Got a new DJ controller as a gift this Christmas? Welcome to the exciting world of digital DJing! In this article, I want to share with you some advice we share with students on our courses here at the Digital DJ Tips DJ school – advice that’ll help you get off to a fine start with your new gear and hobby.
7 Tips For New DJs
- Check the packaging, and keep it somewhere safe – As well as your controller, there are likely to be other items like leads, a product serial number card, extra software offers, a quick start guide and so on. Find these things and keep them safe – and save the packaging, because if you get into this hobby you may well find yourself wanting to upgrade your controller sooner than you think!
- Decide on somewhere to set up your gear – It’s best not to have to set your gear up every time you play, so pick somewhere it can stay “ready to go” if possible. Set up your speakers right next to it, one on each side. You’ll spend a lot of time figuring things out, so a seated position is better than somewhere you have to stand
- Follow the quick start guide to the letter – Setting up DJ gear is easy nowadays, but you’ll still need to get software, maybe update firmware, and other one-off things to get started. The manufacturers make it easy for you, but only if you make sure you do what they tell you – so refer to that quick start guide and follow it!
- Get yourself some music – Nowadays, the chance is high that your new DJ controller and software (or standalone system) works fine with music streaming services. Even if you intend to build (or already have) a music collection of your own, all the streaming services give you a free trial, so to get started nice and quickly, sign up for one of them
- Figure out how to play one track after another – Playing a track on one deck, then switching to a track on the other, is the basic move of DJing – and if you fade smoothly from one to the other, you don’t even have to beatmix to do an OK job – just cutting out the gaps is a fine way to start! Don”t be scared to “do” DJing, even though you know you have lots to learn. We learn by doing…
- Find some training – The fastest way to go from the end of the previous point to using all the features of your DJ gear like a pro is to have someone show you. Check out our DJing Made Easy course if you just want a super-simple way to DJ to friends and family, or if you’re more serious about your hobby, check out the Complete DJ Course. Both assume you’re an absolute beginner, so you’ll learn quickly and easily with either
- Hook up with other DJs – Do yourself a favour, and come and join our Global DJ Network Facebook Group – it’s a safe, welcoming place for beginner DJs to hang out with more experienced DJs, and you’ll find it a wonderful resource for getting your inevitable questions answered as you learn over the coming weeks and months
Always remember that DJing isn’t some hallowed art, accessible only to the few, not the many. If you want to interact more with the music you love, if you want to do more than just listen to it, DJing is your natural next step. It is for all music lovers.
So bring your love for music and a desire to see people having a good time, and never feel you’re not welcome as a DJ. You’ve as much to contribute to this world as anyone.
We hope to get to know you better soon!