Useful Tips

How to Become a DJ: A Beginner's Guide


When it comes to the past wedding, guests can forget where it was held or what they were treated to, but they will always remember how fun the holiday was. DJ, like the host, is responsible for the wedding mood. Check out this guide to find out what to do and what is best to avoid a wedding DJ.

What does a wedding DJ need to know?

Get to know the bride and groom and get their written instructions. They can include not only staging tracks throughout the holiday, but also a certain musical accompaniment of cutting a cake or throwing a bouquet.

If you have to contact guests and relatives through a microphone, ask for a list with the correct spelling of the names of each of them. Specify how the newlyweds want to be represented, since the wife does not always take the husband's surname. In addition, if the bride and groom have already decided on the wedding, write down the place and time of its holding.

Request a list of the newlyweds' favorite songs and pay attention to the performers, this is important, because, for example, Roy Orbison, Al Green and Van Halen have the song “Oh, Pretty Woman”. During the evening you will have to put from 50 to 75 tracks, so if a couple provides you with a list of 100 of your favorite pieces of music, include only a few of the best from your list in the program, and choose the rest of the music to accompany the wedding yourself. Remember, you are responsible for maintaining the cheerful dance mood of all those present, not just the newlyweds.

Check your equipment and make sure it is working properly. At a minimum you will need: speakers, a mixer, a microphone, cables, extension cords and an audio library. Young people may have additional requests that require separate audio / video peripherals, such as lighting for the dance floor or a projector for a slide show. That is why the invited DJ for the holiday should conclude a written contract with the newlyweds, which will indicate the full scope of his duties.

Keep in touch with the bride and groom as the wedding day approaches. Often, some details change at the last moment, and you should be prepared for this.

Arrive at the wedding venue two hours before it starts, so that you have enough time to install equipment, check the sound and solve any unforeseen problems.

At key moments in the wedding, include some of the bride and groom's favorite songs. Newlyweds will be grateful to you for hearing their requests and not forgetting about their musical preferences.

Evaluate the reaction of guests to a particular music and respond accordingly. If the audience likes Elton John and she despises hip-hop, brush the dust off Billy Joel's plate and make it spin.

By the way, here is one of our past publications, where we talked about how to plan a wedding abroad. Perhaps this information is also useful to you.

Article protected by copyright and related rights. When using the material, an active link to the women's magazine is required!

A bonus today will be an interesting video about the difference between the wedding coordinator and the organizer. Do not miss!

How to become a DJ from scratch

If you decide to become a DJ and you need to get the appropriate knowledge and acquire the necessary skills, then there are three ways to do this:

  • study at a dj school,
  • engage with the teacher privately,
  • learn by yourself.

The advantage of studying at a DJ school, which is now quite a lot, is that in addition to presenting systematic material and directly combining theory with practice, you do not have to worry about purchasing special equipment, at least at first. Private training with a professional DJ is effective in that, unlike the school, an individual approach will be applied to you here.

The third method is more long-term and difficult, but it may, in the end, turn out to be the most effective - it is self-study using various information on the Internet. If you do not have the opportunity to study at school or with a teacher, then this option is your only one.

The best DJs in the world agree: a person can be taught to use equipment and special programs, taught the basics of mixing, etc., but it is impossible to teach how to create good music - a beginner DJ comes to this himself, if he makes the proper effort, practices hard and long.

The first step in understanding how to become a DJ is to determine what kind of DJ you want to be. Think about which music styles you want to play, and where.

What style of music to choose

When you first start mastering DJing, it will be most correct to choose any one direction in music. Tracks in the same style are more similar to each other, so it will be easier for you as a beginner to understand the intricacies of mixing music.

However, over time, it is necessary to expand your musical boundaries, and that's why - it will not only develop your DJ skills, but also allow you to embrace the tastes of a much larger audience, learn to better read it. If you are going to work at different events, then the need to master different musical styles will sooner or later make itself felt, for example, music in lounge bars, at student parties and weddings is clearly different.

Radio dj

A radio DJ can perform a fairly wide range of tasks. He chooses what kind of music to play during the broadcast, and provides listeners with information about each song, he can also interview guests, report on the road, tell the weather and inform the listeners about urgent news. A radio DJ needs to have a pleasant voice, good diction, and be able to speak fast, long and coherently.

