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Career as a Disc-Jockey (DJ)

Who is a Disc Jockey?

A Disc Jockey or popularly known as DJs are professionals of entertainment field dealing with music. A DJ works with pre-recorded music and mixes it to set the mood of the occasion. A Dj mixes recorded music from any source, including vinyl records,cassesttes , digital audios or CDs.They also create remixes of pre-recorded tracks for later sale and distribution.They use various equipments to do so. They can be often seen performing in Weddings, Live in Dance clubs, Concerts, online or a Tv show.

What does a Disc Jockey do?

The work of disc jockey is not just mixing tracks or sounds, but it consists of many tasks. A DJ mixes sounds by aligning beats to create a unique mix of songs. They work with instruments such as DJ mixer which is an audio mixer with crossfader and cue functions.

It is very important for a DJ to manage the audience according to the occasion. A DJs task for any performance includes:

a. Collecting assignments from Program director

b. Theme selection

c. Equipment Handling

d. Make important announcements in the event.

e. Play music according to the occasion

Types of Disc Jockey?

DJs can be further categorized on the basis of their workspace. These are

a. Radio DJs – Radio DJs are professionals who play music broadcast on Radio FMs, AMs or online radio stations. A popular medium nowadays is the broadcast channels over music applications.

b. Club DJs- They are popularly called as DJs. They generally play music at parties, events such as cultural fests, or perform at music festivals or dance clubs. They work with two or more sources of tracks and create a unique music to uplift the mood of the audience. They can be further named on the basis of the music type they usually play such as Hip hop, house music or techno.

c. Turntablists- They are generally called as Battle DJs . They use Equipment as music instruments such as turntables and DJ mixer to manipulate the original tracks to create new music. They participate in DJ contests. Some popular contests are DMC World DJ Championships and Red Bull 3 Style.

d. Resident DJ- A DJ who is permanently employed in a venue such as hotels, cafes, or broadcasting station etc. These DJs have a steady income from a venue under a signed agreement. Most of them being asked to perform during weekends.

e. Mobile DJs- They have their own portable audio sound systems and often perform at gatherings such as street fairs, birthdays, weddings. They handle their own other equipments such as video systems or Lighting systems.

f. Producer DJs - DJs who create remixes of popular club hits, completely original tracks, or transition friendly versions of tracks which extend the start and end of a song. Producer DJ often have their work featured on online DJ record pools.

Working Conditions

The workplace of DJs varies over time and occasion. One can see DJ usually in a Wedding, Cultural events or fest of colleges or even in a Holi Bash. Thus each event defines a different work place for a DJ. A radio station disc jockey is responsible for answering calls from listeners. These calls may be the result of an artist interview, station contest, or even just to comment on the selections being played. The disc jockey is in charge of interviews conducted with musicians of the genre chosen by the radio station, as well as being responsible for announcing commercials in accordance with the stations set programming requirements. Their office hours are limited in between 5-6 hours; however, the preparation could take most of their days time

As a disc jockey for a dance club, the DJ is responsible for playing songs that are both entertaining and will affect the audience in a desired manner. This may include playing requested songs as well as setting up selections that will direct the audience to a certain area. This is done by selecting tracks that have the effect of pushing the audience to visit the bar, check out a promotional item sales booth, prepare for a contest or just to dance. The work hours here often starts during evening hours and often extend till late nights.

Knowledge areas required

a) Arts and Humanities

A basic knowledge of English, Hindi and other native languages. One should also have knowledge of music, dance, visual arts and drama.

b) Communications

A person in this career should be able to gain knowledge about multimedia and other telecommunications skills.

c) Engineering and Technology

A formal knowledge of electronics helps in handling equipments and further in mixing and editing as well using various equipment and softwares.

d) Business

A person should have a basic idea of business management.

Skills required


The purpose of beatmatching is to get two tracks playing at the same tempo (the speed at which the song is playing) and phase (the beats from both tracks playing in-time with each other).Beatmatching is accomplished using a pitch fader to adjust tempo.


Phrasing, with an “r”, will make sense to anyone who has ever played a musical instrument. It simply means to mix tracks together at points in the songs which make sense.


Equalizing (EQing) is the act of boosting or cutting frequencies so that multiple audio tracks blend nicely. A typical DJ mixer includes a three-band EQ (low, mid, and high…. or bass, midrange, and treble). Some mixers have four bands: low, low-mid, mid-high, and high.

