How to become a good DJ

become a good DJ

My creation focuses on rhythm, melody and the quality of music. — Paolosky DJ

FLORENCE, Italy — Here I am, enjoying some deep House Music mixed by a great DJ at the Viktoria lounge bar in Firenze. The DJ setting in small bars has become a recurrent thing in the nightlife of this beautiful city, where DJs can be themselves to play their own creative music without fancy stage lighting or luxurious decorations. Everything is kept simple, as music and relaxation are the only two things that count. Nowadays, the presence of DJs is so popular that we tend to assume that “anyone could become a DJ”. But is this true? Professional DJs Leonardo Martera, Riccardo Sodi and Paolosky DJ tell us about their experiences and walk us through their exciting DJ world.

An emotional journey

Disc Jockey or DJ seems to be a fascinating job for some, but do we really know what a DJ is? Riccado Sodi, a professional DJ from Italy, who keeps training and updating his skill on music production explains: “The Disc Jockey was born in the 70’s with the advent of disco music, then it evolved in the second half of the 80’s with the birth of House Music. It however exploded in the 90’s with various music genres: Deep House, Underground, Trance, Progressive, Techno, and so on.”

“A good DJ selects music by combining sounds that can go through time and different musical cultures, to make an emotional journey for the audience and create sensations that involve the body and mind,”says Leonardo Martera, whose music life was born as a drummer when he was 12 years old, giving him the foundation for his career as a DJ.

become a good DJ

Leonardo’s music life was born as a drummer, the foundation for his DJ life.

“With the advent of electronic instruments in the 80s, synth and drum equipment lead me into a new world, while interacting with musicians and bands helped me to create a musical background that I developed in the following years. Being a DJ is spontaneous and natural for me as it comes from my love for electronic music,” Leonardo adds.

Paolosky DJ, with more than 28 years of experience as a drummer explains: “Drumming can be extremely helpful for a DJ in the music mixing between two tracks. After many years of experience, I don’t have any difficulty in linking two songs.” Paolosky continues: “For me, a DJ is not only a music producer but a source of musical inspiration that goes beyond professional techniques, as the most important thing is the music itself. My music creation focuses on rhythm, melody and quality. If people who are listening to my music are smiling and moving, then this is a successful party for me.”

become a good DJ

I like to see people enjoy my music in the dance floor. — Paolosky DJ

Let your music passion grow

If you really have a passion for music, then get in the mood of “I want to create music” rather than “I want to be a DJ”, The motivation of creativity is usually a good beginning for a successful outcome.

“… I started to put records in public in 2000. My energy started in a small room with a crazy mixing of music and then transgressed in a dance club, where I felt the relationship between the DJ and the public was moving to the next level,” says Leonardo.

“That is right,” says Paolosky who has a similar story: “I started playing music mixing in small parties with friends in 1990; then I had some formal DJ music performances at weddings. However after the technology evolution on music, I started using turntables, CD players, computer programmes and controllers. My first job was in a disco club in 2000; an experience that lead me into a world completely different from parties with friends.”

Building confidence

Every job and a new career path can be a daunting task and DJs also find their sector as challenging as many other sectors.

“The most difficult thing for me is to be able to maintain consistency between the musical tastes of my audience and the essence of my music. It is also difficult to find the perfect space with good equipment where you can listen to the music deeply. Also controlling the quality of music and sound is critical to the success of any show,” says Leonardo.

“For me, music is pure sentiment, something personal and introspective, so it is not easy to transmit, through my music, my real feelings to the public. The main challenge is that my music should be original and innovative,” highlights Riccardo.

become a good DJ

My music should be original and innovative. — Riccardo Sodi 

“The biggest challenge was knowing how to choose the right songs for my listeners. When you think that your music is perfect but the dance floor is empty … it is the worst nightmare for any serious DJ. After many years of experience, I learnt to make the right music choices and can always entertain my audience,” adds Paolosky.

Open the menu, select your channel

Being a DJ is definitely not a simple task, but it is not difficult to create music. Take your interest in music as a starting point; get closer to music until you really have the opportunity to do something with it. Then you can think whether or not to become a professional DJ. Choose your favourite style of music, find a DJ you would like to follow, choose all the tools and equipment you need, practice and participate in various musical activities.

Thanks to Leonardo, Riccardo and Paolosky, we have create a DJ Menu for you, not to select songs, but choose the necessary materials to build your DJ world.

DJs

Music

  • Plastic Dreams – Jaydee (Original Mix)
  • Mental Cube – Q (Original Mix)
  • The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds
  • William Orbit – Water From A Vine Leaf
  • The Age Of Love (Jam & Spoon mix)

Online tools

Computer programmes

Equipment

  • DJ Controller: TRAKTOR, KONTROL-S4 is a good suggestion for beginners.
  • DJ Mixer: PIONEER CDJ2000 NEXUS and MIXER 900 NEXUS
become a good DJ

Music is pure sentiment, something personal and introspective. — Riccardo Sodi

How to become a good DJ?

Leonardo suggests: “First of all you must have a great passion for music and the desire to listen and look for new sounds as well as learning how to mix with any type of supported material (Vinyl, CD, etc.). Learn to use the programmes of professional DJs, develop your own taste in music step-by-step, while trying to figure out what is your music taste and that of your listeners.”

“I think that if you seriously want to be a DJ, firstly you should have a great passion and patience for music, must listen to many music genres, observe the behaviour of those who are learning how to mix with Vinyl. The next step is to mix your own experience with the technology,” says Paolosky. “Keep listening and practising while trying to have a very broad view of music. If you already have extensive knowledge, then just have fun when mixing songs and enjoy the creative process of mixing,” he concludes.

While technology has considerably helped DJs to mix, most DJs think it is good to know the value of mixing while knowing how to mix two vinyl records with turntables. The real technique to master, for any good DJ, is the sensitivity in handling the vinyl. All DJs really enjoy the use of the latest technology on music, but recommend still using vinyl to learn DJ mixing. Don’t forget that originally, DJs were born when they started to use the vinyl.

If a DJ career is for you, get out there, feel the music, spin and mix some songs and start spreading your music seeds all over the world.

become a good DJ

A good DJ creates sensations that involve the body and mind. — Leonardo Martera

Courtesy of: Leonardo Martera Website: www.leomartera.net | Riccardo Sodi : soundcloud.com/tags/riccardo%20sodi | Paolosky DJ: www.facebook.com/Paolosky-DJ  and www.mixcloud.com/guttalax-super.
Chiani Lin About the author

An aspiring and fresh trend forecaster from Asia, with multiple master degrees related to fashion in Italy, UK and Taiwan as well as 12 years of working experience in the fashion industry. Currently working for an international sourcing company, Chiani is passionate about all things creative from different cultures.

Comments

  1. BarbaraEvents :

    I really like this article. Talented author ChiaNi Lin!!!!!
    Thank You.
    Best regards.
    BarbaraEvents

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