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Wanna become a DJ?

Disc jockeying is a performing art that overlaps with music production. It involves remixing, music composition, arrangement and production.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011, 11:09 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown
Disc jockeying is a performing art that overlaps with music production. It involves remixing, music composition, arrangement and production. A professional DJ entertains revellers at clubs and also does private shows for media houses and event management agencies.

S/he has to have undying passion for music and the creative zeal to be on the lookout for innovative sounds along
with the joy of performing. A DJ’s entertainment value depends a lot on his/her ability to spot the right beats.
A DJ can interact throughout the night with not only mixes but also through the mic, scratches, samples etc

Clock Work
11am: Wake up
11.30am: Sit with playlist for the night
1.30pm: Lunch
4pm: Reach nightclub or lounge bar
5pm: Start playing for the early crowd
8.30pm: Evening warms up
12am: Start winding down
1am: Light dinner
2am: Go to sleep

The payoff
The average take-home for a disc jockey at the initial level is Rs10,000 to Rs20,000 a month. The hike in the package (as per the market conditions and label/club/music composer involved) depends on his/her caliber and popularity

. An ear for good music, passion for music
. Must be well versed with the basics of sound/recording
. Should be creative with sound and rhythm
. Someone with a nocturnal body clock will fit the bill just fine
. You should be able to gauge the mood of the audience and play the right notes
. Someone who can distinguish amongst various genres of music can work well with various tunes

Getting There
What you study in high school does not matter as long as you have a keen interest in music. While you can enrol for a basic (beginner) DJ course right after Class 10, professionals suggest taking it head-on only after school. Once you are through with the basics, you can assist a professional DJ or musician to learn and master the tricks of the trade.

Graduate to a professional level course and approach nightclubs and event organisers with demo CDs of your mixes

. Spin Gurus DJ & Remixing Academy
. Jazzy’s DJ Workshop

Pros and cons
. Party while earning money
. Get to hobnob with the high society clan
. Innovative work
. Involves extensive travel
. Have to work the graveyard shift
. Can be physically taxing
. You work when the others party
. You can become an instant celebrity
. You need to keep yourself updated on the latest software doing the rounds

DJ’ing will last forever, as it is the DJ who can instill life in a party with his music. No machine can ever detect the mood of a crowd and decide tracks accordingly

Jazzy Joe, a DJ, conceptualiser, educator based in Delhi

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