You can create and share music with the world as a DJ and producer. Whether you’re just starting or have been in the game for a while, it’s essential to strive for success constantly.
In today’s digital age, the music industry is constantly evolving, and it can be tough to stand out. However, you can succeed as a DJ and producer in any genre with the right strategies and mindset. In this article, we’ll share tips and strategies to become a successful DJ and producer in any genre in 2023 and beyond. Becoming a DJ and producer is a career path many of you want to proceed with.
By following these strategies, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success as a DJ and producer and make a name for yourself in the music industry. So, if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, keep reading for some valuable insights and tips.
But before we jump into the topic, here are some genres that we believe have awesome potential if you are DJ and Producer:
Is it worth it long term?
Drum & Bass
DnB is a fascinating genre that has a strong base of fans. Whether you are into Liquid, Deep, Neuro, Jungle or Mainstream DnB, there will be always opportunities to make living out of it if you love it.
House, Electro & EDM
As one of the most popular electronic genres out there, there will be always opportunities. Tomorrowland is a nice example of one of the greatest festivals.
EDM & House will always be the primary music genres and will have many fans. This makes it ideal for becoming DJ and make music.
Goa & Psytrance
It’s evolving each day. Past Festials: Boom Festival, Psy-Fi Festival, VooV Experience, Eclipse Festival. Check best Psy fests for 2023 here.
Certain types of trance have been commercialized.
Depending on the location, Psytrance in Israel is vastly popular. Though, it has a big fanbase because people just love GOA & Psy!
How do I become a successful DJ and Producer?
- Find your niche and specialize.
While it may be tempting to try and cover every genre and please everyone, it’s essential to find your niche and specialize in a particular style of music. This will help you stand out and develop a unique sound that fans can recognize and appreciate. It’s also vital to constantly stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques in your genre to stay relevant.
- Build a strong online presence
In today’s digital age, having a solid online presence is crucial for success as a DJ and producer. This includes having a professional website, active social media accounts, and a consistent branding strategy. Use these platforms to share your music, engage with your fans, and promote your shows and releases. Platforms like SoundCloud, Hypeddit, YouTube, Instagram, and Reddit are best for beginners. It’s also a good idea to have a mailing list to keep fans updated on your latest news and releases. DJs like Boris Brejcha and Skrillex are great examples of branding strategies with their unique looks.
Produce a press kit, a collection of materials to promote yourself to industry professionals and media outlets. This typically includes a bio, a list of accomplishments, high-quality photos, and audio or video samples of your music.
Tip: When you build name in your field (Doesn’t need to be huge), then you can start making tutorials on Patreon and charge for it based on a subscription model (Every month). Ultimately, this can lead to substantial income.
- Network and collaborate with other artists
Networking and collaborating with other artists can help you gain exposure and make connections within the industry. Attend music festivals and industry events, join online communities, and reach out to other artists to discuss potential collaboration opportunities.
In addition, collaborating with other artists can help you learn new techniques and expand your artistic skills. These events can also provide valuable networking opportunities and the chance to showcase your music to new audiences. You can also collaborate with vocalists or instrumentalists to create unique and exciting music to attract new fans.
- Invest in high-quality equipment
Having high-quality equipment is essential for producing and performing professional-sounding music. So, invest in quality headphones, speakers, and a reliable DJ controller or production setup. Even though everything can be done only using a mouse and keyboard, you will expand your creativity and workflow with the equipment.
Some key pieces of equipment to consider investing in include:
- Headphones: Quality headphones are essential for accurately listening to and mixing your music. Look for headphones with a flat frequency response and comfortable fit.
- Studio Monitors/Speakers: Investing in quality studio monitors or DJ speakers will allow you to hear your music accurately and make informed decisions when mixing and producing.
- DJ controller or production setup: If you’re a DJ, a reliable DJ controller is essential for performing live. For producers, a quality production setup, including a computer, digital audio workstation (DAW) software, and any additional hardware you may need, will be crucial for creating and recording music.
While cutting corners and going for cheaper options may be tempting, investing in quality equipment will pay off in the long run. Quality equipment will last longer and produce better sound, which can lead to a more professional and successful career as a DJ and producer.
- Practice, and expand your knowledge.
As with any skill, practice is key to success as a DJ and producer. Spend time perfecting your craft and continually learning and improving your skills. This includes practicing music theory, mixing and production techniques, and staying up to date on the latest software and hardware. There are a lot of great YouTube tutorials that you can find to expand your knowledge and creativity. If you have some money to spend, there are also online courses to get a certificate.
