How to actually start being a DJ ?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default How to actually start being a DJ ?

    So I'm new to the game. I'm a musician looking to jump in. I have the equipment, I have the software, but where do I actually start. So I guess you might as well tell me how you all started. Right now I'm just kind of mixing and mashing music I already had in my Itunes library but I want to know how to build an effective collection of music that I will use and what is a good way to go about organizing it? Since I'm a beginner what are key things I should be practicing and what goals should I set for myself? I'm looking actually improve with time rather than just be stuck at a rudimentary skill level.

    tl;dr new to djing
    How do I build up a music collection?
    Where do I start as far as mixes?
    What do I practice?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru
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    How do I build up a music collection?

    You do it however you like.. Download music, collect records, rip your old cd's... Really though try to dig deep by listening to mixes getting track ID's finding new artists exploring the music on the labels that they are on, blogs, friends and other DJ's. The harder you dig the more unique your sets will be plus finding and playing new tracks is a big part of the fun and challenge of being a DJ

    Where do I start as far as mixes?
    Listen to mixes whenever you have a chance and listen to how the mix from track and which tracks they choose to make the mix. Go to clubs and watch the DJ and the crowd and watch how the DJ plays to the crowd (or how he doesn't). If you can't get to a club watch youtube

    What do I practice?
    Pretty much the same as the above point - watch and learn. if you have a friend that DJ's even better.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor rdale's Avatar
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    At first I paid the most attention to beat matching and phrasing, practicing these to things made it so that simple A to B mixing of intro to outro worked most of the time. Music gathering is the fun part, watching my buying habits change is fun, pick a genre and focus your efforts in that direction. Right now my buying habits split, based on mood and where I think the quality tunes are at right now, I find this to be fun. Record your mixes, and give them a listen, never be afraid in practice to go back and do something over and over to find the sweet spot. Play for as long as you can stay focused, break apart your sessions to where you have a programmed set where you know what you will play and what order then also practice freestyle where you play the next tune you want to hear. When you play the same mix several times you will find that you develop technique that you didn't think of before, freestyle builds more on the fly skills. Both kinds of practice lead to developing routines and technique that you can use.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru MYE's Avatar
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    My biggest tip is never plan the mix just go with the flow and do stuff on the fly
    Techno Producer and Dj//Upcoming releases on Discovery Records and other labels//Australia//https://soundcloud.com/mrmye

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor DJSigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJrepooc View Post
    ow do I build up a music collection?
    There's 2 ways to do this IMO: -

    1. Buy music you like. You can't go wrong with this, cos if you like listening to it then it's money well spent.

    2. Buy music because it's gonna be used for gigs, regardless of whether you like it. Personally I've never done this, but often DJs have to make compromises when it comes to playing music they don't particularly like.

    I think "all killer no filler" is the way to go too. I'd rather have a small collection of rock solid tunes than a massive collection that's padded out with junk/mediocre stuff. Try and dig deep into whatever genres you're interested in playing and look back, as well as looking at what's hot right now.

    Where do I start as far as mixes?
    With the basics: -

    1. Tune selection
    2. Levels
    3. Beat matching
    4. Phrase matching
    5. EQing
    6. Sound quality (both of the source material and your recorded mix)

    Listen to good mixes from well respected DJs who spin the kind of music you're into. It'll give you something to aim for and you can pick up tips just by listening to what they do.

    What do I practice?
    What's mentioned above! Haha.

    Record what you do and listen back to it. Over time you'll develop a DJ's ear and be better able to critique yourself and identify any weaknesses, because a lot of new DJs don't really know good from bad all that well due to lack of experience, but that will come with time. Recording your stuff also lets you compare your mixes from different time periods, so you should be able to compare a mix recorded now with one done in a year's time and hear how you've improved.

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard Terpit's Avatar
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    try to press record every time you mix and listen back to it when your in the car or whatever, you'll probably cringe quite a lot but its good for you imo. you probably wont notice certain mistakes when your behind the decks.
    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    Yeah I really regret getting 1200s; they're obsolete.
    --said no one ever

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYE View Post
    My biggest tip is never plan the mix just go with the flow and do stuff on the fly
    I wouldn't say this is necessarily true. I did a LOT of planning when I started out because I wasn't comfortable enough doing everything on the fly. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to do things spontaneously.

  8. #8

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    It's always good to have an initial plan but then be prepared to deviate if the crowd suggest otherwise.
    ---
    Contact me if you have a cool musical idea. @kentsandvik

  9. #9

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    I started by practicing scratching, I honestly loved it from seeing other dudes do it and thats what got me into DJing. From there I worked on beat matching, after getting the basics down i went to sound quality. This was a huge challenge for me since I was never strong with quality of sound (more bass equals better mentality). I slowly learned quality of sound, so blending, EQing etc all came into play that make you sound better.

    I practice to this day:
    Scratching
    My music (learning build ups, down, good cue points, good loop points)
    Basics of beat matching, making sure my ear is still on point

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor Diskobeep's Avatar
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    i think this video says it all!



    oh and please, don't mind the little ironic input

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