While most of us disagree about what exactly we want from a DJ, be it chopped and looped beats, quick mixes that defy genre and convention or long, deep blends that make soup of our brains, one thing we have all experienced is what we don’t want from a DJ. Here, Point Blank’s lead DJ instructor Ben Bristow and DJ Ravine chat through five basic mistakes that DJs of all levels are sometimes guilty of for you to avoid at all costs. For comprehensive DJ instruction, check out their Complete DJ Course in London, or the new BA (Hons) in Music Production and DJ Practice (quality-assured by Middlesex University) taught by Ben Bristow himself among others.
For the sake of reference, here are the five mistakes to avoid:
1. Don’t redline – Most modern mixers make it super easy to tell if your sounds are clipping. No excuses!
2. Know your setup – You can’t always control what set up a club may have, but you can find out and do your research before a gig. Don’t get caught napping!
3. Don’t overuse effects – Effects are great, sure. But if you’re running a slip roll and a high-pass filter while flanging all hell out of your track it sounds, well, terrible.
4. Don’t over-plan – It’s tempting, especially when you’re starting out, to have your whole set mapped out. Sooner or later you will need to learn to improvise though, so why not start right away? Get your head up and be in the room.
5. Don’t be too eager to please – Somewhat counter to the last point, it’s also important to stick to your guns. After all, people have come to listen to your selections. Don’t pander to every request – find your own voice.
These tips alone aren’t going to make you an amazing DJ; the essentials of track selection and mixing always come first. Avoid them, however, and you will avoid some of the most common pitfalls of young, emerging DJs. Want more? Check out Point Blank’s full range of DJ courses to find a course that suits you. Next week they’re also hosting an open day on which you can go and check out their industry leading DJ studio.