I took a week-long break recently, flying out to Tokyo to catch a music festival. I realised that even while I’m on a break, I make it a point to run through a few things on my checklist of digital DJ to-dos, all of which involve doing a bit of (fun) work on my laptop.
In the past, my habit was to leave my laptop at home and take along more portable devices like an iPhone, along with a tablet like an iPad and some headphones. I still do this for quick weekend trips, but for longer holidays abroad, I’ve been taking my laptop with me instead and leaving the iPad at home.
I do this because I’m able to do more things related to my digital DJing, especially since I gig using my laptop. You may want to do the same: holidays let you get your head out of the weeds and step out of your daily routine. Taking along the heart of your DJ set-up with you means you can still stay on top of your digital DJ game by doing creative work and music housekeeping without missing a beat.
You can check out my Facebook Live stream below for a more detailed explanation, but here’s a summary of the three things DJs should do:
The 3 Things
1. Spend time discovering new music – what better time to go out of your musical comfort zone than when you don’t actually have to do any DJing? Challenging your tastes and preferences will sharpen your hearing and let you approach the decks with a fresh pair of ears when you step back into the DJ box
2. Manage, organise and trim your music library – is your Downloads folder clogged with MP3s that you haven’t sorted? Or maybe your track tags have been a mess since the start of the year? Spend a bit of time maintaining your DJ library while on break. Work smarter by using an app like beaTunes to tidy up your collection in a snap
3. Update apps and services relevant to your DJing – remembering to update your main DJ software is easy since you’re reminded every time you launch it, but what about those other apps you use relating to your DJing? Maybe you use something like Mixed In Key or Beatport Pro, or maybe you haven’t updated iTunes to the latest version. Now’s the time to do it while you aren’t using your laptop heavily: download updates using your hotel or Airbnb’s WiFi while you hit the beach or go sightseeing, and then install them when you get back
Vacations are meant to be physical and mental refreshers for you, allowing you to step back into your work and normal life with a clear head. Use it as a chance to refresh your laptop and music library too. You don’t need to spend hours every day during your trip doing these things – even just a few minutes can make a world of difference in your DJing, plus you can always listen to new tunes using Spotify or Apple Music on your phone.
Facebook Live video
Do you have a housekeeping / music discovery routine that you stick to whenever you’re on vacation? Share your tips with us below.