How to Become a DJ

A Brief History of DJs

Disc jockeys started when the first radio broadcasts happened in 1906. The radio stations would play popular music, which became part of the culture of the time. The first DJ live show was in 1943, Following from there, records became more popular as people would go out to dance at clubs, and DJs were used to man the phonographs (and vinyl turntables later).

Eventually the equipment became more sophisticated, and reflected the style of music at the time. Eventually with the advent of computer generated music, and MIDI equipment, people started recording loops and software was produced to arrange these. The beginning of electronic music grew from synthesisers and multi-track analogue recording equipment, to sound sampling and electric instruments being jacked into computers to mix the sounds.

Musicians were highly experimental, and DJs started forming their own particular type of genres of music, such as dubstep, drum and bass, trance and other forms of computer generated music. Loop artists formed libraries and took their creations to the stage as they merged hip-hop and R&B and a number of other styles with live drum machines and sequencers to create a new style of dance music.

As the rave scene started to take over the discos, many parties went underground as partygoers would take psychotropics, and merge into the whole altered state of consciousness. The music such as trance would amplify the effect of the drugs, creating an entire type of experience that would be popular for several decades.

As more types of new-age psychotropics were released amongst millenials and Gen-Y experimented, even more types of creative music styles were made. The industry demanded more sophisticated equipment, and specialist instruments to interface with the software, so Ableton Live, and the Ableton Push Deck were created in order to provide more variety in the way that DJs could make music.

What is Need to Become a DJ

To become a DJ, a strong desire to create electronic music and generally a goal of performing live to audiences is generally what makes people want to become a DJ. DJs are typically audiophiles, having an extensive collection of music, and have a wide variety of reference sources. Music styles can be as vast as classical, to recent rock/pop and world music styles.

Famous DJs usually have had a history of a wide exposure to a number of different instruments and types of music, and generally have learned to play a traditional instrument. Some idea of music theory is also advantageous, although not entirely necessary.

Writing music, and becoming good at performing live is demanding, as there is a large amout of self-discipline necessary to push forward with being viewed as an excellent DJ that people will want to pay to see, and listen to. Persistence in learning how to write good music, and the ability to focus are imperative.

An enjoyment of music, and also of performance art are also two personal qualities necessary in becoming a DJ.

First Steps in Becoming a DJ

After you have identified that you wish to become a DJ, it is important to invest in some equipment. A reasonable amount of money (usually around $500 to $5000) to purchase new equipment and a block of lessons is generally needed to expend on the first steps towards achieving your goal to become a DJ.

Once you have purchased your equipment and lessons, it is important to start to feel comfortable with yourself and a career as a DJ, whether that be live or recording artist. People have high standards for what they listen to, so ensure that if you are determined to release your material to the public, that you are aware of what styles are currently popular, and make good sound judgements about how you compose your music.

It is also good to have a healthy dose of resilience, and understanding that writing music is a process, and that it the journey has its own rewards. Finding a good and understanding teacher is imperative as you will want to learn how to compose and perform DJ music from someone who is patient and understanding.

Once you are ready and confident, and your teacher has assured you that you have gotten to a satisfactory point in your learning, it is good to share your music. Sharing your music, like any type of creative art, helps you to get feedback about where you should be going with your creative endeavours. Be prepared to receive some constructive criticism, and this will help in the formation of some high quality work.

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