The world of DJ’ing can be a confusing and difficult place to figure out, with so many products in the marketplace and no clear-cut path to success it can all become a bit overwhelming for a beginner. So if you’re just starting your DJ journey, or maybe you are just having a think about getting involved, we’re here to break down our essential first five steps to help you along your way!
1. What equipment to buy
First things first, you are going to need a way to DJ. A controller, a pair of turntables, maybe even some CDJs. There are so many ways to DJ now and there’s no right or wrong way to learn, it usually boils down to cost. The prices do vary and the majority of people just starting out will be working within a budget meaning turntables and decks/CDJs will be a bit expensive. Controllers on the other hand are comparatively cheap, however they do require a computer or laptop. Whichever route you decide to choose we recommend you do your research first.
There are so many units to chose from and finding one that suits you and your budget is an individual choice. Online reviews and video demonstrations can be found on Youtube and websites just like ourselves, giving you a full breakdown of what you’re getting for your money and how capable the particular unit is. If you have a DJ store local to yourself, we recommend going down and seeing the physical unit in person to as the feel and response of certain buttons, pads and platters do vary from brand to brand!
2. Fall in love with the art of DJ'ing
Now this one seems a bit obvious but bare with us, being a DJ isn’t what some people think it is. Being on stage, centre of attention with thousands of people screaming along to your set and building a huge following on social media is what some people might consider “living the dream” but is that the right reason for getting into DJ’ing? Don’t get us wrong, we love that side to the job but it’s not what we are here for or why we started.
The main aspect of being a DJ should be to showcase your creativity, your taste and your love for music. All mixed in a way that showcases what you as an individual. Whether you’re a RnB DJ scratching and beat juggling, or a tech DJ perfecting the ultimate blends it’s the art of DJ’ing that allows you to express yourself and your passion for music.
3. Build a music library
So you have the passion and the equipment, now you need the music to play! Everyone’s taste of music will be different and unique, and as such the sources to buy these tracks will vary. The vast majority of DJ’s now are using digital music files rather than vinyl and CD’s and this is great. You can find numerous sources online for music. The most obvious place to find the vast majority of tracks is online stores such as iTunes or Amazon Music. These allow you to buy albums or individual tracks and download them for immediate use.
Some DJ’s will be sent music from record labels directly, whether through email or via an app such as Inflyte. This is a fantastic way of getting new music but can take some time to access as a vast majority of mailing lists are invite only. Somewhere sitting in between these two methods are record pools. These are paid subscriptions to a website where DJ’s can review the latest tracks and remixes and download a copy of the track too. There are a few to pick between so do your research first but the some of the most popular at the moment are DMP and DJCity.
Whichever way you go about downloading your music, one point we can’t stress enough is that you do it legally and avoid bit torrents, youtube/sound cloud ripping and mp3 search engine sites. Not only is this an illegal method of getting music but it also provides you with bad quality music, which when played on a professional sound system in a club will only reflect terribly on yourself and your set.
Here at Crossfader we want to give every DJ a head start when it comes to building a music library so click the link below to download our FREE music pack!
4. Learning how to DJ
Equipment, Check! Passion for DJ’ing, Check! Music to play, Check!
Right, it’s now time to actually learn how to DJ and master the art of mixing songs together it a creative and fun way. There are many ways to learn, you can experiment at home on your own, read books, watch free online tutorials or maybe even join a DJ school such as ourselves! We offer courses that are tailored to every step of a DJ’s journey with specific courses on some of the best selling decks and software packages. We aim to make the courses as insightful, easy to follow and most of all fun!
We have listed our beginner DJ courses at the bottom of this post!
5. Practice, practice, practice
Whichever way you learn to DJ, the main thing is to keep at it! DJ’ing isn’t the easiest art to master and it certainly takes time. Try to set aside some time each day or week and keep yourself in a routine. It can become difficult at times but playing around with the music you love should keep you inspired and hungry to progress. It can take years to master and find your own style of DJ’ing and every time you play you’ll learn something new. It’s a great journey, one that can take you as far as you want to go within the music scene, as long as you’re willing to work hard at it. Here at Crossfader we wish you all the best in your progression as a DJ and hope to be by your side throughout. Providing you all with the support, tutorials, reviews and courses that you’ll need as you progress from success to success!