So we reach the end of our ten commandments for better digital DJing, with a fitting commandment that highlights two related temptations for digital DJs, things that they previous generation of DJs didn’t really have to worry about.
Temporarily forget this commandment and you could end up missing the point about what’s really important in DJing, screengazing more than you have to, spending more money that you need to, and maybe even boring your audiences!
Today’s commandment, then, is this:
Remember that DJing is about people and music, not gear and tricks.
In the video and resources, we explain exactly why this is particularly a “digital” problem, where turntablism and controllerism fit in to the modern DJ’s arsenal of tricks, how you can be technical but still respect the DJ’s art, and why it always pays off to stick with a limited amount of gear and really learn to use it properly.
These ten commandments are part of our Campaign for Better Digital DJing, which aims to improve the image of digital DJs among other DJs and the public.
As such, we’re asking you to click the Facebook Like button at the end of the post (if you enjoy it, of course).
I wouldn’t like you to misunderstand us here. We’re not saying avoid looping, key mixing, effects and so on – we’re saying these things should be used to enhance a set based on good music, proper programming and getting your audience to dance (and doing something about it if they’re not) – all things that haven’t changed in decades.
Here are more resources from the blog that explain and offer practical advice on ensuring you keep this balance right:
- Get back to basics – Your Questions: “Learning To DJ Is Overwhelming Me” has turned into a bit of a classic post, with one brave reader confessing his gear sins and lots of great advice from the community on how to get back on track. If you feel you’re over-complicating your DJing, read it
- Go easy on the tricks – Does Controllerism Mean DJing Is No Longer About The Audience? outlines this blog’s view on “controllerism” (as in over-elaborate controller tricks, not using controllers in general) and on being careful to always centre what you do on your audience. For us, the best technical DJs are those who are so good that their technique becomes invisible
- Concentrate on the music, the people and the party – Your Questions: Help, I Look Boring Behind the Decks! is another cornerstone post that explains how focusing on these things and not on being over-elaborate will improve your DJing, and ensure that both you and your audience have more fun
- Using even less gear! – We will shortly be publishing a guide/course on DJing with just a laptop, so if the kind of minimalism I spoke of in the video appeals to you, check out Coming Soon: How To DJ Properly With Just a Laptop. And for eye-opening stories of pro DJs using iPhones to DJ with, read Cue Play DJ 1.5 Review: Can You Really DJ In A Club With This?
Finally, also please understand us on the gear thing. Gear is great! But once you choose a piece of gear (hopefully having studied our gear reviews to make the right choice), it’s time forget about the tech for a bit and concentrate on being a DJ. Move from the “What shall I get?” mindset to “What shall I do with what I’ve got?”, and resist the temptation to look for the solution to your current problem in another piece of kit.
We hope this material has been useful to you, and thank you once again for Liking this post in order to help us spread our campaign for better digital DJing far and wide…
Check out the other parts of this series:
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #1
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #2
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #3
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #4
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #5
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #6
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #7
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #8
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #9
What are your views on our tenth commandment? Are you guilty of spending too much time worrying about your gear and too little actually using it? Have you pulled “one trick too many” in front of an audience, or caught yourself screengazing instead of interacting with the crowd? Please let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.