How do you become a DJ or music producer? | The Popjustice Forum

How do you become a DJ or music producer?

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by SuckMyBean, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone, I really hope you can give me some advice. I have a brother, who I know would be extremely good at being either a music producer or a DJ, and he himself has said that the only thing he's ever cared about and liked is music. This is significant because he's really shy, depressed, has low self esteem and does not usually talk about anything serious.

    He downloaded some music producing software and soon became disheartened because it was complex and difficult to understand. Besides, he's a technophobe (like the rest of the family). He also got a creativity block when the equipment was right in front of him, even though he's always constantly thinking about music.

    So maybe being a DJ would be a bit easier for him. The thing is, he's shy, left school in year 9 and has never had a job. How does one even become a DJ, like in clubs and stuff? Like, how do you actually become a DJ, and get yourself into clubs? He's socially competent, just quiet, so I think he could manage the social side once he's there, it's just getting there - networking, maybe - that's the problem. Regarding music production, I think it would be better for him to start by tampering with songs rather than trying to make his own immediately - how do people, such as fans on youtube, learn how to remix songs?

    You can probably tell that I don't know the first thing about any of this. I would be really grateful for any information or advice, because my brother is such a nice, creative young man and he really doesn't deserve to be in his present situation.

    Thank you in advance... I really hope this doesn't end up as one of those lonely threads with no replies...
  2. Probably the best way to get into DJing is to offer your services for free on, say, a midweek quiet night, maybe just to warm the place up until the main DJ arrives, or before gigs. That gets your foot in the door. Lots of places just stick on CDs as the cost of a DJ isn't worth their while and he could use that as a way of networking. If he goes down well he might get busier nights and hopefully then get paid. At first though, it's gonna involve a lot of emailing or popping into bars and offering his services.
  3. Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  4. 3Xs


    Has he ever considered taking audio engineer classes? I know in my area they have commercials on the radio all the time for audio engineer schools that teach you the skills of how to work with the equipment / software. Naturally that would cost some money but it's just a trade sort of school, not a university level investment, and if he's truly interested in producing that might be a good place to start.

    Of course, as with most things, it's 20% what you know and 80% what you do. While going to school he should also pursue what letuinmybackdoor said, maybe DJ-ing for free on slow nights at locals clubs and seeing how it goes. Personally I can relate with the whole "networking" thing. I'm not very outgoing in that sense either and don't like to feel like a social climber, but sometimes that's just what you have to do.

    Anyway, hope that helped somewhat. Wish your brother the best of luck.
  5. MM


    I have many friends who are DJs and I highly recommend taking some classes. If you are lucky, you might even find some free classes. As with everything else, once you get comfortable with all the gadgets, and buttons, and what-the-hell-is-that-fors it gets really easy and experimenting starts to come naturally. I already plan on taking some lessons myself. Not because I really want to follow this as a career, but because some extra money would really come in handy right now, and I have a great repertoire.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  6. Ray


    I had a DJ residency for a year or so which came from me having had a minor underground dance hit. I enjoyed it a lot. But that was when electro was a big thing, and I loved all the dance music coming out at that time, and I think that love played a large part in my "popularity". I never took any classes, just did it a lot and got gradually better and better. Is it #unpopularpopopinion that a good DJ may be shit at mixing but plays songs that are amazing and make the public move to the dancefloor together with their pets and children?
  7. Mvnl

    Mvnl Staff Member

    Ha, well that's definitely not my opinion. Well it's half true I guess, but if a DJ does really shitty transitions between songs I really get annoyed and start wondering who the hell hired them. And it happens way too often. Of course a DJ must know his audience as well, but I'd say a semidecent one is able to do both. Otherwise you're as useful as a popstar who can't sing or dance to save their life but is 'such a great entertainer'. Well then, join the circus.

    I'd say make sure to get the experience, starting close to home, playing friend's parties, parties of clubs you're part of (not meaning disco clubs, but like sport ones)... I was quite lucky having the owner of a bar over during my own shared birthday with two friends, and she just asked me to come work for her even though I had about 3 nights experience at that very moment. I did spent many many sundays in a closed bar practizing till I dropped though.
  8. 3Xs


    Did anything ever happen with this?
  9. I'm baffled why they still have yet to show Jade Richards on any of the main shows. She was a fan favourite. It's really bizarre.
  10. If he quit being a music producer because the software was too difficult then it's probably not a vocation. Basically, he should go about learning either of these skills before chasing a career in them.

    The rest is down to 99% luck... and then decimal percentages of networking and sending your material out and hoping somebody pays attention.

    I've been trying it for far too long, and I have a bachelors degree and diplomas in music production! There's a lot of work that goes into it! It'd be easier to learn to (almost) sing and use autotune than do production which is where the real work goes in!
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