The Dj

.. o there are a lot of jobs as mobile DJ’s. These DJ’s usually work for a company. These companies do parties, weddings, and all sorts of special events. On a cruise I went on last summer I met a mobile DJ that works out of Houston. He said, “Even though I have a degree in Communications I cant beat the amount of available work and the money of being a DJ.

I can pull in 60,000 to 70,000 a year if I work hard.” This alone shows how in need the world is of DJ’s. So now that you have a good idea of the history of DJ’s and what jobs are available you might be wondering what it takes to be a good DJ. Well this question all depends on whom you ask. So I have collaborated different idea of what a good DJ is. First of all a good DJ has to know the music he is spinning. Not only does he have to know it like the back of his hand but also they have to have a love for the music.

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Without the love and passion for this job then it changes from an art form to just playing music. A good DJ has to have knowledge of the crowd and how to work them into frenzy. Many different little skills are all combined together to make a great DJ. DJ Tony Humphries who has worked professionally since 1977 and has been a major influence on his peers in New York City, speaks from an underground perspective on a good DJ: ” DJ’s have to understand the concept of programming. How to break a record.

How to play with records, repeat intros, lengthen breaks, endings….There is an art to programming your set…..The DJ who plays all his hottest records in a row is not doing his job right. You can’t play all your best material all at once because you want to save some of it for later in the evening. The DJ does not into that power record the same way the crowd does. You are supposed to be separate from the crowd. You’re supposed to be into exposing them to new material. So, what you do is play a track, followed by something new and then you back it up with something they know and like.

It’s like a train ride. The crowd becomes trustworthy that you will come back with something they like. It’s the fifteen-minute game. About every third song, you give them a well known song. After one hour, the crowd has been exposed to ten new records.

That way, you please yourself and the crowd. Larry Levan was great at this. The most important thing to remember is that musical content, how you program, is more important than actual mixing skills sometimes”( Fikentscher p38). As you can see there are many different things that a DJ has to know. Another view of a good DJ was taken from a book called Last night a DJ saved my life, ” At its most basic DJing is the act of presenting a series of records for an audience’s enjoyment.

So at the simplest level a DJ is a presenter. This is what radio DJ’s do, they introduce music. However the club DJ has largely abandoned this role for something more musically creative. To become a good DJ you have to develop the hunger. You have to search for new records with the insane zeal of a gold rush prospector digging in a blizzard.

The essence of the DJ’s craft is selecting which records to play and in what order. A great DJ should be able to move a crowd on the most primitive equipment. More than anything else, it’s how sensitively a DJ can interact with a crowd. A good DJ isn’t just stringing records together, he’s controlling the relationship between some music and hundreds of people. A good DJ is always looking at the crowd, seeing what they like, seeing whether it’s working or not; communicating with them, smiling at them.

And a bad DJ is always looking down at the decks and just doing whatever they practiced in their bedroom”( Brewster pg 9). As you can see it’s not as easy as it might first appear a lot of time and dedication to gain the knowledge. To get a more personal insight on the topic of what a good DJ is and many other things I interviewed a well known DJ of New Mexico and Texas DJ Tim House. When I went to Tim’s house of course before we started the interview we took turns DJing for about 2 hours. Once we sat down I got a great insight on the DJ world through his eyes. First he stated that the term “DJ” he thinks is a very broad term he said there are DJ’s that are just up there playing records and then there are DJ’s like myself who like to think of ourselves as entertainers and musicians.

” You have to communicate with everybody through your music instead of with words”. When asked what his definition of a good DJ was he smiled and replied, ” When a DJ can entertain any audience given to them. When they can take a group of people that is totally different and unite all of them with music…It is a very beautiful thing”. One of the most important questions that I asked Tim was if he himself considered being a DJ as a serious profession. He replied, ” Oh, most definitely! Of course it depends what he is doing with it and how hard he works but ya it pays my bills”.

And one last question I asked was why do you think that some people might not think of a DJ as a serious profession. He replied, ” They don’t see the electronic culture at least not yet, everybody will eventually. People have and always will want to dance!”. As you can see people in this profession and people in this culture take the job of a DJ very serious. Now that you have al this knowledge do you want to know my personal opinion? Well first of all I started DJing when I was 15. Something about it for me just fascinated me.

It became more and more interesting to me everyday as I would lean more about the culture and the history. I would come home from school and go straight up to my room to mix for the rest of the day sometimes. It is my only passion that I have ever had. I love playing for people whether it’s in my room , at a party, or in a club. I love it. Already I have made money doing this.

I mean New Years eve I made two hundred dollars for one hours work. What job is better than this? Well the answer is there is no better profession than a DJ. You get to entertain people, be a musician, and do what you love. Throughout this paper I have filled you’re heard with knowledge of the DJ and it’s culture so you can better understand how great of a profession this really is. How many people if you asked them would say they love to go to work and their job is their passion. Not that many! If you asked me or any other DJ they could say yes. Music.


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