Hi, I’m Dave from boyinaband.com and today I’ll be teaching you how to be a DJ.
First thing, it’s important to own a pair of turntables and a mixer to be taken seriously as a DJ. You won’t actually be using them (Decks in front of me) – these are just for show really, if you look closely there’s actually no stylus on, and this isn’t vinyl, it’s a piece of paper with “Vinyl” written on it. Instead you’ll be using this – a laptop.
An MP3 player can do the job as well, but if you do get one make sure you buy an iPod – while iPods are considerably more expensive than many competing brands of music player, iPods have a vector image of a piece of fruit on them.
So let’s begin – press play. *Play Electro House* Now we’re getting somewhere.
Now some people think that this is about as complicated as it gets for a DJ, but they don’t know the real intricacies there are in the craft. When it comes to these more advanced techniques, this is when you’ll need a controller.
Let’s start with the a technique called the “Rewind” -
This is when just after a song drops that people are enjoying you have to stop the music *do it*, bring it back with your deck and play it again.
You see, a common misconception about DJing is that it’s important to keep the flow of the music going to keep everyone dancing. This is really narrow minded – when a song drops and everyone’s really getting into it, that’s a sign to replay that song immediately.
Now would be a good time to introduce the clubber. Clubbers have notoriously short memory spans, and since most club music isn’t very repetitive, it’s a wasted opportunity not to play it again.
On the subject of repetitiveness – Being a DJ you will no doubt have a wide selection of songs available, but the important thing to remember is to play exactly the same things that were played at the club the night before.
Now, a good DJ is prepared – make sure you have the entire playlist pre-recorded for your set so you don’t have to worry about messing up, thinking about songs to suit the audience anything like that.
Periodically though, it’s important to put one headphone to your ear and bob up and down a little, just to keep people on their toes.
When mixing between songs, many people will tell you the most vital thing is to match the bpm, or beats per minute of the tracks, so they flow together. This is a very overused technique and from my experience with more modern DJing, the best way to transition between two songs is to simply fade into the song, making sure you have this sample on hand. Trigger it several times, ensuring it’s about 10dB louder than the rest of the mix. Seamless.
Remember – the crossfader is not for mixing, the computer will do all that for you, instead, use it to cut out the song frequently so the drunk clubbers can attempt to sing along.
Ensure you come in a few milliseconds after the beginning of the next bar.
You might find yourself a little bit bored after about 3 songs in once you’ve checked your facebook. To keep yourself entertained, this is the time to talk over songs as they drop.
Clubbers love this – remember, they’re there for the DJ, not the music. If you can do this more frequently and emphatically over the better songs, it generally works most effectively.
If you’re a socially awkward type, never fear, there is a strong convention about what to talk to the clubbers about.
Firstly, suggest that they put their hands up – particularly if the song is already suggesting this, since clubbers appreciate the reassurance.
Second tip – try suggesting that people scream for something, I generally recommend whatever national holiday is closest, somebody’s birthday, or if all else fails, screaming for the day of the week.
If you’re still worried about what you’re saying, ensure the treble is turned right down on your microphone. While it does render you completely unintelligible, People will get the gist of your intentions from the tone of your voice, and you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing.
I’m going to stop it there so we can focus for a second, because Health and safety in the workplace is vital.
Remember that putting on a more intense song, perhaps some drum and bass or dubstep, might encourage more testosterone-fueled clubbers to engage in a style of dancing called “moshing” or “fighting”.
Don’t worry though, this can be safely counteracted by requesting that they don’t “mosh” since inebriated clubbers always do exactly what you ask them to.
The talking does get tiresome on its own, so a technique commonly alternated with it, is the use of FX.
Now I better explain a bit of clubber psychology for you – remember, they’ve heard the same songs time and again – the least you can do is to spice them up a bit! So ensure that you’ve got a massive amount of phase, filter and most importantly, beat repeat to hand.
I hope these tips have been useful, I’ve seen DJs all over the place using them to great effect and I’m sure you will too.
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Cheers for watching, and have a nice day!