Music is at the core of every event, from corporate parties to weddings to bar mitzvahs and everything in between. At some point, you’re going to need to find someone to provide the music for your event, whether it’s live or pre-recorded. No matter what kind of music you play, if you’re a DJ, the first thing people ask you will be what kind of DJ are you? followed by what equipment do you use? and then why? The answer to the first question depends on the answer to the other two – you have to have your reasons – but here are some general descriptions that may help determine which types of DJ you are.
The Old Timer. Old school DJs are usually older guys who have been spinning records for decades—their knowledge of music is extensive and their taste is unmatched. They can mix any track with another, no matter how different or diverse they are. They’re also cool as hell—the type to wear aviators even indoors and who always know what to play at a party.
The Rock Star. Aspiring to be like Spin or Z-Trip, these DJs set trends and make dance floors move. They spend most of their time creating new tracks and learning how to mix better than anyone else—and they do it all by themselves. This style is best for people who are highly creative and who would love nothing more than to create music all day long.
The Party Animal/Host/Life of The Party: If you are more into spontaneous dancing or are an adventurous go-with-the-flow kind of person then you may be a party animal. An event can include anything from your friends’ social gatherings to weddings to large festivals. It’s your job as a party animal to provide what people want while making sure things don’t go over budget.
The Hippie-DJ: This breed is not one for flashy gadgets and giant speakers. They simply want to be a part of a community and spread love in any way they can. To do so, they spin groovy beats at small house parties or in their own home to share with friends. More laid back than other styles, these DJs offer something to everyone with sounds from all types of genres.
The Tech-Savvy Hipster: Hipster DJs have incorporated technology into their performances for years. Many play around with visual setups, while others incorporate samples and loops into their sets. The stereotypical example of a hipster DJ is someone who plays vinyl records with a USB turntable setup or an MP3/WAV file format that can be played on regular CDs.
Booty-Shaking Digital Deejay: Not everyone is blessed with a booming set of pipes and a talent for dropping beats. If you fall into that camp, don’t despair; you can still make plenty of money as a deejay. Just focus on becoming an expert on what goes into making music: remixing tracks and playing popular beats that people will want to dance to.
The Fun-Loving Fool. For some DJs, fun is more important than skill. As long as they’re getting by on their charisma and natural likability (sometimes even if they aren’t) these guys don’t mind entertaining partygoers by playing music with little regard for crowd response. This type tends to drift towards EDM-centric genres like house and dubstep where technical skill is less valued in favor of big drops and intense buildups.
The key to finding your niche in any field is simply that—finding your niche. Identify what you love doing most and then surround yourself with people who share your passion. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re starting out in any industry; it takes time to learn skills and develop contacts. But once you start getting gigs (if you want them), make sure they’re for clients you enjoy working with, clients whose vision matches yours.