Reader Marky writes: “Been reading your website for about two months now and I can’t tell you enough how great a resource it is! Now I just recently started DJing / trying to DJ, and I feel like I understand a lot of things but when it comes down to it, I can’t really tell if I’m getting better or even doing the right things / steps / whatever it takes. I play house for the most part and I try to beatmatch but the way I have been practising lately is not by using the sync button or trying to match the beats, but matching the bass of the two beats and trying to let one flow in (with not much success 😀 ). Am I right at all? How can I tell if I’m making good progress? Thanks in advance!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
This is a subject that comes up time and time again, and one which we are going to cover in more detail on the blog throughout this year. We’ve got some innovative ideas about how to teach it, too – but more of that later! For now though: What you’re doing is practising and experimenting, which is good. But one thing we would say is: Play in public. Even if it’s only parties, a friend’s living room, hell your living room – whatever.
When you say: “I cant really tell if I’m getting better” and “how can I tell if I’m making good progress”, it’s like practising rocking a baby to sleep using a doll – you might think you’ve got the technique, but until you’ve done it over and over again with a real baby, you’ll never know for sure! Likewise, by DJing in public – and in this case, by “public” I mean regularly in front of at least a few other people – you’ll learn the real skills of DJing (tune selection being far more important than mixing, by the way), and you’ll learn faster and truer. You’ll be sure that you’re getting better by what people tell you – and by your mistakes. Mistakes in public really teach you, believe me.
So our advice to you now is: DJ regularly and do it in front of an audience, even if that audience is only your family and friends.
How do you think Marky should approach getting better as a DJ? Is playing in public the best way or did something else work for you when you were starting out? Please let him know in the comments!