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  • Writer's pictureKimmy Dickson

How to Start DJing

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

DJing is one of the most popular music careers today. It's also one of the easiest to get into, with all kinds of options for learning how to DJ from scratch. If you have a passion for music and know how to use technology, then becoming a DJ is within reach!

Know what kind of DJ you want to be.

The world of DJing is a broad one, and there are many different roles that people can fill. A technical DJ might be more interested in creating the perfect mix, while an audience-focused DJ might be more concerned with keeping the party going. Some DJs focus on being the life of the party themselves (whether as a performer or just by getting people to dance), while others dwell on the music itself and let others take care of getting everyone moving.

It's important for you to find out what kind of DJ you want to be before you start buying equipment or playing gigs so that you don't end up frustrated with your setup later down the line when it turns out that what worked really well at home doesn't cut it onstage with other performers around—and vice versa!

Familiarize yourself with the major types of DJs

There are a few major types of DJs, and it's important that you familiarize yourself with them.

The Turntablist: The turntablist is your modern-day version of the DJ who spins records. They use their hands to manually manipulate the vinyl platter (or record), creating effects like scratching and beat juggling. Although not as common anymore, this style can still be seen in hip hop music and other genres where samples are heavily used.

The Remixer: The remixer takes existing songs or snippets from various artists' tracks and puts them together into one seamless track that sounds nothing like its source material but retains some aesthetic value from its originals (think Moby's Play or Daft Punk's Discovery). Remixing is often done by adding samples to prerecorded tracks or playing live instruments along with prerecorded ones. This type of DJ may also perform at clubs or other venues where they play their own material instead of mixing between songs like traditional DJs do; for example, Deadmau5 plays original compositions at festivals while Tiesto mixes between songs during his sets at clubs around the world.

Learn the technical skills that are necessary for all DJs.

The technical skills that are necessary for all DJs are:

  • Learning how to use your DJ software.

  • Learning how to use a mixer.

  • Learning how to use your turntables and/or CDJs.

  • Learning how to cue up songs, or get them ready for playback by pressing play on the computer or using controls on the DJ controller.

  • Learning how to beatmatch two songs together so they sound good when played back-to-back at the same tempo (BPM). This takes practice!

  • Mixing two songs together in an interesting way so they sound like one song instead of two tracks being smashed together awkwardly, which can be done several ways but is most commonly accomplished through beatmatching and mixing as described above, adjusting volume levels on each track going into the mix, fading out one song so it fades away while another fades in over top of it (called “cutting”), using EQs or filters in your software program like Traktor Pro 2 or Serato DJ Pro 3 if you're using those programs instead (I'm sure there are many other ways too).

Build a music collection.

The first step to getting started as a DJ is to build your music collection. To do this, you'll want to start with your favorite music. The best way to start is by creating playlists of songs that you love and would listen to in the car or at home on speakers (don't worry about mixing them yet). If you're familiar with particular genres of music such as hip-hop or electronic dance music (EDM), you can also create playlists based on those genres. You may find that some songs work well together while others don't, so try mixing and matching different types of songs until you find a formula that works for what kind of crowd you want to attract.

As far as how much music should be included in your collection: don't worry about it! As long as there's enough for people who like "your sound" then it will be fine—but if there isn't enough variety then users might get bored quickly so try adding more tracks from other genres too! Remember: the key here is quantity over quality... just get started!

Start learning how to use DJ software.

Learning how to use DJ software is a great way to start DJing. You can learn how to mix songs, add effects, and scratch like a pro with practice.

A DJ controller is also a good way to get started in this hobby because it will allow you to learn the basic concepts of mixing before using turntables or CDJs.

After learning how to use a controller, you may want to upgrade your setup by purchasing turntables or CDJs and connecting them directly into your mixer without having any extra equipment between them (except for cables).

Get your first gig and start making money doing what you love!

Once you've put in the work, it's time to reap the rewards.

Be prepared for anything! When it comes to your first gig, you never know what's going to happen. Maybe there will be a fight backstage or one of the other DJs is going to try and steal your spotlight. Maybe people won't show up at all! No matter what happens, stay calm and collected so that you can keep things moving smoothly. The best way to do this is by making sure that you're always ready for anything—from any kind of audience reaction or technical glitch that might arise during your set (e.g., a mouse running across the stage!).

It's never been easier to learn how to DJ, but it's important to get off on the right track with good technique, solid gear, and a good attitude.

Of course, it’s important to have the right attitude about learning how to DJ. If you are a beginner, some of this stuff is going to be difficult at first and you will have no idea what you’re doing. That's okay! The first time I tried my hand at mixing music by ear, there was so much information coming in that it made me feel like my head was going to explode. You'll eventually get used to it as long as you keep practicing and don't give up too soon.


After all, it's not about how good you are—it's about how much fun you have doing it. The DJing world is full of people who love music and want to share that passion with others. You'll find an accepting community of like-minded folks who want nothing more than for you to succeed in this amazing career. So get out there and start mixing!

Join HyperTribe to get these resources at your fingertips

If you want to take your music journey to the next level, join HyperTribe, an online global community of resources for musicians like you. With HyperTribe, you'll have access to a vast collection of educational materials, mentors and a supportive community of fellow musicians. Start your free trial today and see how HyperTribe can help you unlock your musical potential. Good luck on your musical journey.

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