I have a friend who started listening to electronic music because of Deadmau5 and Skrillex (don’t we all) but doesn’t know anything about DJing or how to become a DJ. Together we watched a YouTube video demoing the Ableton Push. It’s a cool video showing how modern producers create and perform music, and for people who aren’t familiar with this world it’s pretty awesome to see a grid of random lights and buttons turn into entrancing sounds right before your eyes.

That’s exactly the effect it had on my buddy. With every new progression in the song his mouth hung a little further open, and by the end he was staring wide-eyed at the screen. “That. Was. Amazing!” he exclaimed. “I want one!”

Now I’m obviously happy to see someone become interested in the DJ world and performing electronic music, but at the same time I’m a little nervous about my friend’s enthusiasm. You see, without guidance and direction I’m worried that my friend is on a dangerous path.

It’s true that the Ableton Push is a great device, but it’s six hundred bucks. For someone just starting out, that’s six hundred dollars worth of power and performance that they don’t know what to do with.

It’s kind of like when you watch a snowboarding video and see a guy on a top-of-the-line Burton board do a graceful backflip off of a thirty foot jump. People see that and think “Wow, if my snowboarding heroes ride Burtons, I better get one too.” But obviously owning the same gear won’t yield the same results without the years of practice and dedication to go along with it.

The same is true for the Ableton Push; without the knowledge to use it, it’ll quickly turn into an expensive paperweight.

A far better approach is to buy something simple, cheap, or even used so that you can build your skills while making sure that this is something that you truly have the passion and desire to pursue. As you get better, you’ll understand exactly what your needs and preferences are so that you can buy more expensive equipment that fits your tastes, and you’ll be able to get the most out of it.

Another way to make sure you don’t waste money on gear that you’re not ready for is by learning from people who have gone through the same learning process. Guys who have been there and done it can tell you what essential equipment you should invest your money in. “Skip this device, skimp on this controller, splurge on this software.” They can help you avoid the pitfalls of enticing gear that you simply don’t need while knowing when to spend money on things that you can grow into.

One great resource that does just that is our DJ training videos at DJcoursesonline.com. It’s an online DJ school that will teach you everything you need to know about how to DJ. It’s very affordable, but if it helps you avoid buying just one piece of equipment that you wouldn’t have needed, it’ll more than pay for itself.