Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Calvin Harris are but a few names of well-known DJs that have made it ot the top after years of dedication and practice. Many DJs just starting out dream of following in the footsteps of these world-famous idols. If you continually surprise your friends with your extensive knowledge of music and you know how to get the party going, then you’re well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged DJ! This blog takes you through the steps to get your career started in the right direction.

How to become a DJ

What kind of DJ do you want to be?

It’s a good idea to consider all the various types of DJs before you get started. There are master DJs who perform at large-scale festivals and trendy night clubs, there are DJs who are hired to provide music at weddings and parties, and then there are DJs who play obscure vinyl records in intimate venues and dives. Every DJ has their own special talent and target audience. You don’t need to possess the ambition to perform in front of thousands of people in order to be a successful DJ! It’s all about doing what makes you feel good.

Building up your music collection

Before you run out and invest in expensive equipment or sign yourself up with a booking agency, it’s important to have a comprehensive, unique collection of music. How you accumulate your music is up to you. Some DJs have shelves full of vinyl records while others download what they need from the World Wide Web. If you go for digital, pay close attention to the audio format of the files you purchase. The most common digital audio format is MP3, but that isn’t always the best choice. MP3 files are compressed, which means they take up less space on your computer. The disadvantage is that the quality of the audio is often sacrificed, resulting in the loss of the low and high frequencies of your track. You probably wouldn’t hear this audio quality loss on most (compact) sound systems at home, but you would hear it when you’re performing at a festival or club. To maintain excellent audio quality, it’s best to purchase uncompressed files like WAV (Windows), AIFF (Apple) or FLAC (open-source). These formats do take up more space on your computer or USB stick, but the quality will be a world of difference.


Once you’ve built up a good music collection, it’s time to learn how to beatmix your tracks so they run smoothly from one to the next. To do this, you’ll need the proper equipment to practice. The type of equipment you choose depends on your choice between vinyl, CDs, digital files or a combination of all three using turntablesmultimedia players, a DJ controller, a set of DJ headphones and possibly a software or timecode system. In each category, you’ll find a wide selection of entry-level, mid to high-end models and absolute top-of-the-line gear. In order to practice at home, it’s a good idea to invest in a set of studio monitors or speakers.

Start mixing!

The biggest challenge in becoming a good DJ is learning how to beatmix. Luckily, thanks to modern technology, there are tools and software available such as TraktorSerato or Rekordbox  that help you sync your tracks so they run seamlessly from one to the next. That being said, beatmixing is more than just ensuring that the beats of the tracks are synchronised. With more practice and experience under your belt, you can start to experiment with the actual structure of a track. This is important when selecting the point in your track to initiate the mix. Modern technology may make it easier to do this, but we recommend learning how to beatmatch by ear as well (ensuring the tempo and beats of two tracks are synced). This enhances your connection to the music and gives you the creative freedom to mix a set without having to rely on technology. Learning how to beatmix intuitively takes time, so our advice is: practice, practice, practice! Listen to other DJs and experiment with your music and your gear, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful DJ! Good luck!

See also

> All DJ gear & effects

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