Home Forums The DJ Booth Name a surprising skill you need to be a DJ

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    Phil Morse

    We all know you need musical knowledge, and the ability to read a crowd etc. etc.

    But I’d like to know what lesser skills you think are necessary to be a good DJ nowadays. For instance, it’s actually useful to be a reasonably fast typist, so you can quickly kit CTRL-F and search for the next tune with 20 seconds to spare! Who’d have thought it, eh?

    So – think deep. What surprising, unusual or just plain weird skills do you think are important for DJing nowadays?


    Thick skin / Broad shoulders…


    Good people skills. So you can talk to club owners, sell yourself, leave them with a good impression.

    Phil Morse

    I agree with the people skills, and a sense of business I think too – seeing things from their point of view.


    Not necessarily a necessity, but the ability to stand for long periods at a time comes in handy. Of course aspiring DJs with disabilities can work their way around this, so I hope that comment didn’t deter anyone.


    Being organized.

    mainly music library organization. no matter what kind of dj you are.

    Everybodys biggest headache when they start out and a mistake they take every precaution not to make again lol


    A British accent, all the best DJs have them.

    Chuck Coleman

    In sports they call it “arousal control”. The ability to drop those tracks that give you shivers and make your heart pound every time, and still stay focused with steady hands!


    Not have a big head. Realise that chances are, you aren’t that great. Deal with it and then practice.

    In my local town I can point out tons of floors per night on a Saturday, by our towns biggest club’s resident fucking DJ.
    While playing some top 40, a ministry of sound album or the exact same songs from last week. It’s just crossfade after crossfade, then wind that roll right up, play “put your hands in the air” and drop the new track while yelling your name into the mic. All. Night. Long.

    This might be bad Djing, but they brag about it to people I know and they are in general not very nice guys. I have no gripes if they were residents and they continued to do all that stuff. But it’s the bragging and acting like they are the next big thing that annoys me.



    I’m not sure if anyone will agree but the ability to dance and create signature moves with your body hands and/or head.

    I actually started DJ’ing to create my own dance mixes because I was a breakbeat popper that needed to produce my own material to have my dances choreographed the way I wanted them to … as a result, whenever I’m up there dj’ing I have this tendency to ask the host for a little booster and get on top of that and take over as one of the gogo dancers … now I know you might think this is excessive and you’re not concentrating on your music but if you’ve prepped enough that you’ve got this set in the bag in your head, then you can take little breaks like this and seriously elevate the energy out there.

    The crowd loves to keep their eyes on the DJ, you are the leader after all, and when you can do some damage dance wise, that only gets them happier. It’s my favorite manner of interacting with crowds and it’s paid off.

    I just did a private H-ween gig with 2 other djs and this was my first gig back home mind you. So I didn’t really have my decks (held up at customs, God I love the Middle East). I was forced to use an iPad and the Traktor software on my computer. So naturally I was handicapped, but I don’t let gear deter me from acing my set so I went to practice the two nights before to make sure I can hit all the cues and mash the beats with whatever fx i have in the units. The night arrives, and these two other guys show up with some massive pioneer system top notch quality and proceed to belittle my laptop/iPad combo. I didn’t take it to heart. Most of the partygoers were more interested in how I expected to match their music while dj’in off the iPad with just a headset and some audio interface hardware. Well, the night progresses and by the end of the night I’m bouncing off the walls with energy while the other two djs grab the mics and talk and just stand there smiling at the crowd. The end of the night arrives, and the host comes up to me asking me for my cards. I was ill prepared for this and had none. The guy next to me was irritated and ends up seeking out the host with his cards to pass out. But people are still inquriing into who I was that night, simply because they loved how in tune I was with my music.

    And this really goes back to the point the MOD made in the video about 1) Loving the music and 3) Knowing why you love it. The technical ability I had allowed me to overcome my handicaps and put together mini sets throughout the night that not only rivalled my heavy geared partners but outshined them in the crowds eyes. And to them, it all stemmed from my interactions, my dancing up there.

    So basically, to me, an unusual skill that I’ve seen seriously elevate my game has been my background as a popper and locker and simply a dancer. Brings me a lot closer to the people dancing.


    I think we need a re-wired body clock…we need to be on the ball and at our best when most people are getting ready for bed !


    The ability to dig for amazing tracks and not just play tracks from the beatport charts.


    – Marketing skills VERY NEEDED ( the first time i workd as a dj , i was gonna be financially eaten alive with no Mercy )
    – Got to have the social skills , Communication skills
    – the natural ability to read Body language , is to feel and know instinctively what the others feel or think
    -a good imagination , and the ability to recall sounds or songs and pre-Listen inside ur head , like everybody do with the pictures when u want to remember a place or a face

    this some of the weird Skills that i think are good to have as a DJ and as a person too


    Computer programming skills. Using the traktor controller thing to do my own midi mappings!
    Using metadata and smart playlists to sort my music library out.


    I’d throw in the ability to go long hours without sleep (when you play into the night), and the ability to handle long drives in the car (when you have to drive 4 hours to play that 1-hour set at some rave in the middle of nowhere).

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