Why Music Producers Make The Best DJs
If you’re a music producer and want to get started in DJing then we’ve got some great tips and advice for you to get started. To be fair, being a music producer already provides a lot of essential skills and building blocks to get started in DJing, such as song structure and phrase matching. Let’s get stuck into the top tips and advice to help you get started in DJing.
As a music producer you already plan out your music before laying down those chords, basslines and drums. In doing so you’ll certainly have a firm understanding of the structure of music, e.g. break down, drop, chorus, verse, outro etc.
Let me break it to ya, you’re going to find DJing a lot easier than other non-music producers.
DJing is all based around cueing up music at the beginning of a section e.g. the first beat of an intro, and then dropping in a music track at the right moment so that both sections (or phrases) are aligned.
My guess is that your ear is probably going to be well trained to hear build ups and drum fills that indicate the ending of phrases and sections of songs.
These triggers are going to be the points in which you can utilise and start cueing up your music tracks, get beatmatching for mixing and blending.
To further compliment ‘song structure’ knowledge, being a music producer you certainly need to understand tempo and rhythm. Also, being a music producer, there’s a good chance you might play piano or guitar for example.
Well this is where you have already gained a few competency steps with DJing. You should in theory be able to hear the difference in BPM (tempo) between two tracks when you’re cueing music tracks up in your headphones.
Back in the day there was a show on UK TV, Channel 4, about teaching people to DJ in a week and then DJing live in front of an audience.
The audience then voted who they thought was the “proper” DJ. Anyway the lady in the show was a Cello player and she got taught how to DJ in a week and she actually won. Everyone thought she was the actual DJ, amazing really. If she can DJ then you can for sure!
Learn how to read the crowd
DJing live is a great tool for music producers, you can get to grips with learning how to read the crowd and understand which songs work well.
The reason why this is great is because it might give you a great chance to understand how the energy of music is received by an audience on the dance floor at any given moment in your DJ sets.
Having learnt that gives you an opportunity to start DJing from a different perspective which you might not have achieved simply being a music producer locked up in a music studio.
Promote your DJ mixes (Content marketing)
As a music producer you might be promoting your music and other potential content via social media, your website and YouTube for example.
Recording your DJ mixes whether the mixes are live or simply recorded, they are another great way to publish content and build up a following for yourself.
It’s another great way to grab more attention for your ‘brand’ as a music producer (and now a DJ). Plus it shows that you have another string to your bow which may lead to live DJ shows further adding to your future success as a music producer and DJ.
Network with other DJs (and Music Producers)
DJing might be able to give you another avenue to network and mix socially with like minded music producers.
You could easily get acquainted with other music industry people that may help you gain more DJ gigs, collaborations on music productions, remix opportunities and possibly meet other music label owners.
The opportunities are endless, it really does take some effort and before you know it that snow ball of success is getting bigger and bigger.
Test out your own music tracks
The absolute beauty of DJing when you’re actually a music producer, you can try out your own music tracks live to an audience.
Real time testing of your music to an audience to see how they react. Obviously not all tracks are going to be absolute bangers, but the tracks that do work well will certainly give you a massive boost of energy to continue being a successful music producer and DJ.
Stand out from the crowd, consider DJing Live (e.g. with Akai Professional APC40)
If you’re not really into the idea fully DJing live and using two turntable jog wheels and a mixer, then why not consider DJing live e.g. using an Akai APC40. It’s a great way to get a hybrid solution to DJing and playing tracks by pressing buttons on Launchpad.
In some cases you can play the individual elements of your own music tracks e.g. activating the drums separate to the bassline etc, then you merge in your other tracks too.
A great example of this is Christian Loffler on the Cercle YouTube Channel where he’s using the APC40 and keywords etc to play his music in a full on live set.
I think this is certainly going to be a trend in the future for music producers playing live and gives a unique edge for music producers looking to play live / sort of DJing.
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