5 Essential Tips for Aspiring DJs to Succeed in the Music Industry


5 Essential Tips for Aspiring DJs to Succeed in the Music Industry

Are you new to the DJ game, or want to boost your career? Follow these five essential tips, proven to maximise success!  

In this fast-growing industry, being on top of your DJ game is more important than ever to stand out and secure the work you want. 

These fundamental tips are essential for achieving your DJ goals at any level. 

They’ve worked for virtually every successful DJ out there and are crucial for both beginners and professionals.

Read on for the five tips below and get your DJ journey on the path to success!

1. Organise your music like a pro

It goes without saying that a DJ’s most important tool is their music.

DJs must have their music on point to put together great sets with expertly selected tunes that get people moving!    

To do this, they must first build decently-sized music collections and libraries.

There are many avenues for sourcing music, ranging from subscription-based services to free platforms offering a diverse selection of tracks. 

Below are the main music-sourcing options available to DJs:

DJ Pools: 

DJ pools provide a subscription service that grants DJs access to a vast library of tracks. 

These platforms often offer exclusive remixes, curated playlists, and DJ-friendly edits such as intros, outros, and mashups.

See this guide on Where To Download DJ Music In 2024 for a list of some of the most popular pools out there. 

Even though they all differ slightly in terms of genre selection, you will find more than enough tracks to build a comprehensive music library, especially if you play multiple genres.

Streaming Services: 

Streaming services have become increasingly popular among DJs due to their affordability and accessibility. 

Platforms like Beatport and Beatsource provide DJs with access to a curated selection of music tailored to their needs. 

However, it’s important to note that the music on streaming services is not owned by the DJ, limiting their usage in offline situations or for recording mixes.

Free Music Download Platforms:

Platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube and Bandcamp offer DJs a treasure trove of free music across various genres. 

SoundCloud, in particular, serves as a hub for emerging artists and underground tracks, providing DJs with a platform to discover new talent and unique sounds. 

Similarly, Bandcamp allows artists to sell their music directly to fans, offering various independent releases and experimental projects. 

Plus, you can find some incredible remixes, edits and bootlegs to make your sets unique.

Once a collection has been built up, it’s time to organise it into playlists and crates so tracks that work well together can easily be found in the heat of a mix! 

Organising and keeping on top of your ever-growing music library is an absolute must for DJ success.

Our Music Management for DJs course offers crucial tips, tricks and proven strategies to master your library and utilise your music to its full potential!

2. Choose the right DJ equipment

You’ve got the music, now it’s time to blast those jams through some speakers! This is where your DJ equipment comes in. 

Today, there are loads of options for DJing.

There’s equipment designed for playing music from a laptop, streamed from an online provider, off of USB sticks or even from old-school vinyl. 

Below, we discuss the most commonly used bits of kit:

Which is the best controller?

First and foremost, let’s talk about controllers. These versatile devices serve as the cornerstone of your setup, providing tactile control over your computer’s music library and allowing you to mix tracks with precision and finesse seamlessly. 

When selecting a controller, prioritise functionality and compatibility with your preferred software platform. 

This article on Rekordbox vs Serato can help you choose the right DJ software for your needs.    

Look for features in a controller like responsive jog wheels, intuitive touchpads, and assignable controls that allow you to express your creativity behind the decks. 

With so many controllers out there, it can be difficult to know which suits your DJing needs. 

For impartial recommendations on the best options on the market, check out The Ultimate Guide To The Best DJ Setups In 2024 For Any Budget! 

Which headphones should I go for?

Equally essential to your setup is a reliable pair of headphones. 

They are the most frequently used bit of kit in any setup, and they often act as a lifeline in noisy environments as a decent pair quietens external noise to almost nothing, allowing you to concentrate on mixing and cueing. 

Opt for headphones with robust construction, comfortable ear cups, and accurate sound reproduction to ensure optimal performance and comfort during extended DJ sessions. 

To find the right headphones for your needs, check out our comprehensive DJ Headphone Comparison.

However, our top 3 overall picks are the Pioneer DJ HDJ CUE1s, Sennheiser HD25s and the V-moda crossfade M-100s.

Choosing a USB drive

In addition to controllers and headphones, USB drives play a pivotal role in your DJ toolkit, serving as handy music storage devices that can playback on media players or be copied to a laptop.

Choose USB drives with ample storage capacity and fast transfer speeds to accommodate your growing collection of tracks and ensure seamless access to your music library whenever inspiration strikes. 

We recommend the SanDisk Extreme PRO, as it is super durable, has rapid transfer speeds and, depending on what storage you choose, can store up to 1TB of your music!

Choosing your DJ speakers

You will also need a decent set of speakers if you are practising at home. See our Best Speakers for DJing article for a more detailed look. 

However, for an all-round decent pair for domestic use, we recommend the Pioneer DJ DM-50BT, Mackie CR5-XBT or KRK Rokit 5 G4, all priced at around $200.

But if you’re only using your speakers at home, simply choose a cheap pair, check the reviews and get mixing!

3. Improve your DJ Skills

DJ Skills are what everything else centres around, as without mastering the decks, the other tips can only get you so far.

Of course, no discussion of DJ skills would be complete without mentioning the foundational skill of beatmatching: The technique that forms the backbone of DJing and enhances the flow and cohesion of your sets.

