When you’ve been a DJ for a long time, there are things you see in other DJs that others may not have. Good things. Things that scream “professional”. They are often subtle. Small, even. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our best tips for becoming a DJ.
It’s not just “professionalism” – often just code for someone crossing the line. It’s a strong positivity. I mean a clear approach to what can be done. Great DJs are often easygoing. They solve problems; they don’t create problems. A good indication is to speak another language or two. That and other small skills indicate that the head is still learning. Respectful. Look at the crowd of ambitious hopefuls who decamp to Berlin without learning a word of German and come back a few years later wondering why they didn’t succeed. Attitude is the opposite of entitlement.
A good DJ can use any facility. Anything. They can get people dancing by banging two rocks together if it comes to that. Sure, they have their preferences and demands, but if the pressure comes on, it’s on them, not the technician. Their technique starts in their head, not in their hands.
They have to figure it out if you take that DJ and drop them into any situation with nothing but the shirt on their back. A good DJ can even play along with other people’s tunes and sound better than his owner. Live pressure is no pressure at all. This confidence creates a solid foundation for taking musical risks. A dull, timid selector is petrified of standing out.
Go with the flow
A great DJ is able to fit in. They don’t play pre-arranged or parrot sets by rote. They are able to improvise. They come in with everything they need to do whatever is needed. Sometimes things can get very messy at a gig. A pro comes up with all kinds of weird situations. Above all, being relaxed and fluid means paying attention. A great DJ walks into a room and knows almost immediately what’s going on and what needs to happen.
The most brutal techno can be delivered with restraint and intelligence. Great DJs understand the nuances. They work with the sound crew, not against them. They understand the work of everyone on site. They know not to interfere with the security and not to blow up equipment in front of cameras and punters. They understand how harassing the bar staff can be.
The levels are manageable in the booth. There are no red lines. No white lines. They clean up after themselves as they go. They use their ears instead of their eyes. They are in tune with the arc of the night. They build a whole. They don’t hammer firecrackers if they play early. They feel and respond to the energy of the crowd. They also show consideration for others, like knowing that other working staff members might want to get home on time at the night’s end.
I’m not talking about slender legs, long necks, and nice pants. “Grace” is about how you handle being a DJ. Understanding that it’s not a crime that someone wants to talk to you. Being nice. Being able to talk about other DJs with respect. Don’t get all worked up when someone gives you advice. Keep your ego at bay.
Not every great one has all of these. But these are all signs that someone has something special. And these are things that most people don’t consciously observe at all but maybe feel. These are things that I see that pop up all the time in DJs that we all tend to admire. I wish I had all those qualities. But having some sort of code to aspire to is something rather than nothing.
Looking for help?
For all your DJ lessons, call Rakoon Sound Studios. Based in Miami, they are a fully equipped music studio dedicated to Miami’s local music and artist community. They are in a cozy and popular area in Midtown Miami, with cafes, restaurants, and bars making up the environment. Whatever your audio or musical project, they have the technology and right personnel to guide you through creating great music.
From experienced sound engineers and music producers to professional DJs and music teachers, they are surrounded by a group of masters in the field. So, what are you waiting for? Call them for more information about their services or to book their studio for a live recording!