Learn All About Music – A Dj's View

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Learn All About Music

The most important attribute a DJ has to have is a vast knowledge of music.  Not just popular music, because this comes and goes throughout the decades, but all music.  A good DJ will know the right song to play and when.  Even a DJ who mixes vinyl in a club knows which sounds go well with one another.  Being musically inclined is vital to someone who wants to be a DJ.  This does not necessarily mean that they know how to play a musical instrument, but they should know all about music, from classical to hip hop, in order to be a successful DJ. 

The most successful of all of those in the DJ business have a great appreciation for music.  They are well aware of all the genres and although may prefer one over another, realize that all music is basically a combination of several different types of music.  Musicians today all got their inspiration from musicians from the past.  Who got their inspiration from musicians of the past.  And so on. 

Consider, for example, the band Oasis.  Not difficult to realize their basic influence, which was The Beatles.  The Beatles, on the other hand, were influenced by a variety of different musicians, including Elvis Presley.  Presley was influenced by other musicians as well as other genres, including gospel.  All music today stems from a variety of different genres. 

Most people think that the club DJ only spins vinyl using club mixes.  However, they have to get the music for these mixes in some way.  Many of them will use a combination of pumped in sound through synthesizers as well as vinyl records that they spin in a certain way that alters the sound.  By doing this, they are creating a specific sound.  This is similar to playing a musical instrument.  However, as anyone who has ever attempted to play a musical instrument knows, not all the sounds that come from the instrument are good.  Some of them are bound to be real clinkers if the person who is playing the instrument does not practice and does not have an ear for music. 

Some people are born with a natural ‘ear for music.’  They can pick up tunes in their head and then play them over again on various instruments.  They can even compose music in their heads as well.  In some cases, these musicians are trained in order to obtain this knowledge of music.  In other cases, there is no training involved.  Sir Paul McCartney, who is arguably the most successful composer of the 20th Century, has no formal musical training and cannot even write or read music.

You do not have to be naturally gifted in order to obtain success as a DJ, but you do have to know music.  You have to have an ear for which sounds work well with others, especially if you are considering a career in this field.  Even if you are just looking for a job as a DJ who hosts weddings and parties, you need to know the right songs to play as well as when to play them.  The DJ at any wedding is usually like the emcee of the wedding.  They get the ball rolling when it comes to dancing, getting the crowd on their feet, settling them down and then getting them to leave when the night is over. 

If you want to be a radio DJ, on the other hand, you will have a catalog of music at your disposal.  You still need to know the right songs to play, however most of those who work in radio work for a certain station that plays a certain genre of music.  When it comes to being a radio DJ, personality is the all important attribute.  Chances are your audience have heard the songs you are playing over and over again, and can easily purchase them.  Those who tune into your show will want to hear you, as well as any information that you can provide to them about the type of music that they are listening to. 

The best way to get an ear for music is to study music and listen to it.  Learn what type of music blends well with another type of music and practice creating your own sound.  The most successful club DJ s in the industry have their own unique sound that brings people in to listen to them. 

The more you listen to music, the more you will learn.  You should undertake this study just as you would any other course.  In addition to learning the titles of the songs as well as all about the genre, you should learn about the artists and the composers who made these songs popular.  You should also learn a bit about music history in order to be successful in this field.  Again, the more you continue to listen to music and have an appreciation for the sound, the better you will be at becoming a DJ. 

In addition, you need to have a large catalog of music at your disposal.  If you are planning on spinning music at a club, you need vinyl albums as well as recorded music.   You may download music from the internet in order to get this to play as you spin the vinyl.  Most of those who start out in the industry start out with the minimal amount of equipment such as a turntable a vast array of digital music. 

When you listen to music, chances are that one genre will appeal to you more than any other type of music.  You should stick with this genre if you are going to be successful.  Those who are the best in this business are those who have a sincere love for the music that they play.  The crowd can feel if you have a love for the music and will respond in turn.  If you are just playing music to please the crowd, but not yourself, chances are it will be apparent and you will not be successful.  Worse than that, you will start to resent your job. You should love the music that you play as if you are creating it yourself, as an art form, in order to become a truly successful DJ in any type of industry. 

If possible, take a music class.  Learn how to play a musical instrument.  You can also take a history of music class to learn more about the different genres of music that are out there and how they came into existence.  The more you learn about music, the better you will be at becoming a DJ. 


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