The Desirable Career of a Disc Jockey: Exploring the Creative and Musical Benefits of the Profession

Category: Music, Sound
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
Pages: 6 Views: 660

My idea of a professional life may seem glamorous and perhaps non-conventional. It is not the type of job that children grow up dreaming about. In fact, I am not exactly sure when the obsession or desire to become a disc jockey came up but I am sure of the fact that I do want to become a successful one. To begin, it is not so much the lifestyle, though it would be impossible to admit that there was not a single part of me that wanted to enjoy the same type of lifestyle, but the music. Having the professional career of a disc jockey is ideal for many reasons.

It allows one to work with various artists and also exposes one to the different talents in the music industry. One’s creative talent is also allowed to grow and improve as a disc jockey. The exposure to all sorts of music that one is able to create with and blend makes a career as a disc jockey very desirable to myself. Before discussing this chosen profession, however, it is important to first discuss what exactly a disc jockey is. A disc jockey is basically defined as a person who selects, programs and plays music. This music is usually from a prerecorded/preselected track or selection.

This is then mixed and played for any selected audience who can either be live or on the radio or even recorded in a studio for album sales. While the disc jockey profession has typically been considered as merely supplementary, it has been greatly developed over the years with the developments in the music and recording industry such as the introduction of digital formats, which DJs use to create live mixes and incorporate sound samples and thus creating a unique new sound. Income Income wise, DJs make a fairly decent amount of money.

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The highly sought after disc jockeys usually earn anywhere from US$100,000 to US$250,000 on average every year. There are of course exceptions depending on how sought after the disc jockey is. Starting out, a decently skilled and equipped disc jockey can expect to haul in around US$50,000 a year just from hosting events and parties in bars and other functions. There is no certification or educational attainment required to become a successful disc jockey as even the most famous ones never really received any sort of formal training but instead trained themselves.

Neither is race a factor as a disc jockey can come from any racial background and still become succesful. Perhaps the only factor that figures when determining the income of a disc jockey is popularity and demand. Working Conditions The job of a disc jockey pays well but also demands a lot from the disc jockey. First off, the working hours are quite different from the normal shifts that other professionals have. Being a disc jockey, one must be willing to work long late hours in the evenings until early mornings.

The demand for a disc jockey is usually during party hours which may begin as early as 9 in the evening and last until the wee hours of the morning of the next day. These working hours necessitate that a disc jockey must be able to adapt and have sleeping hours that allow for this type of work. The stress and burn-out rate is very high among disc jockeys because of this. For disc jockeys who are in high demand, the stress is even greater and any type of family time is very difficult. Disc jockeys also constantly travel in search of better opportunities and to play at concerts.

This means that there is very little time to carry out the day to day affairs. The most important factor is the health factor as disc jockeys are constantly exposed to excessively loud levels of music. Being in such an environment lends to the deterioration of one’s hearing and the different hours may also have an effect on the long term health of any disc jockey. That is why most disc jockeys make sure that they are physically fit and well rested before any concert or event. Personality/Skills Being a disc jockey does not require a college degree, much less any educational degree. Though, it is important to receive an education.

There is no requirement for a disc jockeys personality although recent studies have shown that good communication skills and pleasing personalities always perform better in any professional endeavor. A disc jockey must, however, be able to properly gauge the mood of the crowd at the event in order to know what type of music to play. The basic skill a disc jockey needs is the musical skill. A disc jockey must be able to blend the music and tracks seamlessly. He must be able to know when to insert a certain track or know what type of beat and tempo to add to another song to create an entertaining atmosphere.

2. ) The most important part of becoming a disc jockey is getting enough real life experience in order to know the crowds and events scene. There is no course or educational program that can adequately prepare someone to become a disc jockey. The best teacher for this type of profession is experience and musical inclination. Music is similar to fashion and in order for one to become successful it is important to be able to adapt and develop a unique musical signature that crowds enjoy. Education/Training As previously mentioned, there is no requisite degree for a disc jockey.

Perhaps the only education a disc jockey needs will come from a professional disc jockey training school which is starting to abound in the United States. It does not hurt of course to have a good musical background. One can enroll in the many music courses in any of the colleges and receive a proper background in order to develop one’s skill and learn what types of sounds can blend well. There is no certification for being a disc jockey since professionals in the entertainment industry generally do not require professional studies in order to practice their profession.

Equipment The most important part of being a disc jockey is having the proper equipment, not only to perform better during events but also in order to be able to practice and improve in one’s profession. Basic equipment The equipment needed to DJ consists of: Sound recordings in a DJ's preferred medium (eg. vinyl records, compact discs (CDs), computer media files) A minimum of two devices to play sound recordings, for alternating back and forth to create a continuous playback of music (e. g. record players, compact disc players, computer media players such as an MP3 player)

A sound system for amplification or broadcasting of the recordings (e. g. portable audio system, PA system) or a radio broadcasting system. A DJ mixer, an electronic two-channel mixer with a crossfader used to smoothly go from one song to another (using two or more playback devices) A microphone, so that the DJ can introduce songs and speak to the audience, and headphones or a monitor speaker, which is used to listen to one recording while the other is playing, without outputting the sound to the audience). Advanced equipment Other equipment can be added to the basic DJ set-up (above) providing unique sound manipulations.

Such devices include but are not limited to: Electronic effects processors (delay, reverb, octave, equalizer, chorus, etc). Some club DJs use a sub octave effect which creates a very low bass sound and adds it to the mix. A computerized performance system, which can be used with timecode encoded vinyl/CD content to manipulate digital files on the computer in real time. Multi-stylus headshells, which allow a DJ to play different grooves of the same record at the same time. Special DJ digital controller hardware can manipulate digital files on a PC or laptop, by using midi signals

Samplers, electronic musical keyboards (synths), or drum machines. Length of Time In order to become a successful disc jockey, one needs to have enough experience or at least have enough talent. There are certain disc jockeys who have gained overnight success by landing an excellent gig. There are also those who have apprenticed under the more successful disc jockeys and slowly worked their way up to stardom. There is no fixed length of time required in order for a person to become a disc jockey as success in this profession is determined by many things such as popularity and quality of events performed.

The best time line for this will be five years from the beginning of training to eventual success. Courses offered for professional disc jockey training last for around sixty (60) days and apprenticeship under a good disc jockey may range anywhere from sic (6) months to one (1) year. Under the normal circumstances, one will be able to gain enough experience and develop a sufficient amount of contacts in the entertainment industry in a p of five (5) years.

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The Desirable Career of a Disc Jockey: Exploring the Creative and Musical Benefits of the Profession. (2016, Aug 22). Retrieved from

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