What it Takes to Become a DJ

Technically, to become one, you don't need a certification or a license for it. It's not your average job to become a DJ, so licensure requirements are minimal; however, there are some radio stations that do have some requirements. (Photo: Pixbay)
Technically, to become one, you don’t need a certification or a license for it. It’s not your average job to become a DJ, so licensure requirements are minimal; however, there are some radio stations that do have some requirements. (Photo: Pixbay)

So you decided to become a DJ; you love music and want people to enjoy listening to music too. But you’re probably asking yourself where you should start, take a look below at things you need to consider if you ever want to be in this line of work.

The Background Needed to Become a DJ

Some DJs come from different fields and backgrounds. Some already have a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree, depending on what they decided to change in their life. It’s possible that they aren’t happy with their old job and want to build a career elsewhere, or they have enough time to have a day job and be a DJ at the same time. Whichever reason it is, they all share one thing in common. Their passion for music, and matching their own musical expressions with the desires of different audiences. Having that balance is key.

Technically, to become one, you don’t need a certification or a license for it. It’s not your average job to become a DJ, so licensure requirements are minimal; however, there are some radio stations that do have some requirements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some radio DJs are only required to have a high school diploma. But that doesn’t stop many of these professionals from earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, communications, or any other similar field. A 4-year Bachelor’s degree program in broadcast journalism includes coursework in narrative radio, multimedia producing, broadcast writing, media research techniques, and radio announcing. So it does come in handy and might make you earn a little extra from your monthly salary.

Your Equipment Is Everything

Some people think that you are only as good as your equipment, and for the most part, that statement is kind of true. According to the people at DJ Equipment Reviews, there is quite an array of different possible setups that you could invest in. That is why it is important to know what you are getting yourself into when you are purchasing your DJ equipment. You need to be prepared to carry it around, assemble and disassemble, setting up shop at the right spot at that gig of yours, and test-drive everything beforehand. You need to get acquainted with the different software, helpful apps, and lighting systems. And you need to have proper cases and protective cushioning in each to protect your gear and equipment from any possible damage.  Once you have all that prepared, you are one step closer to greatness in this business.

How Long Does it Take to Become Famous? 

There isn’t a definitive answer to this, because it all depends on many different factors. It can take months of frequent practice to reach the level at which you can start earning gigs, not to mention weeks, months, or even years of practice and performance to become successful. Honing your craft and becoming skillful with what you do best isn’t the only important thing; it’s far more complex than that. You need to have the ability of understanding people, and being able to communicate effectively with all kinds of people and their personalities. Another important thing is understanding music and how people react to the music you’re playing. How much time to master this can never be known, and the results you’d get also depends on your ability and luck.

What Does It Take To Be Good?

This is where a lot of people get confused and cannot have a decent relationship with their customers or audiences. You need to be authentic, meaning people love it when you are real. Fakeness can be seen and smelled from miles away, people want their money’s worth, and that’s why they want the real deal. Most people will be able to see through you, so that’s why authenticity is key. People will always appreciate that you’re genuine and honest. And this is how you can get more gigs, people that happen to be at that certain events are going to come to talk with you and ask for your card. This will lead to many more bookings, your name spreading out there to more people, and your fan base would begin to grow.

You Have To Be Flexible

This business is dynamic, and you have to be susceptible to change because people are already like that. Try to keep an open mind during negotiations, the key to understanding people is knowing where they’re coming from. If they want to lower your service fee, it might be good for you in a way. In some cases, if they pay a little less than what you’re asking for, and you do an amazing job and make them happy. Then you’re going to get a huge tip when you’re done and will be asked for more bookings in the future. And that’s because you were decent enough to understand the situation, it’s more lucrative for you most of the time when you do this. Beats not getting any bookings at all, and be smart to know if you’re getting taken advantage of or not.

Be Prepared For Random Events

It’s possible that you may be getting fewer bookings during some seasons, so your frequent house parties don’t have to be the one gig that you do only. There are weddings, sweet 16 birthdays, promotional corporate events, and even your random swinger party or local gay pride parade event. You have the choice of changing the prices for events you aren’t really used to doing, but be open-minded about taking those gigs. Your name is spreading everywhere, so you might as well take the chance and get paid to do what you love.

You have the choice of changing the prices for events you aren't really used to doing, but be open-minded about taking those gigs. (Photo: Pixbay)
You have the choice of changing the prices for events you aren’t really used to doing, but be open-minded about taking those gigs. (Photo: Pixbay)

Being a DJ might seem easy, but it’s actually not. It requires a lot of patience, determination, and willpower. Like any job, it’s tough, and if you think you’re seeing someone making it look easy, that’s because they are so good at it that they’ve become pros at their craft. Hone your skills, feed your passion, and you too can become a pro. 

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