Every professional DJ in history started out where you are now.
Just like you, your heroes started nervous, uncertain, and searching for best DJ tips on the internet. After all – we’ve all gotta start somewhere.
The good news is that if you’re actively invested in pursuing your DJ career, then you’re already on the right track. So we’ve decided to put together 15 Best DJ Tips That Will Improve Your DJ Career.
A lot of the work involved in becoming a great DJ begins with the right mindset. You need to be willing to go out there, learn, and grow. The following collection of the best DJ tips are all tried-and-tested by professionals who began just like you. These guidelines will give you a compass to follow when you hit the inevitable hurdles that every DJ encounters on the road to success.
15 Best DJ tips that will improve your DJ career – Lets get started.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
We put this tip first for a reason. The phrase “practice makes perfect” might be a cliché – but it’s true. Your passion and ear for music will only take you so far. Eventually, you’re going to need to work on your skills and learn how to make the most of them.
If you only have a vague idea of what you’re doing, then you can expect to deliver a pretty basic DJ set. That’s not going to blow anyone away.
Instead, you need to get to know your equipment before you hit the decks, and you need to feel confident with every move you make. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to practice.
2. Learn to Read the Dance Floor
Planning your sets and figuring out what you’re going to do ahead of time will help you from flying off on a musical tangent. However, it’s important to remember that you’re playing to a crowd. You need to let the mood of your audience drive you.
Play appropriately for the time slot that’s allocated for you. For instance, there’s no point in banging out massive tracks if you’re the warm-up act. At the same time, sense the vibe of the people around you and what they expect from you.
Noticing your crowd and learning how to amp them up for both your act and the next one is crucial to being a successful DJ.
3. Use Social Media Wisely
Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your fans and generate hype for your upcoming sets. You can use groups to learn about gig opportunities where you can get some practice in. Plus, you can also get a sense of what people thought about your previous sets.
The worst thing you can do on social media is to start badmouthing other artists. There’s nothing cool about insulting other people in your industry. People and promoters will notice and see you as petty, childish, or just plain unprofessional.
If you want to master your social presence, take some time to learn. Check out a Udemy course on social media management or get some professional advice.
4. Be Musically Flexible
As a professional DJ, it’s good to have a genre. As you begin to develop a following, your fans will want to know what they should expect from your shows. However, that doesn’t have to mean sticking rigidly to one idea.
In the early days of your career, it helps to experiment a little and see what feels right for you. Don’t be afraid to take some requests from the people listening to you and explore some new ideas.
Being musically flexible will give you more room to see what you enjoy and attract a wide selection of crowds.
5. Program and Plan Your Sets
As we mentioned, planning is essential to a good DJ set. If you go into a performance without a strategy laid out, then you might not have the right effects and sounds in place when the situation calls for them. One of the best DJ tips you can follow is to figure out what you’re going to do in advance.
Check when your set is going to be and figure out what kind of atmosphere you’re going to create. Remember, whatever you design for your audience needs to be something that they love, and something that you can be passionate about too.
Researching the kind of audience that you’re going to be dealing with will give you a head start on finding the right music. Once you know where to start, you can take your audience on a musical journey that demonstrates your unique flavour.
6. Do Not Redlight
This advice falls into the same category for Best DJ tips as “manage your social media.” Red lighting might seem like a cool way to show how “hardcore” you are when you’ve had a couple of drinks. However, just like badmouthing your competition, it makes you look unprofessional.
No pro in the DJ arena would be proud of blowing up a sound system, no matter what the lyrics of countless songs might suggest. You need to keep the mixer lights out of the red and avoid infuriating your sound engineers.
Red lighting isn’t just a headache for the tech team; it sounds terrible for your audience too. Don’t be tempted to pump up the volume just because the club is bouncing.
7. Don’t Get (Too) Wasted
Another top tip to protect your rep? Don’t get wasted.
It’s fun to have a drink or two when you’re working at a club. You’re going to be overheated, and the alcohol will be flowing freely.
Unfortunately, if you drink too much on your set, then you’re going to end up with some serious issues. First, you won’t be able to judge your sound correctly, which means that you can end up ruining your set. Plus, there’s a bigger chance that you’re going to make a fool of yourself.
Remember, you’re not just DJing for fun; you’re trying to create a career here. You wouldn’t turn up to an office wasted, so don’t do it when you’re working as a Professional DJ either. Be professional, and sensible, or you could scare off promoters.
8. Bring a Back-Up
The world of being a Professional DJ is unpredictable. You never know what could go wrong with the venue where you’re performing. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to have a backup.
