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Guide to DJing - Part.1 Types of DJs

Updated: Sep 3, 2020


"Creative Guide to DJing" a simplified series of Blog posts by DJ Katrin Love that give a couple of insight concepts to get us started and actionable steps wherever you may be on your DJ Career.

In This Week's Blog, let's figure out what kind of DJ you are or wants to become:

Ty p e s o f D J s

The year is 1935, is about when things started, an American radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term "disc jockey" (the combination of a disc, referrring to disc-shaped phonograph records, and described radio announcer Martin Block, the first radio announcer to gain widespread fame for playing popular recorded music over the air.

Since then a Disc Jockey has evolved and revolved around music and the entertainment space. A DJ, or disc jockey, is a person plays out recorded music for an audience.

There are many different kinds of DJs, let's take a quick dive into what they do:

Club DJs

Every club has a different feel, sonic character, and audience. Ideally, the club DJ's job is maintaining a moving dance floor. Club DJs may perform long blends/transitions between songs, to keep people's feet moving. They must know how to control the energy of the crowd, maintaining the balance between an active dance floor and a busy bar.

Mobile DJs

These DJs perform at a wedding, a private event, corporate event, product launches, etc...

They may go in early and prepare the setup and also teardown of equipment once they are done, plan the show, managing the crowd, and making any announcements. They usually charge rental fees for equipment too.

Radio DJs - RJ

The entire concept of DJing owes it's origins to the radio. The Radio DJ's (RJ) job varies greatly, from the person from the morning show, news, and weather to the midnight dance mix. Many radio DJs have little control of what music they play, radios license music and some have exclusive rights with labels and music aggregators, just like a club, radios have their own sonic identity, dance, top40, country, classical, etc...

Turntablists - Turntablism

Not sure how I feel about this, hear me out; turntablism, is an art on its own, its the opposite of DJing, in the sense of transitions and blends. Turntablists are highly skilled, high caliber entertainers, that spend countless days, weeks, and months crafting a short show. Of course, they can DJ too, and do all the normal blends. Usually, a turntablist is a DJ too, but a DJ is not usually a turntablist. People go to see this DJ because of their skill, reputation, and what they can do behind the decks. They are usually into battle or other types of competitions. Their mixes are displays of raw dexterity, impressive tricks, and clever transitions. You need to see and hear them, to understand the art form, they manipulate tranditional DJ equipment like a musical instrument.

So now that you have an idea of some of the types of DJs most likely you fall into a club DJ with an inclination to some type/genre of music.

In next creative guide to djing part 2, I will discuss and mention the reasons why DJing.


If you are learning and benefiting from my posts please support me by liking & following me on social media: @DJKatrinLove




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