How to DJ in 5 Steps

How to DJ in 5 Steps

Have you always dreamed about performing a live set in front of a live audience that looks at you like you are some sort of deity? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place. Today we’re going to give you five steps that you need to take in order to learn how to DJ. Get ready to take notes and let’s dig right in.

Step 1 – Find Out What DJs REALLY Do

Everyone has seen the footage of live sets where a DJ is shown while he or she turns a couple of knobs, presses a couple of buttons and then the bass drops. In reality, being a DJ is much more than that. You will need to spend some time researching what DJs really do if you want to become a DJ.

Aggregating the necessary knowledge and developing your skills won’t come overnight, so be ready to put in some honest work. If this is something you are truly interested in, you won’t even feel like you are doing actual work. In order to help you get on the right track, check out this video. We’re looking at a great series that will get you started with everything you need to know.

Step 2 – Figure out what kind of DJ you want to be

Believe it or not, there are different types of DJs out there and it’s not just about playing some catchy songs and dropping in a sound effect here or there. You need to find out what kind of performance attracts you the most. Some people love doing clubs and festivals, while others find weddings to be where they work the best. This is something you need to figure out on your own so just relax and dig in!

Step 3 – Get your feet wet

The best way to learn a new skill is to actually do it. Following that logic, the best way to learn how to DJ is to start doing it. You won’t be filling Miami clubs for your first gigs, but see if you have friends who can spare a mixer or a controller. Set it up at home and start exploring.

Not only will this experience tell you whether or not this is something truly interests you, but you will have some hands-on time with the equipment you are probably going to use in the future. Having a sense of control over the sound is a powerful feeling, which you should definitely experience.

Step 4 – Get your first gear

Now that you know you want to be a DJ, it’s time to start building your rig. There are many different types of equipment setup DJs use ranging from fully analog systems to modern digital models. Since you are just starting out, it’s best you stick to the basics – get a laptop if you already don’t have one, and find yourself a good entry-level DJ controller.

We’re thinking something along the lines of Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2, that puppy will work just fine. This type of controller combined with a copy of a DJ software will be more than enough to get you started. People easily perform with this combination, so don’t worry about being limited by your equipment. Check out this video for more information on good beginner setups.

Step 5 – Practice, practice, practice

The only real way to develop your skills is to practice. Experiment with various new techniques, try to learn something you didn’t know yesterday, stuff like that. Being a DJ is not only about knowing how to use your gear, but it also involves a lot of knowledge about the subject you are working with. Over time both your skill and sense for the music will evolve.

At one point you will start feeling confident. Chances are you will want to perform live somewhere, and that is the critical point in your career. Once you perform for the first time, you need to keep going. The only way people are going to hear about you is if you perform, a lot. So don’t be shy and get yourself out there.


Figuring out how to start DJing is hard. As you begin to dig deeper under the surface, you will realize that it’s not all fun and games. There is serious work that needs to be done before you reach the level of the DJs you admire. However, this shouldn’t scare you away from going after your dreams. On the contrary, it should peak your interest and inspire you to go further.

Once you get involved in this hobby, you will know exactly where you stand. As long as you work hard and remember to have fun, you may just wake up one day and realize that your hobby has become your profession. Ask any DJ and they will tell you that the feeling you have in that moment makes all the effort completely worth it. Now go out there and  start working on your goals.