"I Want To Learn to DJ!" – How You Can Do It Fast
It’s never been easier to learn to DJ with software and digital gear, and it’s never been cheaper either – but ironically, it’s probably also never been harder to know where to start. Traktor? Serato Virtual DJ? Controllers, digital vinyl, CDs? So much gear, so many choices…
But if you’ve decided that you want to learn to DJ free, online, and to do it fast, we can help! We’re the biggest and best digital DJing site for beginners. Our DJ Test assesses your level then offers you personalised free online training and has been taken by tens of thousands of DJs! You should definitely start there, but also, read on to find out more about what we offer…
Learn to DJ online
Here at Digital DJ Tips, we’ve published hundreds of articles over the past years aimed at helping people just like you – people who want to learn to DJ using modern, digital DJ gear.
(Why digital? Take a look at our article 5 Reasons Why Digital DJing Beats Vinyl to see why digital is the way to go.)
Of course, you may want to play old soul 7″ singles on a pair of belt-drive record decks, and if so – good luck to you! But most DJs nowadays, vinyl and CDs are dead and digital is the only way to go. In 2010, Digital DJing overtook vinyl/CDs for the first time, and doubled its lead into 2011/12. By 2017, streaming music had overtaken both physical and digital sales. The times they are a-changin’!
Learn to DJ free?
There are stacks of excellent paid-for DJ courses, both at schools in major cities and online (or you could simply buy a book – our own Rock The Dancefloor! is an Amazon bestseller…).
But if you’re a DIY kind of person, you don’t need anything more than a bit of gear, some tunes, and access to this site to get a really good head start.
The first thing you want to do is work out what type of digital DJ you want to be. Your choice is between “digital vinyl” and “controller” digital DJing.
Learn to DJ on a digital vinyl system…
Digital vinyl is when you have a normal DJ set-up (two turntables or two DJ CD players and a mixer) and add a digital vinyl kit to it, such as Traktor Scratch Pro 2. This kit lets you plug your laptop in to the system, and use the kit to control DJ software on the laptop.
Sound complicated? It is, but it would make sense if you already had all the old DJ gear, for instance, or if using “real decks” was very important to you. (Read Over To You: Should I Sell My Controller & Buy A Digital Vinyl System? for lots of views on the pros and cons of digital vinyl.)
…or on a DJ controller?
Controller DJing is what we cover the most on Digital DJ Tips, and what we recommend for most DJs. A DJ controller duplicates much of the functionality of “old” DJ gear, adds a lot more, and typically plugs into your laptop via just one lead.
You then plug a pair of DJ headphones in, add a DJ sound card if the controller doesn’t have one built in, and you’ve basically got in front of you what DJs scraped and saved for years to own just a generation ago.
Get the music, learn the art
To fill your music collection, sign up to How To Digital DJ Fast for loads of great music discovery ideas and much more (it’s a free 50-part course), and then it’s a case of starting off on the road to your first public gig (and we recommend you book one quick and practise like hell once you have).
Just want to know the “rules”? Ten Commandments of Digital DJing will give you a framework for your learning. If you’re really serious about your making a career of DJing, take a look at the How To Succeed at DJing, which in 13 parts takes you from rookie to one-man DJ business.
So much more to learn…
We have hundreds and hundreds of original article on DJing and DJ culture, the gear, interviews, opinion pieces, tutorials, how-tos… search our categories for everything from dealing with DJ requests to how Apple’s iCloud could change DJing.. Happy learning!