My girlfriend recently forwarded me an article about the seven steps to mastering any new skill. For the past several months I’ve been talking about learning Spanish so I think this was her way of giving me a kick in the butt.
As I was reading the article my mind started drifting off of Spanish and onto DJing, and I realized how many of these things applied to learning how to DJ. Here are some of the ideas that I had:
1. Embrace the fear
I guess learning any new skill, or starting out as an absolute beginner in any new pursuit, has a certain level of fear involved. Other than that though I wouldn’t call DJing a particularly scary thing to learn how to do. Sure, performing can be downright terrifying for some people, but that usually comes much later in a DJ’s career. Starting out though, I will say that learning how to DJ can be incredibly intimidating. There is so much to learn- skills, equipment, software, techniques, style, song selection, music mechanics, etc.- it’s hard to even know where to begin. Approach it like an adventure though; see the excitement in embarking on a new path.
2. Be patient
Realize that you’re not going to be the next Daft Punk overnight. Instead of putting huge expectations on yourself, tell yourself that you’re in it for the long haul. Give yourself a long timeline to learn and improve.
3. Take baby steps
This relates a lot to patience. Set small and realistic goals for yourself. Tell yourself by the end of the month I want to be comfortable with this new software. Or I want to be able to recreate this one song by my favorite artist. Or even smaller than that: I just want to be able to reproduce a certain sound I like from a popular song. By setting and reaching small and attainable goals, learning how to DJ will be incredibly fun and you’ll keep building momentum.
I love reading biographies of successful people and the one characteristic that I see in every single one is persistence. Stubborn, bull-headed, never-say-die, unwavering, resilient persistence. That’s the number one most important thing to finding success in life. And that’s what you need to become a DJ as well. Every day spend at least ten minutes learning something new or practicing. For example, try familiarizing yourself with a new effect, or master the ins and outs of a new software plugin. As long as you’re moving forward you’ll get to where you’re going.
5. Practice self-awareness
It might not be obvious right away but this is actually one of the most important things for DJs. You’re going to be constantly barraged with information like who is that hot artist right now, what are the popular trends, what is the must-have gear, who is doing what, etc. Don’t pay attention to any of that. Simply stay true to yourself as an artist and focus on honing your craft.
6. Don’t take things too seriously
When you throw yourself fully into any endeavor, it’s easy to lose yourself in it and let it consume your world. Don’t lose the forest for the trees though: electronic music is all about having a good time, and at the end of the day we have the pleasure of creating music that makes people feel good. Never forget that.
7. Believe in yourself
You’ve got music inside of you, all you have to do is learn how to let it out. That’s all creating music is, and you have to believe that you’ll master your ability to unleash it onto the world. After all, if you don’t who will?
I hope these seven things have given you the inspiration to begin your DJ journey today. If you’re ready to get started but aren’t entirely sure where to begin, check out our online DJ school dedicated to helping you become a master DJ. Good luck!