Gain Control:

The majority of DJ mixers have three gain stages:

§ The input gain (gain/trim knobs)

§ The channel output gain (your volume faders)

§ The output gain (your master volume knob/fader).


§ Verbal : The verbal skills of a DJ helps in promoting oneself as well as conveying themselves in any event. One should be able to listen attentively and adapt accordingly. A good command over their verbal skills ensure a good performance.

§ Hearing and Speech : They should be able to speak clearly and recognize spoken words.

Attention: DJs are usually detail oriented and pays attention to their audience as well. They are also able to multi task.

Technology skills

i) Softwares

There are 3 main industry DJ platforms softwares:

§ Rekordbox: Pioneer’s free music management software allows you to prep your library and export to USB, or play directly from laptop using Rekordbox DJ. Requires compatible hardware.

§ Serato DJ Pro: Not only is it some of the most popular DJ software ever, but Serato’s new Practice Mode allows you to DJ for free with no hardware connected.

§ Traktor Pro: This Native Instruments software supports loads of great performance features for EDM and hip-hop DJs.

ii) Equipments:

Some of the equipments that one handles include lighting systems, visual systems and DJ sound equipments. These include turntables, CDJs, DJ mixers, Headphones, Time code, DJ controllers, Microphone etc.


DJs have distinct personalities. They are enterprising individuals. They do well at jobs that need:

a. Creativity : The main task of a DJ is to create a unique piece of music from existing ones. Thus, one needs to show their zeal at bringing something new to their job every time they perform.

b. Hard work : The industry of music is a dynamic in nature which changes every day. So a DJ needs to continue working hard to establish their name and also maintain the name with the changing demands of the industry

c. Attention to Detail: A detail-oriented person tend to have a great attention span and thus is able to understand the mood of the audience and accordingly adapt to rise to the occasion.

d. Stress Tolerance: The work lifestyle of DJ tend to be a bit eccentric from conventional office jobs. It offers a challenging life that needs to meet with odd work hours and also busy life.

e. Cooperation: The industry relies on the business connections and popularity in the industry. This helps in gaining assignments and events. Thus, a person who is able to cooperate with other professionals find themselves successfully adapting to the profession.

f. Independence: Many of the DJ prefer to work alone in setting up their profession. Thus a person who seeks high independence manages this profession well.


The education requirement is not compulsory in this industry. However a high school degree, and a bachelor’s degree in sound, light or Mass Media and media electronics is preferable to some extent. The basic requirement in the field lies in the skills that one has related to music.

Job Outlook

India is a land of festivals. India due to its multi culture provides a lot occasion for celebrations. Most celebrations in India have a DJ and a dance floor. However, DJing in India nowadays is not just limited to weddings and clubs. Every year, international DJs come to India to play at festivals like Sunburn, Vh1 Supersonic, Magnetic Fields, NH7 Weekender and many others.

There are many factors that determine the salary of DJ. DJs who represent an agency earn more than others. Newer well-trained DJs can expect 2K–5K per event or performance. Most popular ones tend to earn 3 to 5 lakh per event. Resident DJs tend to have a steady income.

Frequently Asked Questions

I. How to be successful as DJ in India?

The key to become successful in the field is by improving oneself daily and building up connection. One also needs to keep promoting themselves in order to become popular over social media and other platforms

II. How to promote Oneself as a DJ in social media?

Some of the basic ideas to promote oneself includes continuous making of content, interacting with follower’s and understanding the current trend in the entertainment field.

III. Some other related field into which one can look into as DJ?

A DJ can further work as :

Club Promoter :A club promoter for nightlife events. This will bring additional income and expand one’s social circle open business opportunities.

Music Producer: A music producer can release own tracks. Music producers earn music royalties and make many fans.

Become a DJ Tutor: A DJ tutor teaches young and aspiring DJs. Experienced DJs can make a significant amount of money by giving private lessons on their home DJ setup.

Music Journalist: A music journalist who writes about music. Other than getting a job as a music journalist, they can earn money by making blogs and websites about music.

IV. Who are the most famous DJs around the world?

Some of the renowned names in this profession includes Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, DJ Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, David Guetta and Sasha.

V. Who are the most famous DJs in India?

Some of the names from the industry consists of DJ Suketu, Aqeel, Sumit Sethi , Aneesh Chengapa, DJ Pearl etc.

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