Club dj

Club DJ makes a playlist of those songs that can create the right atmosphere on the dance floor. DJs give a lot of time to develop enough skills and create perfect mixes for a party with barely noticeable transitions between songs. Some of these DJs eventually become producers and make their own music.

Mobile dj

Such a name exists all over the world for those DJs who work at individual events: at parties, weddings, graduations and various holidays. Such DJs work with their equipment, because a rare customer can provide it.

If you want to become a DJ, be sure to be able to cope with many tasks at the same time.

Radio DJ constantly coordinates his work with directors, editors and technical workers, so that each broadcast takes place without a hitch. Club DJs not only play the role of a music player, but entertain the audience and communicate with it so that it does not leave the dance floor as long as possible. Mobile DJs work independently, so they need to be able to actively promote themselves and have excellent communication skills with people in order to find new customers.

Getting a job at the club and on the radio without relevant work experience will be quite difficult, and it will be difficult to do without a track record as a mobile DJ. Therefore, a good option for beginner DJs can be working on Internet radio, where you can get without special skills, gain experience in broadcasting and work with music.

Main criteria

In what cases may occur the need to look for a wedding DJ:

  • You have a small wedding and there’s no need for a presenter, but there is a need for high-quality sound, microphones and a music program,
  • Your host does not have a permanent colleagueworking with sound (such an option is very rare),
  • If a one of your friends will be the entertainer or relatives, and you’d like to put a more professional person on the sound,

What parameters should be followed when choosing candidates?

  • DJ must have an idea of ​​their equipmentwith which it works (call it technical parameters).
  • The specialist should have portfolio (these can be examples of his mixes, videos from past events, photos and reports from past weddings).
  • He has site or group on social networkswhere you can see the portfolio.
  • When viewing a portfolio, you should pay attention to what does DJ look like at events (ripped jeans and a T-shirt are more suitable for a nightclub, it is better to dress appropriately for a gala event).
  • You need to decide on time in advancethat you want to attract a sound engineer to. As a rule, a wedding banquet lasts 5-6 hours.
  • If you are planning a wedding, then you need a person with relevant experience (There is a difference between wedding and club DJs).

Good dj:

  • Arrives at the site 1-2 hours before the start banquet, puts sound and light.
  • When guests start arriving - light background music already sounds in the hall.
  • He knows how to choose music for an audience of different ages.
  • Oriented in the main stages of the wedding program and traditions.

Choosing an audio medium

Depending on what types of music media DJs use when working with music, they are divided into those who play vinyl, CD and computer / laptop.

The advantage of a CD over vinyl is that two and a half times more music is placed on one disc than on a vinyl record, but the sound quality is somewhat inferior. Even more music can be transported with you, playing music on a laptop and using the mp3 format, but since it compresses the track with losses, it’s also not worth talking about the best quality.

Each DJ decides independently which music medium he wants to use. Although now there are such types of equipment that allow you to work simultaneously with different types of media.

DJ Equipment

When choosing DJ equipment, you need to build on what kind of music medium you have chosen to create music.

If you decide to become a DJ and make music using your PC, then finding the minimum equipment will not be problematic: you will need a computer or laptop, headphones, DJ software, a DJ controller in order to tactilely control this software, and speakers.

To work with a CD, you need to purchase two CD players and a mixing console, or a combined CD player / mixer.

Working with vinyl will cost the most: in addition to the mixing console, you will have to get a couple of vinyl players, which differ significantly in price from the CD counterparts, plus the subsequent expenses on vinyl records can cost a pretty penny.

After you have found the necessary equipment and software, you should carefully study it and figure out what functions it performs and how you will use all this in your work. How to adjust the volume and speed, how to use the scratch mode, how to set and record loops, how to work with built-in effects and much more - all this you have to learn to become a DJ.

Looking for a music library

Gather a collection of music, in different styles and on the musical media that you have chosen to create mixes. The larger this collection, the better - a variety of compositions will allow you to create interesting and original tracks in your own way. Look for rare records, but do not forget about all your favorite and famous songs.

All kinds of online resources will help in collecting the library. Especially popular among DJs are sources of music and inspiration from such popular sites as Youtube, Soundcloud, and Beatport.

However, if you plan to create remixes of other people's compositions, remember: using them without the consent of the author is considered a violation of copyright. Therefore, it would be nice to think about creating your own music and writing your own songs in the future.