Whether using vinyl turntables, CDJs or controllers, mastering the art of beatmatching is essential to maintaining tempo consistency and ensuring smooth transitions between tracks. 

Get good at beatmatching

To master beatmatching, practice counting beats, matching BPMs, and fine-tuning your timing until it becomes second nature. For more on the basics of beatmatching, follow the link here.

At the core of beatmatching lies the art of seamless transitions, a fundamental technique that separates the amateurs from the pros!

Whether blending tracks or dropping a flawless mix, mastering the art of the transition is essential to maintaining the energy and flow of your sets.

Allowing your audience to enjoy your masterful selection of music without any jarring technical missteps!

Get started practising different mixing techniques with our Free Complete DJ Course!  

Watch this demonstration video for 12 DJ Transitions you MUST KNOW

Work on your transitions and routines

Experiment with tempo and key changes, and strive for smooth transitions that keep the dance floor moving and the crowd engaged. 

But transitions are just the beginning! As you delve deeper into the world of DJing, consider exploring the art of routines – carefully crafted sequences of mixes, scratches and effects that showcase your creativity and technical prowess. 

From simple loop-based routines to complex turntablism techniques, routines add depth and personality to your sets, elevating them from mere playlists to immersive sonic journeys that captivate and inspire.

We can help you master any DJ skill with our DJ Transitions Course.

Or, if you want to mix it up open-format style, perfect the technical skill of scratching with our Complete Online Scratching Course.

If you’re learning to DJ and want to level up your skills, our DJ courses can make it happen! 

We’ve created a comprehensive and immersive learning experience designed to elevate your skills and expand your musical horizons. 

From beginner basics to advanced techniques, we cover genres like house, techno and hip-hop. 

We’re also certified instructors on the industry’s most popular DJ software, including Serato DJ, Rekordbox and Traktor, plus, there are equipment-specific courses on popular controllers like the DDJ-FLX4. 

For 20% off any individual DJ course. Use the code YOUTUBE 20.

4. Promote yourself with Social Media

In the past, DJs relied on putting together solid mixtapes and distributing them to the right people to gain work. 

In today’s interconnected world, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for DJs to amplify their voices, connect with fans, and share their musical journeys with the world. 

From Instagram to TikTok, Facebook to YouTube, harnessing the power of social media platforms can elevate your presence in the digital landscape and open doors to new opportunities in the global DJ community.

Instagram, with its visually immersive platform, offers DJs a captivating canvas to showcase their unique style, share behind-the-scenes glimpses of their creative process, and engage with fans on a personal level.

Meanwhile, TikTok, a platform known for its short-form video content and viral trends, provides DJs with a creative playground to experiment with new sounds, quickly showcase their mixing skills, and reach a diverse new audience of music lovers.

Get your DJ mixes noticed on Mixcloud

Mixcloud is considered the industry standard platform for hosting DJ mixes and is used by well-respected DJs worldwide.

It is one of the most powerful platforms for DJs looking to share their mixes and connect with a global audience. 

With its focus on long-form audio content and DJ mixes, it provides a dedicated space for DJs to upload, promote, and monetize their creations without fear of copyright takedowns like on other popular platforms.

For DJs who are serious about taking their online DJ presence to the next level, the Mixcloud Pro account offers a suite of advanced features designed to enhance your experience and maximize your earning potential. 

With a Mixcloud Pro account, DJs gain access to a range of exclusive benefits, including:

  • Unlimited uploads;
  • Monetization options where DJs can get paid for their content by offering exclusive subscriber-only mixes, ad-free listening, and other perks to their most dedicated fans;
  • Enhanced analytics, like tools that help you understand and grow your fanbase;
  • Custom branding that reflects your unique style and aesthetic;
  • Priority support

By leveraging the full suite of features offered by Mixcloud Pro, DJs can not only share their mixes with the world but also build a sustainable income stream and cultivate a loyal community of listeners who value their artistry and contributions to the global music scene.

If you’re ready to go Pro, Mixcloud is offering an exclusive 30% off 6 months of Mixcloud Pro membership for the Crossfader community, Use code CROSSFADERPRO30 at checkout.

Redeem offer:

5. Get good at networking

The music industry is built on relationships, so the better you are at networking, the more successful you will be.

Building a strong network is not just about making connections, it’s about cultivating meaningful relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and shared values. 

A process that takes time, but the payoff is well worth it!

As a DJ navigating the dynamic and competitive landscape of the music industry, your network is your lifeline!

It acts as a source of support, inspiration, and opportunities that can propel your career to new heights.

At the heart of networking lies the key principle of professionalism. 

Whether interacting with fellow DJs, promoters, venue owners, or industry insiders, maintaining a professional demeanour is essential to earning respect and building trust with your network. 

Professionalism extends beyond your technical skills as a DJ, it encompasses your attitude, work ethic, and interpersonal interactions. 

Show up on time, prepared and ready to deliver your best performance every time. 

Respect the time and resources of others, communicate effectively and always follow through on your commitments. 

Over time, these important practices will help you establish a meaningful network of industry professionals, and this can help you secure those all-important DJ gigs!

And check out the video below for 5 Mistakes To Avoid as a DJ!

If you’ve found these 5 tips useful but want to invest in growing your skills, making connections and showcasing your talent like never before, follow this link for more on our industry-certified, Complete DJ Package

This amazing opportunity is suitable for both beginner and intermediate-level DJs and guarantees you fast success or your money back!




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