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Pro DJs: The Difference Between the Good and the Great

What is it that separates good DJs from the truly great DJs?

For newcomers to DJing, learning how to become a DJ that makes enough money to pay the bills is usually the priority. As is finding a decent DJ finance deal to fund the DJ equipment they need to get things up and running.

But once you’ve mastered the basics and things are starting to happen, what can you do to take it to the next level? If you’re not content with being a good DJ, what can you do to take yourself and your art one step closer to greatness?

Take a look at many of the worlds most celebrated and successful DJs and you’ll find that most have the following in common:

1. A Genuine Passion for Music and DJing

It goes without saying, but you simply cannot become a great (or even a successful) DJ if you don’t have a genuine passion for music. Irrespective of how technically competent you may be, music needs to be your life…period.

You need to be the kind of person who couldn’t imagine going a single day without access to the music that drives and inspires you. If you like the technical side of DJing but can take or leave music in general, it’s not the art form for you.

2. A Willingness to Evolve

How do truly great DJs remain relevant and popular for decades on end? It’s easy – they adapt, diversify and evolve along the way. Irrespective of how epic your music was in 1994, the same tunes (in most instances) today just wouldn’t work with modern audiences.

Remaining true to yourself and your style is essential. But so too is being willing to grow, alongside whatever your audience responds best to at the time. This is why some DJs and artists stay current and relevant for decades, while others quickly fade into obscurity. Keeping current with the latest DJ equipment helps in this regard.

3. Making the Effort to Network

Like it or not, making a success of yourself as a DJ is as much about who you know as it is what you know. Think about it – getting friendly with just a single publisher or promoter could be all it takes to propel you to the big time. Personality and networking skills therefore are just as important as DJing experience.

The golden rule across the music industry in general is to never pass up a potential networking opportunity. Or for that matter, to add a potentially influential name to your list of contacts.

4. Remaining Tenacious at all Times

Last but not least, every DJ, artist and performer occasionally encounters turbulence. Be it creative block, difficulties booking live performances or poor reception to recent work, it happens – and is borderline inevitable.

This is where tenacity pays dividends, often making the difference between those who thrive and those who struggle to survive. Taking the rough with the smooth is all part and parcel of the experience, as is believing in yourself and your work.