Beginner DJ FAQs

TurntablesHow much does it cost to start DJing?
The starting cost for a new DJ can range depending on the type of DJ Setup that you are interested in. For beginner setups (especially if you already own a computer and headphones) it can range anywhere from Free to the low hundreds of dollars to get gear that you will be happy with. From mid to high you can spend anywhere from low hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars on gear. Check out our Gear and Software section for more in depth details on current DJ gear.

Should I buy new or used gear?
For DJ’s looking at mid to high end equipment that are on a budget I would recommend comparing your options looking at new vs used. Generally things like mixers, turntables/CDJ’s,  higher end MIDI controllers, or DJ effect units can be purchased used to save some money, but this isn’t always the best option. For lower end gear it is recommended to buy new. If you are planning to buy used gear, make sure you can verify the quality and that the gear is in working order.

What equipment do I need to start?
The basic components to a DJ setup are a means to play more than one source of music (computer, turntables, CDJ’s), a mixer, headphones and speakers. This question is answered in the DJ Setup page and the rest of Digital DJ Hub provides information to support this.

I want to play X kind of music where do I find this music?
These days the internet has made music so readily available that there is no shortage of finding new exclusive tracks. Online portals like Beatport offer great tools and charts for finding music in whatever genre of electronic dance music you want. If you prefer the vinyl feel and sound then looking online at places like Hard to find Records or checking out local shops is a good bet.

What is beatmatching and how do I learn to do it?
Beatmatching is taking the tempos (beats per minute) of two different tracks and matching them so that the drum hits of the tracks are in sync. Once your beats are in sync your mix will sound perfect. Learning to beatmatch and keep your beats in sync throughout a mix is an art. There is much controversy about the automatic beatmatching functions of new DJ software. There are purists who still swear by vinyl and a mixer in which all the beatmatching is done manually without any aids. If you are mixing and your beats become badly out of sync it is called a train wreck. More information available in our full beatmatching definition.

For a guide on learning to beatmatch check out our Beatmatching Tutorial and our beatmatching tips article.

How long does it take before I am a good DJ?
Just like any respectable craft it will take time to become a good DJ. Top DJ’s hone their skills for years to arrive at a top level. The great thing about DJing is that it is fun and entertaining. Don’t worry too much about a timeframe for achieving a certain skill level. Keep playing and enjoy the ride. There is no limit to creativity when DJing and there is no limit to the learning possible.

How do I get myself out there?
This is really as simple as getting some mixes recorded and sharing them! Try by making yourself a Soundcloud account and sharing some of your mixes there. Find some musicians you like and send them a message asking to listen to your mix. You might also try taking part in some DJ forums and see if they offer some mix contests.

Check out our article on sharing sites for your DJ mixes.

How do I get DJ gigs?
If you are doing the above things and getting yourself out there then hopefully you will get an offer to DJ someplace. If you aren’t getting any offers the best thing you can do is look locally. Find some clubs around town that need DJ’s and hand in your mix. Find some friends and have a house party. Tell those you know that you DJ and let them know they could have you come and play for them.

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