Gaining Focus as a Beginner DJ (+7 Tips)

Gaining Focus as a Beginner DJ (+7 Tips)

Perhaps you’ve just gotten your first DJ controller or set of decks, and you’re wondering… “now what?”

Just about every day, I get an email from (or meet) someone who is wide-eyed and excited about being a new DJ… and also completely lost about how to go about doing it. They want to get started, but it’s intimidating.

One of the toughest times for a DJ is at the start of their journey. It can be a lot to take in: what exactly is the DJ doing? What is their role? How did they find an audience? What do I need?

You will quickly find out that simply showing up at parties and banging out some killer tunes is not enough to cut the mustard. There’s more to the craft (and the business) than that.

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10 Essential (and Free) Resources for DJs With Weak Promo

10 Essential (and Free) Resources for DJs With Weak Promo

There are many different kinds of DJs who play for many different kinds of audiences… but you won’t be able to find those audiences if your promotional game is non-existent.

Many DJs are intimidated by this fact. Who can blame them? They just want to play music. Who knew that you had to become your own media and promotions company in order to get anywhere?

To help lessen your anxiety, I’ve compiled this list of ten awesome resources which will help you put together your promotional materials, so that you’re well-prepared when they are needed.

Check out these awesome links, and get ready to step up your self-promotion!

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The 5 Traits Shared by Awful DJs

The 5 Traits Shared by Awful DJs

A few days ago, I posted an article titled “The 5 Traits Shared by Great DJs“. It only made sense to cover the other side!

In my experience as a DJ and occasional promoter, I’ve dealt with a lot of bad attitudes and ineffective methodologies. Many of these people, unfortunately, share a handful of common negative traits.

My goal today is to share 5 of these observances with you, in hopes that you will avoid these traps along your path to becoming a forward-thinking, self-propelled DJ and a positive force in your scene.

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The 5 Traits Shared by Great DJs

The 5 Traits Shared by Great DJs

We all have those DJs that we hold in the highest regard. Those elite few who seem to really “get it”, and present their music in such a way that it makes a real impact on us.

Many of these people share common traits, which are likely to contribute to the level of effectiveness and happiness they experience as DJs. My goal today is to put the spotlight on these, in order to help you find success and fulfillment as a DJ.

Below are (what I believe to be) 5 common personality traits shared by the most impactful and effective DJs!

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How to Begin DJing When You’re Broke as a Joke

How to Begin DJing When You’re Broke as a Joke

One of the more common questions I receive from readers and listeners of the podcast goes something along the lines of, “What’s a good budget DJ setup” or “How do I start DJing if I don’t have any money?”

It’s not surprising that this comes up often, because the modern DJ landscape is chock full of options. Once upon a time, your choice was simple: you needed two turntables and a mixer. If you were on a budget, you got the cheapest setup you felt like you could stand to play on. If you had the money, you got a pair of Technics and (probably) a DJM-something.

But now, the lines that define what a DJ does are blurred and confusing to newcomers… and this isn’t helped by the fact that there are not just turntables anymore. There’s standalone controllers, modular controllers, FX units, mixers with sound cards, sound cards, software… the list goes on and on. What does one actually need?

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PDJ 018 – Collaboration The Smart Way w/Jon Skinner

PDJ 018 – Collaboration The Smart Way w/Jon Skinner

Episode 18 – Let’s Stay Togetherrrrrrr!

Welcome back to the Passionate DJ Podcast, where in episode 18, we talk about collaboration with other DJs and producers. I decided to discuss this topic with Jon Skinner, who invented a collaborative tool called Music Gateway. This tool allows you to find the right person to help you finish your track, mix, or project… and gives you a collaborative space to get things done. Very cool stuff!

I recently went to the techno festival in Detroit (Movement), which I attend every year… and every time, I come back ready and inspired to knock over skyscrapers with my music. And every time, I find others who feel the same way. Collaboration is very much on my mind right now, so I am excited to present this episode to you!

In this episode, Jon and I discuss:

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Movement 2015: A Rough Start

Movement 2015: A Rough Start

It’s my favorite time of year… Detroit’s annual techno festival is a live and kicking. Every Memorial Day weekend, this event is a pilgrimage made by thousands. As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel suite with a few buddies waiting for the doors to open for day two.

Yesterday, however, waiting is all that many of us did.

This is my seventh consecutive year, and I’ve done will call every time. I’ve never had an issue. This time, the line was out in the street and down to the river. People reported wait times anywhere from 2 to 6 hours (my own wait was over 3).

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Detroit Techno Week: Mayor Approved

Detroit Techno Week: Mayor Approved

The end of this week is my favorite time of year: Memorial Day Weekend. For myself and a lot of my cohorts, this coming weekend is all about Detroit, the Movement festival (colloquially, “DEMF”), and the techno scene in the motor city.

Mayor Mike Duggan, the 75th person to hold that title, apparently hasn’t missed the impact that this weekend has on the Motor City. On May 18th, Duggan recognized May 23 – 25, 2015 as Detroit Techno Week.

Perhaps the username “Detroit Techno Weekend” was already taken, but I digress. Techno was crafted in Detroit, and the scene remains surprisingly resilient… in spite of the many hurdles the city has encountered over the years.

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PDJ 017 – Bad Gig Stories!

PDJ 017 – Bad Gig Stories!

This one is just for fun! Join me as I share stories of terrible, strange, or hilarious gig experiences submitted by our listeners!

One submission tells the story of a laptop crashing right after a big drop during one of the DJ’s largest gigs to date. Another tells of the strange (and unsanitary) mystery someone found in the hallway during a house party. And then there’s our friend Joe Pardo (a frequent guest on the podcast) who tells us how he had to run for his life after a gig!

You’ll hear all these stories and more on episode 17. Hopefully it’s good for a few laughs!

Overall I hope you enjoy this show! If you have a bad gig story to tell, leave me a voicemail and we can do round 2!

PDJ 016 – I’ve Got Passion… What About Purpose?

PDJ 016 – I’ve Got Passion… What About Purpose?

Episode 16 – Passion Plus Action = a DJ with Purpose!

In this episode of the podcast, I bring in a full panel of DJ/activists to discuss the issue of purpose.

I say “passion and purpose” all the time, but what does it really mean? How can you find your purpose? How can you drive your goals home so that you can advance your DJ career or skillset? An excellent and inspiring discussion takes place amongst the panel as we all present our own unique perspective on purposeful DJing. Special thanks to Joe Pardo, Casie Lane, and Kilma for joining me on the show today!

In this episode, we chat about:

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