WHO IS A DJ?
Disc jockeys (DJs) present, mix and link recorded music for a
live or radio audience. They use a wide variety of equipment varying
in sophistication including turntables, mixers, tape decks, amplifiers,
headphones, graphic equalizers, lighting effects, computers and
multimedia & sound processors.
are three main types of DJs:
Radio DJs are broadcast presenters that work
at radio stations providing links between music tracks. Links
are filled with, for example:
· conversation, anecdotes or jokes
· news, weather and traffic items
Radio DJs usually present a programme that reflects their personality
and musical interests. They use mixing techniques, improvisation
and work to a tight timing schedule.
DJs mix music and use other techniques to create a performance
for a dance audience. They need to be aware of the venue’s
music policy and their clientele. Techniques they may use include:
· pitch control
· drop and MP3 mixing
· cross fading
· beat matching and juggling
· effects processing
· sampling and sequencing.
Mobile DJs provide musical entertainment at weddings,
parties and other social events. They try to create a fun atmosphere
by being the Master of Ceremonies (MC). They normally provide
their own records (vinyl and CDs) and equipment.
Depending on the role, DJs may be required to market and promote
and Environment -
DJs work irregular and varied hours depending on their time slot,
for example a radio DJ may work a morning show or a club DJ will
often work into the early hours of the morning. DJs are likely
to spend some time preparing a play list, setting up equipment
and traveling to venues.
The working environment varies. Mobile DJs might work in village
halls, pubs, public buildings, or outdoors. Radio DJs may work
in air-conditioned studios or occasionally at outdoor events.
Club DJs normally work in hot, loud and smoky environments.
Some DJs work on a part-time or casual basis combining DJing with
another source of income.
Skills and Interests
To be a DJ, you should:
· have a keen and well-developed interest in music
· be technically competent with your equipment
· have a confident and outgoing personality
· have some understanding of sound engineering and music
· be a clear and articulate communicator, particularly
· have a good sense of rhythm
· be creative and enthusiastic about music
· have good timing and co-ordination
· have good business skills
· be able to work calmly under pressure and organise your
There is no set career route for DJs and formal qualifications
are not always necessary. However, commercial radio sets it’s
own standards for recruitment and may require a good general standard
of education, particularly a high standard of written English
along with voice quality and other requirements.
differs depending on whether a DJ works for an employer like a
radio station, or is self-employed. It is important that prospective
DJs can demonstrate their skills and knowledge of a particular
area of music, technical equipment and DJing techniques. Freelance
DJs will need to promote themselves as a business by, for example,
designing and distributing flyers.
radio DJs can gain experience from work placements with the commercial
radio stations, but will need to be good communicators and highly
motivated as competition for places is strong. Some knowledge
of digital audio editing software, like Cool Edit Pro or Adobe
Audition, might be requested. It is important that new entrants
do some research about their potential audience. Working in a
related job such as radio production assistant, may be a useful
starting point. Voluntary work with hospital, college or community
radio is a valuable way of gaining practical experience.
DJs often start by building their reputation in bars, making contacts
and moving on to bigger and more prestigious venues with the aim
of establishing a residency at a club. They will often create
a mix CD or demo and use this to demonstrate their skills.
DJs need to have their own equipment and music, and build their
reputation through word of mouth or advertising.
For radio DJs, training in broadcasting, music production and
media can be useful, and courses are available at various levels
including City & Guilds (7500) or (7790) levels 2 and 3 in
Media Techniques (Radio). There are also short vocational courses
in radio, MIDI or digital audio technology, such as Cubase, Logic
club DJs, training is available in DJing techniques. You can either
go HERE for more
info or CLICK HERE
to register for Club DJ Course.
Most club, radio and mobile DJs are either self-employed or are
offered freelance contracts. It is important that they build their
reputation, are successful networkers and are committed to self-promotion.
Occasionally, DJs are employed by clubs and the hospitality industry.
Successful DJs can find work opening events and giving personal
appearances. There are also increasingly good opportunities for
experienced club DJs to work abroad. It is possible for DJs to
move into related roles in music production, music retailing and
recording. They could become club promoters, agents, remix producers,
record distributors or even musical artists in their own right.