Whatever your taste in music, a good DJ will get the crowds pumping and the floorboards thumping at live gigs, clubs, and events. Whether you’re planning on being a DJ at your best friend’s wedding, or dreaming of playing in front of thousands of fans at a summer festival, read on to find out how to keep your audience entertained and your Technics turning.
What does a DJ do?
There are different types of DJ ranging from mobile DJs who play at weddings to DJs whose passion is to play for crowds at famous nightclubs to those wanting their own radio show… and the skills for each can vary quite substantially.
According to Passionate DJ.com, learning to become a DJ is no easy task and it can take years to achieve the skills needed to become an accomplished and successful household name.
Some would say it’s as much about rallying up the audience as it is playing pre-recorded music, so good communication skills, being personable, and having some music technology knowledge is pretty much vital.
The Mobile DJ
Mobile DJs tend to get gigs at weddings, work, prom parties or other celebrations and they often work for themselves as sole traders.
Often the entrepreneurial type, mobile DJs have a lot of things to keep track of. In some cases, they are solely responsible for the setup and teardown of equipment, planning the show, managing the crowd, and making any announcements.
This kind of DJ often needs to be comfortable with taking requests (and sometimes even entire playlists), speaking into a microphone, and investing in sound equipment.
The Club DJ
Every club has a different vibe and more often than not that’s down the DJ and what vibe/atmosphere he or she creates which results in the type of audience the club attracts.
Typically, the job of the resident DJ at a night club is to maintain a moving dance floor. Often, club DJs will perform long blends (transitions) between songs, or some other trickery to keep people’s feet moving.
This DJ must know how to ramp the energy up and down, and maintain a balance between an active dance floor, and a busy bar, according to Passionate DJ.com.
Music producers create their own original music by making music out of different sounds and instruments and putting them all together electronically. They may help someone else record an album or song, produce for themselves, or remix other artists’ tracks, according to BPM Supreme.
Radio is a highly competitive industry and a radio DJ works at a radio station as a host, mixer, or as part of the programming staff. While some DJs act as hosts, others perform and conduct interviews and lead programmes such as a top 20 countdown of popular hits.
A successful full-time DJ who also does club promotions can earn £30,000-£40,000 a year. Average-sized nightclubs pay £130-£200 a session. For weddings, you could earn £150-£600. Basic equipment for a mobile DJ costs £1,200-£1,500, plus transport, according to an article in The Independent newspaper.
5 training courses for DJs
Point Blank Music School – Point Blank Music School won the ‘Best Independent HE’ category at the What Uni Awards. These awards are voted by the people that matter most: the students that take the courses. Point Blank has also been voted the No.1 Music Production & DJ School by the readers of DJ Mag. Their DJ courses are world renowned, with every student accessing a DJ station packed with the latest kit from Pioneer DJ, Native Instruments and more. As a student on one of their DJ courses, you have access to regular opportunities to have your DJ mixes featured on Magnetic Mag, Pioneer DJ Radio and more. Point Blank DJ classes show you how to mix both vinyl and digital platforms, including Traktor, Serato and Rekordbox DJ.
School of Electronic Music – if you plan on going pro as a DJ then this could be the course for you. Taken from a beginner level, this course will give you a solid grounding in DJing, and access to practice 7 days a week during your training. You’ll finish with the opportunity to play up to an hour’s set, filmed and edited professionally (similar to Mixmag Lab) to use as promotional material to showcase your DJ skills. You’ll also have access beyond the training to gigs that come through SEM.
In this fast moving sector, our equipment and curriculums are constantly reviewed so that you are kept at the cutting edge of both technical developments and artistic trends in the industry.
London Sound Academy – DJ lessons and music production courses are taught 1-to-1 from this fully equipped London studios. You can choose your own course schedule and learn with your own style of music.
Whether you’re a complete novice or looking to advance your skills, you’ll have direct access to well respected industry professionals and international artists with a friendly, personalised approach to tutoring.
DJ Academy Organisation – With a large range of DJ classes, personal trainers and bespoke courses throughout the UK including home tuition, DJ Academy Organisation helps you reach your potential as a superstar DJ. Most of the tutors have a wealth of at least 20 years’ experience in the industry. With world-class DJs and music producers such as; Seamus Hajji, Rob Tissera, and Mr Switch – 4 x World DMC Champion and former student.
DJ School UK – DJ School UK is a not-for-profit company, based in Leeds, with three clear missions: Supply accessible, engaging and educational DJ and Music Production tuition, projects and workshops. Use activities to raise self-esteem and teach life-skills to the hard to reach, disadvantaged, or otherwise vulnerable. Raise the profile of the art form by formalising accreditation for DJs as musicians to levels equivalent to traditional instrumentalists.
Insurance for DJs
As a DJ you’ll be meeting, interacting and performing for members of the public and this interaction means you’re establishing a relationship in which you have a ‘duty of care’, and because of it, you risk breaching your public liability. Public liability insurance provides your defence.
Your negligence as an artist might be committed in a surprisingly wide variety of ways. Just as an example, a member of the public decides to approach you while you’re DJing on stage and the individual trips over a poorly placed cable and is injured. You may be held negligent and ordered to pay substantial compensation for the injuries your negligence has caused.
Although there is no legal obligation for you to have DJ insurance, therefore, it may help to explain why some venues might refuse to accommodate you and your artistic endeavours unless you have such cover – to ensure that they or any member of the public is adequately compensated for any injury or damage you may have caused.
When arranging DJ insurance, you are almost certain to benefit from the advice and guidance of a specialist broker such as ourselves at constructaquote.com. Not only are there many different kinds of DJ, but the nature and scale of the work they produce may also differ very widely – and that is why at contructaquote.com we are dedicated to offering you bespoke, cost-effective protection.
Disclaimer: The advice provided here are our own interpretations and opinions. We have tried to simplify the main points to create this article and the information provided is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in this blog for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.