I want to share what I think is probably the biggest misconception in the DJ world and learning how to DJ. But first, let me tell you an anecdote (and tell me you haven’t been in the exact same situation before…).
Over the weekend I went out with some friends to a popular spot that’s kind of a mix between a lounge, sports bar, and club. It’s usually a pretty relaxed place to play darts and throw back some beers, but being a Saturday night, this time they had turned a big section of the bar into a lively dance floor and everyone was dressed up in their best club attire.
That’s not the atmosphere my friends were looking for so they weren’t really into it. One of my friends motioned to the DJ booth and yelled over the noise “Look at this guy. He acts like he’s some hardcore musician but all he’s doing is playing iTunes! I could do that!”
I gestured to him to follow me and I led him around behind the back of the booth, so we could look over the DJ’s shoulder. Of course my friend quickly realized that instead of seeing iTunes, he saw a million different tools that the DJ was using to seamlessly blend songs together, match beats, and add in effects. Rather than simply hitting play, the DJ was actually creating something all his own. Sure, maybe he wasn’t creating brand new songs from scratch, but that’s not the point; he was creating a mood, an atmosphere, an energy.
And that is the biggest misconception in the DJ world. People who don’t understand what DJing is all about think that it’s not a real creative art and that all DJs do is hit play. They don’t truly understand what DJs are there to create.
There are two reasons why I share this anecdote.
First of all, for all beginning DJs out there who aspire to entertain crowds, you have to realize that this is a serious art form like any other. You have to practice your craft, hone your skills, and treat it very seriously. Ask yourself, would you be willing to put in the time to get good at the guitar or the piano? If the answer is no, maybe DJing isn’t for you. It’s not something that you can get good at overnight, and you have to have the passion and the discipline to put in the hours.
Secondly, for the people who are reading who have already started their DJ journey, you have to realize that you’re an ambassador for our art form. You need to recognize that many people out there don’t fully understand and appreciate what it is we do. So on behalf of DJs everywhere I beg you: be so damn good at what you do that people’s jaws drop and they say “Wow, that guy is NOT just playing iTunes! I know the songs he’s playing but that is definitely not how it sounds when I hear it on Pandora!” Every time you go perform, try to show people what real DJing is all about.
The best way to do this is by simply studying, practicing, and improving all the time. And if you’re looking for expert instruction from professional DJs right on your laptop, then you’ve come to the right place. Enroll in our online DJ school and get started today – it’s not the only way to get better, but it’s definitely a great way to speed up your learning curve and tap into a tremendous wealth of knowledge.