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How to Become a Professional Club DJ

You already know the mechanics of DJing, but you want to be an international celebrity -- or at least drink for free while showing off your music collection. Here's how to spin your hobby into a career.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Decide whether you want to spin old-school vinyl or use a laptop and MP3 player, which are much more portable. Either way, you’ll be expected to provide your own equipment.
  • Step 2: Amass a music collection that is both broad and deep. You’ll need to be able to provide a single style of music for over five hours, as well as handle any requests.
  • TIP: You should always bring twice the length of music that you’ll need for your set. In nightlife, you never know what will happen!
  • Step 3: Check out local DJs and music scenes. Even if it’s not your style, it’s important to know who and what is out there.
  • Step 4: Become a regular at clubs and bars that you like — get to know everyone from the bartender to the usual crowd. Show up looking good, and keep making friends. Be genuine, not genuinely annoying. Make friends — don’t harass people — and eventually they’ll hire you.
  • TIP: Make friends - don't harass people - and eventually they'll hire you.
  • Step 5: Make a mix of songs you would spin, add some cover art, and give it out to the key players in nightlife that you now know. Be sure to give it like a friendly gift to avoid the creep factor of handing out promotional schlock.
  • Step 6: Book a party If you can't seem to get hired as a DJ, and you have enough friends to fill a space, try asking a bar to let you book your very own party. That way you can pick yourself to DJ -- and you'll get a cut of the profits!
  • FACT: The record for the longest continuous broadcast by a single DJ is 110 hours.

You Will Need

  • DJing equipment
  • A broad and deep music collection
  • Copies of a mix with decent cover art
  • Friends who own bars or DJ -- and who will show up to your gigs
  • Cool clothes that reflect your musical style

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