Bringing backups in different formats, like CDs, USBs, and even vinyl could be key to avoiding a disaster of a show. You can even bring a spare laptop for running your mixes in case your existing computer dies mid-show. Unexpected things can happen at any moment, so it’s essential to be prepared. Additionally, remember that if something does go wrong, stay calm. Don’t blame the people around you or start yelling at the venue staff.
9. Don’t Overdo the FX
When you’re developing your skills as a professional DJ, it’s fun to experiment.
You’ll play around with levels and FX and discover new ways to pump up the vibe at your events. However, it’s important not to get carried away.
A few effects here and there isn’t a problem. However, if you’re throwing FX out all the time, then audiences will pick up on your lack of professionalism. It’s challenging to pay attention to the music and enjoy the experience when the effects are getting in the way.
10. Know Your Equipment
This is one of the most important and best DJ tips that you can take with you from this article.
Ultimately, your equipment is the key to a successful set or a terrible event. If you don’t know how every knob and slider works, then you can’t get the most out of your music. It’s as simple as that. Every time you buy a new piece of equipment, study it.
Before you purchase your tools, make sure that you do your research and find the right solution to the problems that you need to solve. Once you’ve got that equipment and you’ve added it to your kit, take the time to practice with it and learn some new techniques.
You should be able to provide plenty of information and guides online to get you started. There are even documents out there published by the companies that make your DJ equipment. Don’t be lazy – learn how to use your tools.
11. Be Persistent
As stressful as it might be, becoming a professional DJ isn’t something that happens overnight. This is a competitive industry, and everyone wants to be a part of it.
If you want to make an impact as a professional DJ, then you need to be willing to work at it, constantly. There’s no shortcut to success here. You’re going to need to work on building your skills and getting better every day. Practice until you’re exhausted, then practice some more.
Just like any career, becoming a professional DJ has its challenges. You need to work at it constantly and force yourself to get back up, even when you’re knocked down. This includes brushing off negative comments from people who might not love your sets.
Persistence is one of the most important characteristics you can have as a DJ.
12. Network and Be Social
We mentioned above that social media is one of the best things you can learn how to use for your DJing career. The reason for this is that being a DJ is often about who you know, as well as what you know. You need to build a community that’s interested in your music.
Often, this starts with getting to know other people in your industry who can open doors for you. Connecting with promoters and other experts in your field will help you to unlock opportunities that you couldn’t get on your own.
Remember, success doesn’t just come to you in this industry. You need to get out there and make the connections that strengthen your career and fully understand these 15 best DJ tips that will improve your DJ career.
13. Learn Technically Impressive Skills
Just as you need to know how to work with music, and how to use your DJ equipment, you also need a lesson or two on some technical skills. The best DJs know not only how to use things like scratching to their advantage, but how to avoid over-using it too.
Learning to scratch at the right moment, in the right circumstances, can help to set you apart in this competitive market. The same can be said for other techniques, like ¾ deck mixing.
While you’re out there searching for best DJ tips and taking classes online, search for opportunities to build your skillset with some technically impressive talents. At the same time, remember not to use the skills that you learn too often, or you might look unprofessional.
14. Learn From Your Mistakes
The truth is that you are going to make some mistakes as a budding DJ.
The road to success is littered with hurdles, and when you’re working in a complicated industry like this one, you’re going to trip up at times. The important thing to remember is that you need to forgive yourself for your mistakes.
This is your chance to build some character by learning from the issues you’ve had before and using what you know now to get better. Usually, you can learn so much more from a single mistake than you would from dozens of successes. Take advantage of your mistakes and use them
15. Be Different
Finally, make sure that you have something about you that sets you apart from the crowd.
There are tons of other DJs just like you trying to make it in this competitive environment. You need to be able to show what makes you different.
Find a way to make sure that you stay in your audience’s memory. This could mean bringing more impulsiveness and spontaneity into your mixes. It could mean that you experiment with different sounds and build a strong relationship with your listeners.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t blend into the crowd.
Mastering Our Best DJ Tips
Becoming a professional DJ isn’t always as simple as it seems.
But with these 15 Best DJ tips that will improve your DJ career, you’re already making a great start.
There are challenges to overcome, just like any career. The good news is that with the right and best DJ tips, you can ensure that you’re moving on the right track.
If nothing else, keep the 3 P’s in mind as you plan your road to success: Practice, Persistence, and Planning. If you get those 3 things down, then the rest should fall into place.