then the latest) technological innovations. It will also give you confidence and solid references on your resume. Plus, it puts you in the space to meet peers, mentors, and gain access to internships.
If you’re serious about DJing, then you will do anything–and everything–to master your craft. While nothing beats practice, live experience, and innate talent and inspiration, when you add education into the mix you then you have a true lead in your field. Yes, you can go the DIY route and piece together info, skills, techniques, and contacts, however, that will cost you in time and energy, which translates into missed income and opportunities. Even worse, if you make mistakes with the crowd watching, then that affects your rep. Plus, it can take even more effort to get over the bad habits that you taught yourself!
Schooling provides the tools to keep your career trajectory flying high.Taking courses in producing, music theory, sound equipment, and other topics show that you are serious on the subject of moving into the DJ field. Get access to contacts and get answers to the questions you didn’t even know how to ask through classes. Taking a course from an inspirational instructor and being in the company of your peeps may be exactly what you need to move through apprenticeship and into the big leagues of the working DJing.
How much do DJ classes cost?
It depends on what you are looking for. Some courses are a few hundred dollars and can go into the thousands. The basics are always cheaper. The more extended and more in-depth courses are the most expensive.
There are classes for all budgets, lifestyles, and schedules. Whether you want to go through a program or take a few classes in an industry-specific academy, take a class at the local community college, or go to a 4-year university and acquire a Bachelor’s degree in a music/industry-related field, there is an educational option that will fit your needs. Some courses are industry-specific. For example, at Scratch DJ Academy classes range from$200 to $500, and private lessons go for around $80 to $110 an hour.
Should I have a backup plan on the music or just run with what I have? It is always a good idea to have back up songs and genres to supply for requests. Think of it as being like cooking: you have a recipe, you’ve scored the ingredients, and with a good solid technique behind you, you can improvise to create something tasty. Or how about this example: You want to meet up with someone special. You work out a plan that merges intuition and improvisation; a rough blueprint for conversation, in case your heart gets ahead of your head. You talk about family, school, work, mutual friends. You ask questions and listen to the answers.
See where this is going? Move with the metaphor. DJing is like that. DJing works when you start with an idea, a loose plan, of how you envision the event going. You check in with the client, promoter, or manager to ensure that you meet the event’s goals. Watching the crowd, you’ll see if you need to play a slower number or two before and after the announcements. You’ll discover if there is going to be other entertainment integrated into the event. If so, you’ll change up your own time- slot for the best flow.
A back-up plan helps you to have confidence. It’s the scaffolding on which you build the performance. Yet there’s room to react. Say, if a celebrity walks into the club and the vibe changes, then the great DJ will go with the flow. If someone makes a request, integrate that into your set-list. You see how the crowd reacts to the tunes. The great DJ is an artist in his or her own right with a plan of how the show should go, a gift for improv performance, and a synergistic rapport with the audience.