The Facts of Learning to DJ

by admin on October 23, 2011

in DJ Tutorials

This is a guest post from DJ Sean who teaches video DJ Lessons on his popular DJ training blog, How To DJ Fast.

When I was learning to DJ it was with a big bag of records that you’d have to lug over your shoulder. Times have changed but there are a few time-hardened facts that remain the same when it comes to learning how to DJ.

Whats funny about “the facts of life” for DJing is that so many beginner DJs tend to make the same mistakes as I did when I was starting out as a DJ. I wish that an older veteran DJ showed me the ropes so I could become a great DJ that much quicker.

I didn’t have money for DJ Lessons but I wanted to learn how to DJ so I just sort of stumbled my way through the learning process.

So to help you get ahead with your DJing and save you some time and pain through mistakes, I’m going to share with you some of the time-hardened DJing facts:

1) Beatmatching Is Tough

The first time you turn on your Pioneer CDJ or throw a vinyl onto a turntable you’ll know what I mean. The technology is so exciting and you can’t wait to start playing your tracks together.

Soon you will try to play two songs together and the moment you do you’re instantly lost. You were feeling like a DJ with your flashy gear and a decent collection of music but then it hits you.

There is a mis-mash of sounds and you don’t know which are which. It’s just noise. You’re overwhelmed by the sound but you try to focus. You’ll squint your face and press your headphone ear cup harder to try to hear better but it won’t help.

Don’t worry! You’re not alone.

Even the world’s top superstar DJs started out the same. You see the human brain isn’t naturally programmed to listen to two sounds at once. We are good at focusing on 1 sound but as soon as you add another we have a tough time keeping track of both.

The even better news is that its pretty easy to train your ears and your brain to tell two songs apart and to be able to pick out different elements of a song. This is great news because its an essential part of learning to DJ.

So don’t get frustrated. Don’t give up. Anyone can learn to beatmatch.

2) DJ Egos

Once you’re able to beatmatch and mix like a DJ you’re probably going to start trying for gigs. Its at around this point when you’ll start meeting more DJs. And if you have an social intelligence at all you’ll quickly notice that most DJs have egos.

The ironic thing is that the vast majority of DJs have egos. There are even a lot of local DJs that only play house parties for their friends that have the ego of a celebrity.

Don’t be one of them. Not because people don’t like egos (they don’t), but because it won’t help you as a DJ. A lot of my DJ career was advanced because I am a very easy person to get along with. I would be offered big DJ gigs because promoters and nightclub owners enjoyed working with me.

The nicer and more down to earth you are, the better you will fair as a DJ. Don’t believe for a second that you have to be full of yourself to succeed.

3) DJ Training will save you time

For whatever reason a lot of DJs post on message forums asking for advice on how to start. The old wrinkled veterans from the vinyl days will say “teach yourself”. Very few DJs share the advice of “invest in DJ training”.

Yet that is the best tip I can give any new DJ. It took me almost 2 years to learn how to DJ because I took their advice and taught myself. I could have gotten my first gig within 2 months instead of 2 years if I had invested in some DJ lessons.

And I know that DJ lessons are expensive. But online DJ training videos or online dj lessons are cheap. You get to watch them over and over again and you’ll make the $50 or whatever nominal amount it is back with your first gig. So why not save months or years of your life and learn to DJ 10 times faster with some DJ Training?

Investing in DJ training is the best investment you’ll ever make!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

blogodel November 15, 2011 at 2:48 am

I hope that your lessons will help me become a really good DJ, how you can be reached?

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Rob Benwell November 23, 2011 at 12:39 am

Thank you for sharing this post. Can you share the links where to find DJ training videos or online dj lessons? Thanks!

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Audio Mastering Studio December 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Very interesting tips here. The part about getting the online training is a great tip that applies to many different fields. Too many people like to “trial and error” their way through and it just takes too long. A good book, video or dvd series can save you YEARS in learning. Spend the $50!

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admin@raindefenceroofing.com December 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I think the number one tip in this article is the tip about being a nice person rather than being full of yourself. Unfortunately I don’t think most people can change their personalities to get a job.
Anyway my mate is desperately trying to improve his DJing skills and mostly doing it by trial and error. I don’t think he’s even considered online lessons, I have seen people getting them in gaming, but never DJing, but it makes sense that they exist now I think about it.
I’ll tell him about it.
Cheers!

Reply

Brian Qamata December 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I have a small insight on being a Dj,I love it so much that after mixing one track I loose focus. I want to know more I’m hungry for gigs and money,can I hire sound for gigs?

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amit@top-10-hindi-songs.com/* */ December 27, 2011 at 4:12 am

Gone through your some of the articles. i want to mix slow hindi songs in a way to keep its rythm intact while adding base to the song. example can be kabhi-kabhi by dj Zedi. Can you tell me how should i proceed. I don’t have any software yet. thanks for the above information.

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Droman Kuun January 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Interesting article, everyone has to start somewhere. And if you’re trying to decide if Vinyl, CDs or a Laptop is best for you, I’ve found this to be a great resource.

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Remix Contest January 30, 2012 at 8:45 am

Yeah lessons on DJing will definitely decrease the time it takes to learn how to DJ. Even by teaching basic musical knowledge on how bars are split up can help too, so that they can count in and release the 2nd track at the correct time can be a huge help.

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ThatFix January 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

hey man thanks for this
ive been reading and watching a lot of videos lately
been getting into the DJ scene, i appreciate articles like this

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Metin Demirkol March 25, 2012 at 6:19 am

Thanks for the encouragement. It would really help the amateurs like to to gain confidence

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DJ Lessons March 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Hey DJ’s,
I’m part of the team that runs Music Lessons Plus, we’ve just added a DJ category so that DJ experts can list themselves as DJ tutors & hopefully connect directly with people in their area looking for DJ lessons…. feel free to check it out, its a free to use resource.

Reply

ervins October 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

DJs are super important to Music fans

Reply

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