For example, one of the fundamental skills of DJing is the ability to match the beats of two songs so they can be mixed seamlessly. To practice beatmatching, try playing two songs simultaneously and adjust the pitch or tempo of one of the songs until the beats match up.
- Stay organized and manage your time effectively.
Success as a DJ and producer requires a lot of time and energy. Staying organized and managing your time effectively is essential to stay on top of everything. Use calendars, to-do lists, and project management software to keep track of your tasks and schedules. Learn to use email efficiently.
- Be professional and consistent.
In the music industry, professionalism and consistency are key. Make sure to show up on time for gigs, promptly respond to emails and messages, and deliver quality music and performances. It’s also important to be consistent with your branding and image to create a cohesive and professional image.
General tips for producing on which you should do additional research
- Start with a solid foundation: Before adding all sorts of effects and layers to your track, make sure you have a solid foundation with a strong beat and catchy melodies. This will make it easier to build upon later on.
- Use reference tracks: A reference track is a song that you use as a reference or guide while producing your own track. Choose a track that has a similar style or vibe to the one you’re working on and use it to help you make decisions about the arrangement, mix, and overall feel of your track.
- Use automations: Automation is a powerful tool that allows you to control the parameters of your track over time. Use automation to add movement and dynamics to your track and to create builds and breaks.
- Experiment with effects: Each DAW has a wide range of built-in effects, and many third-party effects are available. Experiment with different effects to see how they affect your track, and feel free to stack multiple effects together to create unique sounds.
- Use sidechain compression: Sidechain compression is a technique that allows you to create space in your mix by ducking the level of one track when another track plays. This is often used to create a pumping effect on basslines or synths.
- Use parallel compression: Parallel compression is a technique that allows you to amplify the transients by mixing dry and heavily compressed sound, best use case scenario is for drums, bass, and vocals to add sustain and density without sacrificing the original attack and transients of the sound. This can create a more dynamic and punchy sound, as the compressed version of the signal adds sustain and density while the dry signal maintains the original transients and attack of the sound.
- Stay organized: As you work on your track, staying organized is essential to avoid getting overwhelmed. Use DAWs built-in organizational tools, such as color-coding and grouping tracks, to keep your project organized and easy to navigate.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: The beauty of producing music is that there are no hard and fast rules. So feel free to experiment and try new things to see what works best for your track. Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places.
Sometimes there might be a video showcase of the thought process of some artist that you follow. For example, one of my favorite videos for mixing is Art of Mixing by David Gibson. He is such a funny guy from the 90s; everything he talks about can be applied to modern production thinking.
There are several key aspects of music mixing that are important to consider and have been talked about in the video above:
- Level balance: refers to the relative volume of each track in the mix. A good mix will balance the different elements so that no instrument or vocal is too loud or quiet.
- EQ: This refers to the frequency balance of each track. Different instruments and vocals occupy different frequency ranges, and a good mix will have a smooth and even balance across all frequencies.
- Panning: This refers to the stereo placement of each track in the mix. By panning certain tracks left or right, the producer can create a sense of space and movement in the mix.
- Effects: Reverb, delay, and other effects can add depth and character to a mix. They can also help different elements of the mix blend together more seamlessly.
Great video for learning music theory basics in 30 minutes by Andrew Huang.
In the video, Andrew covers scales, chord progression, inversions, melodies, and rhythm. It provides a framework for understanding how musical elements such as melody, harmony, and rhythm work together to create a cohesive and expressive musical work.
Studying music theory can help musicians develop a greater understanding and appreciation of music, as well as improve their skills in areas such as music composition, arrangement, and performance.
In conclusion, becoming a successful DJ and producer requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and improve continually. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals and making a name for yourself in the music industry.
Remember that success in the music industry often requires persistence and consistency. This means putting in the time and effort to continually improve your skills and promote yourself, even when things differ from what you’d like. By remaining focused and dedicated, you’ll be able to achieve your goals and become a successful DJ and producer.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things, as this is often where the enormous opportunities for success lie. And finally, don’t get discouraged if you face setbacks or challenges. With Determination and a little luck, you can achieve your dreams and make a name for yourself in the music industry. So, always keep working hard and stay focused on your goals. Good luck on your journey to becoming a successful DJ and producer!
Readings that you may also like:
Headphones & Studio Monitors:
MIDI & Synths:
Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:
Processing & Sound Design:
Reverb & Delay Plugins:
Amps & Preamps:
Ivan Nedic is a young producer and audio engineer based in Serbia. He has experience in providing live sound for the venues, audio post-production and also he produces various tracks mostly Psychedelic Trance. He is also known as Dicne (Ditchne in English).