A Beginner's Guide to DJ-ing

DJ-ing is on the rise in the music industry so we have gathered an archive of common questions and have created the beginner's guide for DJ’s. Perfect for students and teachers looking to get involved in this progressive musical skill.

DJ equipment in neon lights at a party

No longer just a bedroom hobby or a cool accessory at your next party. DJ-ing is big now...actually, it’s huge. Reputable in the music industry and a versatile skill across all music genres; it’s time for you to learn a thing or two about it. Who knows, you may have an aspiring DJ in your class!?

What is a DJ?

A DJ (short for disc jockey) is a person who actively plays pre-recorded music for an audience. Their audience may be dancers at a party or listeners of a radio show.

Modern DJ’s are often involved in remixing, production, and live presentation of music.

How do DJ's make music?

Technically a music producer makes music, while a DJ plays or performs it. However, it is common for one person to hold both roles.

Most modern music is made with software within a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), which also incorporates appropriate hardware for music production.

black male model in red neon lighting

What does the DJ do when performing?

DJ's have a lot to juggle while they are performing live. Technical aspects involve blending and manipulating the music and sound elements to form a final mix (or DJ set). They may add elements to the performance, such as scratching, remixing, live instrumentation, emceeing, video mixing, or various stage antics. Their goal is to find common ground between their own musical tastes, and the desires of an audience while maintaining an entertaining stage presence.

For a recorded mix (or radio show, podcast, etc.), this is done via track selection and curating followers who resonate with those sounds.

What do you need to be a DJ?

The most important hardware you need to DJ are decks, a mixer, headphones, and speakers. Decks play the music, mixers blend the music, headphones let you cue the music, and speakers let you present the music. This hardware is available for purchase at the MusicEDU Shop.

TrackFormers™, a program apart of the MusicEDU Suite has been designed to legitimately bring DJ-ing into classroom music in an easy and enjoyable experience for students and teachers alike. The program is perfect for students wanting to learn how to mix their own music, create their own playlists, mashups and beat-matching.

We know that every school has different hardware and software. That’s why we’ve written TrackFormers™ to be compatible with iPads, iPhones, Androids (using the DJAY2 app by Algoriddum), computers and multiple MIDI controllers. With the user videos to show you how to get started, getting your gear organised has never been easier!

To find out more about the gear options for TrackFormers™, CLICK HERE.

How can I be a better DJ?

There are four main ways to improve your DJ-ing: gaining real-life experience, polishing your technical skills, growing confidence in crowd-reading, and prioritising gigs which align with your personal brand and sound.

MusicEDU can help with polishing student’s technical and performance skills via the TrackFormers™ program. Whether it’s apart of classroom curriculum or a DJ club at your school, students are sure to enjoy the practical approach to learning the basics of DJ-ing. Each of the instructional videos has been created by Australia’s leading urban DJ, DJ Nino Brown. The content is succinct and full of practical teaching from an expert in the field.

"TrackFormers™ is one of the highlights of our Year 8 Music class. Both boys and girls are highly engaged with this popular genre and love taking on the role of a DJ!"

Sam Smith, Livingstone Christian College QLD

If you are interested in learning more about TrackFormers™ and our other programs in the MusicEDU Suite; CLICK HERE or fill out our contact form so we can reach out to you.