It’s pretty common to surround ourselves with images of what DJing should look like. Lights. Crowds. A shot from the booth. This is the inspiration for most of us to continue our hunt for the next great track. We want to get to a level where things are cool, easy and free. It’s an awesome dream! So keep heading for it. And while you’re learning to DJ, check out one basic rule about what to expect along the way.

Started from the bottom

Think of a career in music like a pyramid. At the top is the pure high art, written by celebrated artists for centuries. Also the most rare. The barrier to entry for this club is sky high. Only a handful join, ever. Most of us hang around at the base of the pyramid, where it’s easier to be. We’re not trying to make high art. We’re trying to have a good time with good people. So there’s no reason to complicate things.

But at the base of the pyramid are loads more people. This is where we start the climb. This is where we continue the upward trudging away from obscurity and into professionalism. Many of us are competing for a higher spot in whatever way we can.

And the rule is…

So here’s the general rule: the easier something is to do, the more people are able to do it. And, of course, the opposite is true: the harder something is to do, the fewer people are able to do it. This rule should guide you throughout any creative career you choose.

It should inform your track selection. The easier it is to find your tracks, the more people are finding the same tracks. Should you ever manage to fly across the world to go crate digging for obscure vinyls in an African village, you’ll likely end up with a cut that nobody else has. And DJing is all about having the music that nobody else has.

The short and long game

The easier it is to summon crowd of people in a busy part of town, the more quickly they’re going to disappear when the next act comes along. Conversely, if your small audience consists of people who make the effort to get out to your slot on a rainy night, it means they’re invested in you. These are the people who stick by you through it all.

The easy and the difficult approaches can also be framed as the short and long game. It’s up to you where you’d like to position yourself. The short game means more instantly gratifying success which can disappear just as instantly. The long game means deeper and more meaningful connections that may take forever to forge.

It’s entirely up to you how you want to go about making a name for yourself. What is essential to all paths, however, is that you’ll need to know how to work the gear. You’ll need to know what DJing is about, how to stoke a crowd and when to play it chill. Learn to DJ with DJ Courses Online by signing up for one of the programs and level up today.

John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ.