5 Lessons Younger DJs Can Learn from Older DJs
No doubt about it, young people breaking into DJing are ambitious, hungry, and want to be the best in the game. However, with the energy and enthusiasm younger guys have when breaking into DJing, the focus on their goals can be misplaced. Even though it’s good to have ambition, without focus and set goals, a lot of younger DJs breaking into DJing can become lost and aimless, which eventually leads to failure.
Generally speaking, the younger generation usually tends to discredit the older generation when it comes to a lot things, but especially when it comes to DJing. There are very important lessons older DJs can pass on to the younger guys that are really valuable.
Check out these 5 important lessons older DJs know and have experienced that could serve the younger generations of future DJs well.
1. Learn to tell a story in your set.
Even though there are currently a lot of homogenous sets out there playing mainly open-format and mainstream, it’s still very critical to be able to know how to tell a story in your set. What does telling a story mean in your DJ set mean? What it means is knowing intimately the content of the songs, from the lyrics to the BPM, straight down to the key and length; it means that you can organize these songs to get your audience on an emotional rollercoaster, with peaks and valleys. Knowing how to tell a story is fundamental in keeping your audience engaged.
2. Brush up on your music theory and take some lessons for basic musicianship.
There are a lot of younger DJs out there that gravitate to DJing because of money and the party lifestyle. But any older DJ would tell you it wasn’t always like that. Instead of partiers gravitating towards DJing, it was music people gravitating towards parties. It’s becoming clear, we’re becoming copy & paste DJs, with no unique style and nothing to set us apart. Learn basic music theory first, then DJing will come much more natural to you.
3. Chill on the drugs and alcohol.
The current DJ lifestyle, especially for Club DJs means a lot of non-sobriety. Many older DJs, if not all would advise against drinking and doing so many drugs when you’re young. They will definitely lead to brain damage, liver damage, skin problems, and a ton of other health problems when you’re older.
4. Don’t forget, DJing is a passion and not a money making venture.
Yeah, it’s really nice to make money doing what you love, but if you are solely focused on the money and fame then you will undoubtedly fail. People can see through the thin veil of shallowness of DJs just trying to gain visibility. DJ because you love to perform and reach people emotionally, not because you want the latest Yeezys. As long as your heart is in the right place, success will inevitably come.
5. Never be scared of failure.
If you can’t get booked or feel like you’re a failure because none of your mixes or remixes get noticed, keep trying. Failure is not going for what you love doing. Never become jaded or quit at your passion.
Have any more lessons you can provide from your experience as a DJ? Share in the comments below!
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