Learning to work with music

The most important and time-consuming part of becoming a DJ, and for what it was all about, is to learn how to work with music. Initially, the main task of the DJ is to mix the two songs, which he performs using his equipment.

The theoretical part cannot be avoided - to become a DJ, you will have to find out what the track consists of and what are the beats, quarters and measures, how to mix the tracks, what types of information are considered undesirable, how the mix of club mixes and studio mixes differs, how to choose the speed of the tracks, what it means “getting into a square”, etc. This work is not just mechanical - a DJ must have a developed musical ear and a good sense of rhythm.

Training is best reinforced by practice and try your hand right away on the equipment. We suggest watching the following video for beginners, which explains how to mix tracks.

Public contact

To become a really good DJ, you need to learn how to interact with the public not only through music. Learn to draw attention to yourself.

If you have access to the microphone, communicate with the public, but do not overdo it with shouts, often this is not worth doing. The rest of the time, do not forget about communication using gestures and visual contact with the audience. And smile more often! Do not go into your own world, hiding behind the DJ console. Try to interest the audience, and, of course, fix everything with good tracks - and then the dance floor will not be empty.

What to ask?

Before making an appointment with the candidate, it is necessary to clarify (call or contact him in the messenger) the following details:

  • Is the date free? It may happen that the date is already taken. If you do not have other candidates at the moment, just ask the DJ to recommend one of your colleagues.
  • Sample rates. Usually the cost depends on the duration of the event, the requirements for equipment (sound and light) and the remoteness of the restaurant from the city limits. You can discuss the cost in more detail in person.

What to ask at the meeting?

  • How long has it been in the industry?
  • Is there a website / group in social networks / instagram.
  • Cost and procedure for payment of services. Does a prepayment specialist work and how much will it amount to? Is an extension possible and on what terms?

What will the DJ ask?

What kind of information will a DJ be interested in? during discussion of your event?

  • Start and end time of the event.
  • The format of the event (a quiet home gathering or a noisy event for 100 people) and musical preferences young ones.
  • Where is the banquet hall located? If the celebration takes place outside the city, then the cost may include the delivery of equipment outside the city.
  • What are the sizes of a banquet hall? For example, if the room has high ceilings and the hall size exceeds 80-100 sq.m., then additional sound power may be needed.
  • What equipment is the restaurant already equipped with? If a color music, a projector or a smoke machine is already installed in the cafe, then there is no need for a DJ to bring these devices (you should check with the administration of the institution whether they provide available equipment for use and under what conditions).
  • Number of guests. This can also affect the required power of sound and light.
  • Can guests order music? Sometimes it happens that young people are asked to withstand the music program in the same style and not accept applications.
  • Additional wishes young people according to the program of the evening (for example, organizing cover band performances, renting and assembling a special stage or scenery).

In preparation for the wedding, the DJ may ask you for song names and artist names for the following program fragments:

  • Opening of the celebration (the very beginning of the event when guests greet the young)
  • The first dance of the young
  • Dance of the bride with father
  • Dance of the groom and mom
  • Wedding Cake (Cake Takeaway)

Not all of these program elements are required. If you have not decided on the songs or do not want to spend time on it - it's okay, the DJ will select the appropriate tracks on his own.

What equipment should be?

Exists minimum set of equipment for wedding dj:

  • Active speakers (2 pcs.), With a capacity of at least 200-400 W each
  • Mixer (preferably multi-channel)
  • Radio microphone
  • Laptop with audio library
  • Wire kit
  • 2-3 extension cords

For comfortable work, professional wedding sound engineers use CD players, a DJ mixing console or DJ controllers in their work.

The minimum set of sound equipment for the holiday

How additional equipment may have a sound engineer:

  • color music
  • smoke car,
  • screen and projector
  • high resolution widescreen
  • a special screen to hide wires and equipment,

Is it possible to do without a leader?

Yes it is quite possible. In this case, the pace and volume of the music will control the celebration, since thanks to a properly arranged playlist, volume and pace, you can achieve a gradual increase in the emotional intensity of the evening.

Вы можете попросить координировать вечер (стать на время ведущим) кого-то из близких друзей, при этом, не забудьте заранее уведомить об этом диджея. Он должен иметь хотя бы примерное представление о программе, которую будет проводить ваш друг.

How will the celebration be held in this case?

