Once upon a time, DJs or disc jockey’s played music on radios all over the world. Today, it is a career option that spans music publishing, clubs, and even mobile work like weddings and other significant events. But, like any profession, there are some principles that all DJs should follow, like these five.
1. Be Willing to Adapt
It is one of the guiding principles of being a good DJ. You don’t always know what you will get at a venue or what might impact your show. DJs need to be able and willing to adapt to the various situations as they come.
That might mean being willing to play music outside your genre and to listen to what your audience is telling you they want to hear. It may also mean taking breaks in the show based on what the host or venue needs as opposed to the DJ’s personal preference.
2. Learn to Read the Room
The job is entertainment, and for that to be effective, DJs must be able to read the room. Well-known DJ Argy calls this a necessity. He states that a good DJ can walk into a room and know exactly what is happening within five minutes.
They need to be able to judge the mood of the people in the room, develop an understanding of their insecurities and look for ways to make them feel good. It could be the difference between having a regular gig and never working again.
3. Check Your Ego at the Door
DJing is an art form, and like all artists, some DJs let their egos get in the way of pleasing the audience and making good music. Choose cohesive music that will play well in the room. If you love a mix, but the quality is poor, it will not sound good when played.
It’s not about playing just what you like, it is about pleasing the audience, and that means putting together tracks that make sense and that play well. And if they ask you to change your music, suck it up and do what it takes to keep the audience dancing.
4. Invest in Your Craft
Treat being a DJ like you would any startup business. As you make money, put it back into your company. For DJs, that often means buying better equipment. You won’t get top gigs with cheap, poor-quality equipment.
Once you get the top-of-the-line equipment, keep investing. You might put that money into marketing, for example. Consider publishing mixes to grow your career and make even more money when getting the best gigs.
5. Don’t Get Drunk
It is common for venues to offer free or discounted drinks to the DJs. After all, the more they drink, the more entertaining they can be, but maybe not in a good way. Don’t let drinking alcohol get in the way of doing your job. You want to have fun because you want your audience to have fun but know your limits.
DJing is a profession like any other. If you want to do it well, you must know the principles for success.