What Makes a Good DJ
What Makes a Good DJ?
Okay, this is a subjective subject and very much open to debate. To help us understand what qualities help a DJ become successful and perform great sets we polled our alumni. Here are the results!
- Musical Knowledge
A DJ is a curator of sets. We scour the world for the best tracks and weave them together to form unforgettable moments on the dance-floor. Musical knowledge, past and present, is a fundamental skill for all DJs. Track selection is paramount for creating memorable and creative performances. DJs also need to know about music itself, music and sound theory. The more an artist works and understands their medium the more mastery they have over it.
- DJ Skills
To be successful you have to exude confidence and the only way to get confidence is to be great and what you do. You have to learn the skills and practice them to perfection! Learning never stops and DJs should constantly strive to learn new skills and even invent some of their own.
This is the cornerstone of any art-form. There are so many ways to be creative as a DJ, from the music to the way you present yourself. How do you express yourself?
It’s so secret that the music business can be tough! You need to grow a thick skin and be determined to overcome all obstacles in your path. When you get knocked down just get back up again. Don’t let rejection stop you, go back to the drawing board a thousand times until you get it right.
- Networking Skills
It’s what you know but it’s also who you know! Make sure you network and create new connections. Attend seminars, clubs, events, festivals, any place where you might meet your next opportunity.
- Reading a Crowd
This is a skill you can only learn from experience gigging. Reading a crowd is the art of anticipating what to play and how to take your audience on a journey. You have to engage with the crowd, empathise with them and lead them to a higher place.
- Risk Taking
You have to be ready to take risks. Take a leap of faith and travel the path less trodden. When an opportunity arises, grab it by the horns and ride it all the way to the bank. Take a risk on that track you’re not sure how anyone will react to, be the creative leader of the pack!
No one gets anywhere in the music industry by moaning! Be a positive force, a preacher of love and compassion. If they take the low road always take the high road. Positivity combined with determination will open many doors.
Stay humble! You might be riding high one moment but quickly you can go out of fashion. Don’t burn bridges or make enemies in the industry, always treat people with respect and kindness.
- Business Skills
It’s not called the music business for nothing! To be a successful DJ you do need to be business savvy. Make sure you understand the economics of business models like events and publishing. Seek out new business and growth opportunities wherever possible. Keep it professional and be a big player in your industry.