  1. A DJ arrives a few hours before the event and sets the sound / light,
  2. When are the first guests going (even before the arrival of the young), already background music, which does not interfere with communication and seating of guests,
  3. Arrival of young, which is distinguished by special musical accompaniment, then background music again sounds, which does not prevent guests from eating and talking among themselves,
  4. When one of the guests wants to say a toast, the DJ turns down the volume. In addition, he can offer the guest an included microphone,
  5. If among young friends there are person in charge of the conferenceHe can announce all the traditional wedding moments: arrival of young people, first dance, wedding cake, throwing a bride’s bouquet. The DJ highlights all these moments with specially prepared musical compositions,
  6. Closer to mid-evening, the volume rises (but at the same time it should not greatly interfere with the guests present to communicate), the tempo of the songs becomes faster. Guests who wish to dance can start dancing,
  7. Dance part of the evening (emotional peak of the evening)
  8. Music delicately switches to moderately fastand then to slow compositions,
  9. Guests gradually disperse and say goodbye to each other, slow music sounds in the background, calms down until the guests disperse,

Wedding without a DJ

If you have the opportunity to bring your sound to the site or rent a kit, then it is quite possible to hold an event without a third-party specialist.

But there are a number of subtleties that are important to know, if you decide to hold a celebration without a DJ:

  • Someone will have to bring, connect and configure set of sound.
  • For the wedding need a powerful sound. A home hi-fi system will not be enough.
  • Someone should periodically control music volume (this is especially important when guests will make toasts)
  • In order to avoid damage to the rented equipment, someone needs to keep an eye on him (often, guests don’t even look at where they put their glasses with drinks, if the amplifier or mixer is flooded - the holiday is over)
  • To avoid awkward pauses, must be prepared playlists for each part of the program: the beginning, the disco, the finale of the holiday.

Cost of services

In large cities, the cost of wedding DJ services with their equipment begins from 12-15 thousand rubles per evening. The cost may vary from a set of equipment and additional services - light, smoke, projector, etc.

Professionals with rich experience in the industry, experience in radio and clubs, take from 20-30 thousand rubles per evening and above.

To save by inviting a novice specialist is possible. How much does it cost to invite one? On average, a young DJ will take from 6-10 thousand for his services. It is worth considering that a beginner DJ may not know all the features of the wedding program, but this does not mean at all that he will not cope with his main task.

Tips for beginner event DJs

Some tipsthat will be useful to those who are just starting their career as a wedding DJ:

  • While you are not completely confident in your audio library, prepared playlists will help you out. Go through the program in advance and prepare music for each block. Create several playlists: for different stages of the evening, with a different mood, tracks in Russian and separately in English, slow and dance, etc. If a stupor happens or someone distracts you, then you will avoid “silence” in the program by including the desired playlist.
  • Before the event find out if the cafe has Wi-fi. If the required track is not available, then it can always be downloaded.
  • Never play tracks with Yandex.Music or Vkontakte. At the slightest network failure, you will get unexpected silence in the speakers, or worse “croaking” when loading a track.
  • Listen to all key songssent by the bride and groom (music for the first dance, music for meeting young) Tracks can be of poor quality or completely damaged (and it is better to find out before the event).
  • Use only active speakers (A matter of taste, but still ... If one of the speakers suddenly burns out, then you can stretch the evening from the second. If the amplifier burns out, then the evening is over).
  • Take spare microphone (e.g. wired).
  • You must arrive at the site in advance. If there are any difficulties with the installation of sound, then it is unacceptable to solve this during the gathering of guests.
  • Learn how to use the search on your controller or player. This will help if you need to quickly find a song on your laptop.
  • Do not purchase equipment that is too bulky.. You have to be mobile, a huge controller for a wedding DJ is useless.
  • Ask young musicians stop list. This will help to avoid an awkward situation on the dance floor.
  • When guests make toasts and congratulations, there must be silence. The background accompaniment in these cases is very confusing. It is more appropriate to start the background after the guest has completed the speech.

Summary. The sound engineer at a wedding party plays one of the key roles. In order to save money, it is absolutely realistic to get along with a minimal set of sound and a guest DJ.

But, when the “leading + DJ” tandem works, the holiday takes on a different character, becomes more lively and dynamic. If you are sure that the conference and competitions are superfluous at your celebration, invite only a DJ, let the music fill your evening.