Becoming a DJ

If you want to learn how to rock the turntables, spin records and drop on the ones, then read on to find out how you can become a DJ!

DJs - DJs in Da Hiz-ouse!

If you've never stepped in front of a turntable before, then you'll need to get schooled in the basics of DJing. One of the best DJ schools in North America with some of the best DJs in the world is Scratch DJ Academy, which has locations in New York and LA. They'll teach you how to mix, blend, scratch and beat juggle, and tell you how to start or enhance your career as a DJ. If you already have the skills and just want to jump in, then visit radio stations and clubs to get your foot in the door. But before you do, pick out a cool DJ name for yourself that says something about who you are. Some great DJs with great names have included Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Kool DJ Red Alert.

DJs - Equipment You'll Need

If you wanna be a DJ, you've got to have the right mixing equipment.
  • The music (vinyl records, CDs, MP3s).
  • Two turntables (or decks).
  • A sound system for amplifying the music, like portable speakers.
  • A mixer to mix the sounds from the two decks.
  • Microphone.
  • Headphones to listen to one recording while the other is playing.
  • Other types of equipment can be added, like samplers, drum machines and laptop computers.
  • DJs - Techniques

    DJs use several techniques to manipulate their music, including cutting (originated by Grandmaster Flash to cue up duplicate copies of the same record in order to play the same passage, cutting back and forth between them), scratching (moving a vinyl record back and forth with your hand while it's playing on a turntable) and beatmatching (matching up the beats of two different songs).

    DJs - Types of Disc Jockeys

  • Radio DJs - A radio disc jockey selects and plays music that's broadcast on the radio.
  • Club DJs - A club disc jockey selects and plays music in clubs. The setting can range anywhere from a small club, a neighborhood party, a disco, a rave or even a stadium.
  • Hip Hop DJs - A hip hop disc jockey selects and plays music as a hip hop artist and/or performer, often backing up one or more MCs.
  • Related Stories:

  • Introduction to Mixing I
  • Mixing Equipment 101
  • Get Spinning - DJ's Tell You How
  • More Job and Career 411!
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    What Type of DJ Do You Want to Be?

    • Radio DJ.
    • Club DJ.
    • Hip hop DJ.

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