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Other people want to start this hobby

DJ

Becoming a DJ is a lot easier and less expensive than you think. For under $300 you can get a complete turntable - mixer starter kit to start mixing in your own home. Online there are many great places to learn how to DJ on your own. Free lessons, dj forums, and tutorials show you the basic terms and step by step how to start matching beats and mixing songs.

Once you get started you can begin DJing local parties and clubs. All around the world there are great DJ communities where you can get into and learn about different styles of music and mixing. Very fun and highly recommended.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other DJ resources. We have a DJ forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with DJ how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best DJ books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Intro


Djing is a hobby that can smoothly transition into an exciting career if you really have the attitude and skill for it. To a large extent, Djing is to do with attitude, dynamism a love for music and being in touch with it continuously. But first let us understand exactly what a DJ does. To put it very simplistically, DJs or Disc Jockeys choose music and play them back to the audience, so that they can dance to it. But there is more to Djing than this. DJs blend songs through a process of ‘mixing’, which means they must be great at ‘song selection’.




A DJ’s Basic Skills - Mixing And Song Selection


DJs literally blend songs in such a way that they produce seamless music, preserving the energy on the dance flow. It involves a lot of creativity to do this. To be good at mixing, it takes technical skill that you can learn. The mixing is at its best only when the song selection is appropriate. DJs create what is called a mix set when they blend songs. The DJ bears in mind the specific mood of the event, mixing songs that transport the people through highs and lows - and eventually brings them back to earth. Of course, different DJ’s have different personalities and therefore different unique styles.




We tend to think that Djing is almost always live, but it can also be on radio or recorded, which can be just as intense. In live performances, DJs often interact with the audience, choosing tracks that go with the mood of the moment. The DJ does not choose tracks at random – careful thought goes into selecting the songs particularly since they have to choose from thousands of new releases.




So let us now look at what kind of DJ you would like to be.




Kinds of DJs


Though there really is no hard and fast rule, we can broadly divide DJs into the event DJs and the club DJs. Event DJs DJ at parties, moving around and have a lightly tougher job since they must tailor the music to please a diverse audience. No matter what kind of DJ, though, you need be aware of and have access to a practically limitless selection of music. One of the best way to get started to check out if Djing is for you is to find someone locally, perhaps a friend, so that you can practice on their equipment, before you decide to buy your own. Equipment for a DJ can cost a bit so we recommend that you first invest in CDs and records.




Basic Equipment You Would Need To Get Started


There are four must-haves when you are Djing, apart from music, of course. Most well known pubs and clubs already provide the equipment you need. But where this is not the case, you need an amplifier and speakers. There are speakers with built in amplifiers that eliminate the need for a separate amplifier. Next you’ll need a mixer. A mixer lets you keep the continuity in the music because if there is no mixer, you end up with long pauses between record/CD changes. Mixers let you get on with your beat mixing, scratch mixing, song blending, song swapping and so on, all while maintaining the rhythm. You will also need a source of audio in the form of two variable speed record decks or CD players. Technics is a brand that most DJs swear by because of its quality and dependability. Most DJs mix dance music by altering the speed to blend the beats.




So you could say that a very basic set up for your Djing hobby could set you back $ 500 or so – though the sky is really the limit, depending on what you choose. Cheap equipment could often turn out to be of mediocre quality, so it is a good idea to think before you invest.




Protect your equipment with a voltage regulating power splitter.




Sourcing Your Music


You will need to establish contact with a reliable record store that has up to date music in vinyl format, as this is the preferred form for DJs. Listen to the music before you buy it. Keep in touch with the latest in music – radio stations, buzz charts, magazines and so on. You can also buy music online. There are websites that let you listen to samples before you order.




Djing Techniques


DJs have a host of techniques that let them switch from one record to another without pause. One of these is beat mixing, where you slow down or speed up a record to match the beat of the next one. This is a very common technique. Scratch mixing is another technique by which the DJ pushes or pulls the record, where you hear that scratching sound. If you have heard DJs who play Rap, RnB and Hip Hop, you will be familiar with this technique. Another way to transition from one record to another is pitch mixing, also referred to as key or tone mixing. Invariably most dance music ends with pure beats without any other background stuff, so it is easy to just let the end blend with the beginning of another record.




Incidentally, it can be a little tough to match beats with some older kinds of music as in soul or live music, mainly because the beat sounds are produced by the artist and can be a little off-rhythm. When the drumbeats are synchronized with a computer then you get perfect rhythm that makes it easy to match the beat.




Some Tips


Make sure you practice and polish your Djing skills before you actually do it in public. This will build your confidence and ensure that you have a great time entertaining your audience. If you decide to be a ‘mobile DJ, you must look good, as must your equipment. Apart from enhancing your rebooking value and bringing you the right kind of publicity, it makes you look professional. Get to know the kind of event you are going to be Djing at and dress accordingly. Be punctual – it is not fashionable to be late!




Before you go on a gig, ensure that all your equipment is in working order. Also make sure that there is sufficient power supply. Do a trial run of the kind of music you intend to play. Finally, as with any skill, practice will make you perfect! There is good money in Djing and you really do not have to quit your job or studies as you can do it part time. As you get established, you can develop plenty of contacts through Djing forums.




Well. That’s it for starters. At Discover A Hobby we have information and tips, instructional videos and excellent books on Djing that cover it in depth. Videos are a boon when you want to watch and learn the tricks and mixing to become that DJ everyone wants to hear! You will also find valuable links that can tell you all that you want to know about Djing. So go ahead and wrap them around your little finger – get those decks rolling and make them dance!