How do know what the DJ style you need really is? With more and more kids and adults looking to learn to DJ, it’s not surprising I’m getting plenty of messages from guys out there asking for advice on how to get the ball rolling.
I’m happy to give out tips and advice and I’ll reply to every mail I can, and sometimes I’ll write a full article about it.
This time, I got contacted by a guy called Joseph in Paris, France, which is where I currently live.
im french living in paris actually i m learning how to be a dj but the problem is i dont know where to start im trying house but i dont really which artist i have to listen.
where am i suppose to start?
Basically, you’re confused about which DJ style you need to be successful and play banging gigs to crowds of hungry dancers.
I didn’t have this problem myself as I’d already thought about what tunes I would play even before buying any equipment and learning to mix. I knew what I wanted to share with people.
Be A DJ For The Music
Normally if you want to learn to DJ, it’s because you’ve heard the music and it’s woken up some feelings in you. You have a strong urge to share what you like and feel passionate about making other people dance and feel happy.
This is when you decide to become a DJ for the best reason: because you want to share the music and you want people to feel the way you do about it.
DJs who play for the music tend to be better DJs, are more intuitive and more passionate.
Remember that you should be playing out for the right reasons, and not because you think that DJing will get you a ready lineup of hot girls leaning over the decks, leaving their numbers and waiting for you at the end to go to a “party”.
DJ For The Right Reasons
I have to be up front and tell you that if you want to learn to mix just beause you think it’s cool and you’ll be popular, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll impress anyone.
Natural DJs who play for the music get gigs all the time, without even trying hard. Friends will constantly be asking them for advice to help with music selection at parties and for tips on the latest hot tunes.
DJs who only learn because it’s trendy or because they want attention rarely get many gigs.
Remember: don’t try to be what you’re not. You can’t force yourself to become a DJ, you either have it or you don’t.
Digging Out Your Deepest DJ Passions
Where To Start With DJ Music – 5 Tips
These 5 tips can help you discover your DJ core and purpose: the music that you connect with and the tracks that will make people groove and dance to your tracks.
1. Think Back To Your Best Night Out
I want you to remember the top 5 best nights out you ever had in terms of music. Think back to why the music made you feel so good, what the DJ did in terms of selection. Did the music build up, was it hard, soft, vocal, emotional?
This is a tip for your future DJ style. Every track that makes the hairs on your neck stand up because you love it so much is likely to influence your own style. Every track that made you jump up and start dancing like no one was watching is what you can use to influence you.
Get these tunes, every single one of them. Find associated tracks using itunes and spotify. Go through your music collection and listen to it again and again. Which other tracks make you feel this way?
Use both the itunes store and genius function to grab all the tracks which you feel will produce positive reactions in people.
Remember at all times that people don’t like music just because you like it.
I have a friend who thinks that people must love the latest niche electro because it’s cool and he thinks so. This doesn’t work. You have to be listening through the ears of other people as well, at all times.
2. Don’t Play A DJ Style Because Others Do
Don’t become a DJ just because DJ Phil, the cool guy at school plays house and he’s popular. House may be the flavour of the moment for many people, but in a couple of years, people may hate that style, including you.
And anyway, DJ Phil is probably playing house because he’s always loved it and it’s taken him years to dig out the best tracks.
3. Listen To Music All The Time
Tap into your feelings by listening to music wherever you can: in the gym, in the car, out walking in the street, at home. Go out and find places where the DJ is playing cool music and absorb the atmosphere.
Get a feeling for what it is that causes a positive reaction in you. Is it the excitement of a track? The build up? The emotional breaks? The more you listen the more you’ll understand.
Playing a style because “you’re meant to” won’t work for you. You’ll end up playing tracks just because they are in that genre and not because they have something groovy about them. Try to forget about style and genre and feel out what makes people feel good about themselves.
Your DJ style will develop by itself if you take this approach.
4. Watch How People React To Music
Go out and hit the bars where they have decent DJs playing. In any sizeable city, there should be a DJ in the best bars or at least a barman who programs the music. Watch what tracks wake people up, especially the girls. Take a note of these tracks (without copying the DJ’s style!) and find similar ones.
Go clubbing and observe how the DJ brings people up to a climax, teases them, builds up again, brings the tempo back down and repeats the whole process. What tracks does he or she use to build up, to unleash fury on the floor and to bring them back down again?
All of this should give you some ideas on how to define your own style. Let it influence you and soak it up.
5. Find And Note Tracks
When you’re out, when you listen to the radio, watch TV, hear a track in a commercial or anywhere else, make sure you write it down.
You can use smartphone apps such as Shazam to detect the music you listen to. If you don’t have a smartphone, just ask the DJ or look up the radio or TV station’s playlists on the Internet.
Whatever you do, make sure that you note down all the tracks that you know will make an impact. These tunes will eventually form the backbone of your DJ sets.
Creating a DJ style when you start is hard for some of us, but just remember that you should be learning to DJ because you genuninely feel passionate about the music and about sharing that music with others. That’s what will drive you to get DJ gigs and that’s what you’ll transmit to people when you play to them.
Going out and having an active social life is the fastest way to soak up influences, learn how to develop your own style and how to read a crowd. Allow yourself to be influenced by crazy nights out. Watch people when they dance and make sure you note down every single track that hits the musical G-spot.