Latest Tip for WCS DJ's
Successful DJing is not about you or your software, it’s only about the music!
I’ve been a music lover all my life, but I’m a relatively new digital DJ, about 9 years. DJing began when a friend asked me if I would be interested in playing some tunes at a local gathering, the Bass Club, in far east Dallas. In the process of preparing for My 1st gig, I fell totally in love with DJing.
Back in the day, about 15 years ago, I started with tapes then progressed to CDs. Just pure joy for me and a great way to learn genres, Artists, bpms, etc. This coupled with 15 years experience as a competition WCS dancer provided a wealth of knowledge about WCS music overall.That was some 15 years ago! This is what I know:
1. In a Club environment…. (My experience – Club 8 – 2-1/2 years worth) The DJ’s mission is to spin tunes, but the real mission is to sell drinks – The DJ is there to help the bar owner to make profit while people are having fun. A DJ is not like a band or a singer: The DJ is not the star of the night, music is. So it’s all about the music, not about the anyone in the DJ booth. The DJ’s mission in to entertain, not to get vain.
2. Music is more important than technical perfection - I believe that a great DJ must master striking a musical balance. One must know how to entertain dancers by offering current hits, popular oldies, some new stuff for them to get to know, but also some totally unexpected tunes; And while doing all that, try to avoid a change of musical style every three songs (and most importantly.. not playing the same style all night).
3. Proper preparation and homework are essential – I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of improvising a complete set live. My best mixes are the ones that I really work on, with cue points prepared and perfect timings practiced. It’s the difference between an OK set and a great one. You should force yourself to try different stuff until exhaustion, not settling for less that the best you can do.
4. Mixing is to DJing what a sub-woofer is to sound: You’re not supposed to hear it…. FEEL IT – I will always prefer someone who is using just an iPod playing the music I personally love to a technically perfect DJ who is boring everyone. Now, if I’m hearing someone play the music I love, while feeling totally smooth transitions, then I’m having a great time! And, above that, If I look at the DJ and see that he/she is also enjoying themselves, that’s when “good” becomes “great”.
5. The media used to DJ with is about as relevant as the color of the DJ’s socks - I couldn’t care less about the endless vinyl / CD / MP3 debate. I just care the final result. If digital gives me plenty more options then digital it is. The idea of a DJ using vinyl just out of personal preference, even if that means his set suffers, makes no sense to me: It’s pretentious and it lacks perspective. As in art, people who don’t manage to come up with brilliant ideas tend to try to compensate with technical skills.
A challenging part of laptop DJing for me is to manage to do everything I can think of using just a mouse and a keyboard. For me the hardest part is to build really good sets, and to get used to figuring out quickly which tunes work and which don’t. And lastly, never, ever allow yourselves to put software above the music.