Perhaps the first image to come to your mind when you think of a disc jockey is some guy at a club, playing songs and remixing them with his turntable. While that is a valuable interpretation of the job, becoming a DJ requires careful thought about how you’re going to proceed. It is a career, after all.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you pursue a career as a DJ.
1. Know why and what you want to DJ.
A DJ is a varied career, which means you have to choose between becoming a DJ who performs solely at a club, one who can be hired to perform anywhere, or even one who works for a radio station. It all depends on whether or not you are a stationary person, whether you want a more secure gig, and even why you want to be a DJ.
Success is not guaranteed, and neither is wealth. Sharing your music is a good reason, as well as meeting people (you should work for a club or being hired for gigs for those).
2. Have the right skills and equipment.
In this field, knowing your skills and equipment is both important and even more complicated. Skills such as phrasing (knowing when to mix the tracks together so the songs blend properly) and volume control (usually through a DJ mixer and software) are necessary, and they are nowhere near the only skills you’ll need.
Likewise, the proper equipment is necessary, such as good software for remixing music (Virtual DJ is free and popular) and hardware (an All-in-One controller has all the hardware necessary).
3. Practice and gain experience.
Naturally, like in any musical career, being a DJ requires practice before moving on to getting experience. The free software such as Virtual DJ is a good way to start remixing music. Continuing to practice until you’ve managed to create an album is vital.
Start uploading your music online so that people will take notice of you, offer you advice, and even praise your skills. Meet other DJs and get support from them, especially if they have more experience and contacts with people offering work.
Becoming a DJ is a possible career path, one that can be rewarding to those who love to share music. In the end, the job satisfaction should outweigh the tangible benefits, such as income.
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Kevin Kwon is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, currently 23 years old. He works in San Francisco and hopes to continue in the graduate studies regarding the field of psychology.