Re: Wanna be DJ / Producers?
I think being a DJ is a love for the music.. I started raving in the 90′s and got caught up with the drug culture and fell into a hole but always messed around with friends turntables..
I found the lord like 6 years ago and still always loved the music and felt the Lord calling to start mixing music and started to look up ways to do it and realized that you can cheat by beat matching and not counting the out the beats and just mix away… After realizing that, I thought it is time to go to the basics and I think once these guy’s start realizing there is way more to it then just having a beat counter or a beat matcher or hitting a sync button (which I am guilty of hitting once in awhile because of laziness) and if they are truly serous about DJing they will start learning the craft of the old school DJ. I myself love to do cut’s in and out on tracks and I am learning to add loops and other stuff that can make it a lot more technical.
Wow, that is cool that you want to get into (or are getting into DJing/Producing). Sounds kind of like my story a bit. I was heavily involved in the Rave scene in the 90′s and became born again later on and started practicing DJing. I spoke to my pastor about wanting to use it as a tool for ministry to share the testimony that I had of the Lord and to minister to young people. I learned playing with vinyl but I wouldn’t even waste my time or money with that in the present time. And don’t get totally pigeonholed on the technical aspects of DJing. By all means learn the technical side of it for foundation but don’t stop there. The biggest parts of DJing and doing it well isn’t if you can beatmatch perfectly everytime. It’s track selection and reaching the audience. I’ve seen many guys who just stare down at their mixer the whole time tweaking knobs and effects. They lose a crowd with a quickness! And if you lose a crowd no one will hear your message. Some of my best training as a DJ has been through mobile DJing. You have to be able to entertain, communicate, and inspire. Otherwise you are just a guy playing other peoples music out of a little box.
Example: My bro went to DEMF a few years ago and was so stoked to see Jeff Mills. He said he was totally let down. His technique is almost unmatched but he was a bore to watch. Like a alien with a slight bobble head. Now Stacy Pullen worked the crowd up into a frenzy because of his interaction with them.
The more you can get the crowd involved the better. If you have the crowd doing whatever you are doing then you have them. You can’t do that if you are tweaking the 1000 different efx you have programmed into your set. So play out as much as you can. The first place I played was an Narcotics Anonymous Card/Game night. I spun trance and I’m sure almost everyone hated it. But it was the first step. I played at every coffee house, lock in,etc. that would let me play. I found you kind of have to leave part of the Rave mentality of playing some epic long sets and perform more like a band would. Most people aren’t on amphetimines wanting to dance 10 hours into the night. Know your crowd. If you can add a sample of something familiar it will go a long way in winning the crowd. They have no clue who Deadmau5, Agnello, PVD, and Wolfgang Gartner is so you have to connect them to the music somehow.
Also, throw your own events or open up for some local christian bands. Market it by letting them know that you are bringing something different to the table. Ask them how many concerts have they been to that really don’t offer anything but, “Which flavor of Rock do you like?”. Sorry, if I’m a bit hard to follow. Just trying to give you a list of pointers that I have learned over the past seven years. From doing the youth group “Pizza Rave Party Pack events” (Pizza, Pop, & Glowstick for $3) to music festivals I have had lots of time to experience what works and what doesn’t. If you work some of this out now it won’t take you near as long before you are rocking the crowd for Jesus!