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5 skills every DJ should have

Technology has changed so much since I first started DJing with turntables and vinyl, that it's an almost unrecognisable environment out there today for a new DJ - and I'm only comparing this to 10 years ago! 

So if you've not yet started out as a DJ yet but are considering it, here are the five skills that I consider today's DJ needs to stay current and competitive. Feel free to disagree with me or add your own at the end! 
Today's DJ should... 

1. Know how to creatively use Midi controllers - Turntables and vinyl-only DJs are a thing of the past. As you sit there contemplating how to get going, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get yourself a Midi controller and learn how to use it properly - and this isn't tied to just DJ controllers, either. With technology improving and moving at such a fast pace, the ability to create dynamic and live remixes has become the de facto standard of today's top DJs. 

2. Become an expert at networking online - Now, with the advance of the internet and all the technologies at our disposal, the web has allowed us to share our music and sounds around the world. Knowing how to leverage what is out there - Facebook, SoundCloud, and of course blogs and forums like this one - to share your work and get help from others is both how you get better and how you build a fanbase 

3. Learn how to remix and mash up - The days of just mixing two songs together are over. Today's DJ has to know a lot about mashing up, remixing and even producing, to be in any way serious about being a professional. 

4. Get obsessed with learning other types of equipment - You might be extremely comfortable with your set-up, whether it's Serato or Traktor with turntables, a DJ controller, or whatever, but it's always important to diversify your knowledge of DJ tools and equipment. 

5. Perform the music, not just play it - Everybody's a DJ these days. It's true. People download free software, mix some songs and yes, they can technically call themselves DJs. In my opinion a "good" DJ is more than a DJ who just plays the music, rather someone who performs it. Think about the popular DJs such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Avicii and so on - they don't stand there like a robot and play tunes. They are actively engaged in the music physically and emotionally. If you're DJing and just looking like a robot, you've got to change. It's not enough nowadays.


Photo: Helena Legend by: Veranmiky