How To Become A DJ in Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become DJs in Australia.

 

Do you love music, partying, and making music playlists for yourself and your friends? If yes, a career as a DJ could be perfect for you.

 

DJs play the music to entertain the audience at any event, or establishment, such as local bars, radio stations, internet radio stations, dance clubs, and even at wedding receptions. They often have a list of song requests provided by the person or a company.

 

There are no formal requirements to become a DJ. However, to be successful in this profession, you should focus on getting the best training. Training in a DJ school can help polish your skills and give you a competitive edge.

 

This blog will help you learn about the DJ profession, duties, average salary, work conditions and workplaces, DJ training courses, and how to launch your career.

 

 

1. What Are DJs?

 

DJs mix music from a recorded source, such as cassettes, CDs, vinyl, or digital audio files, and play a continuous mix through turntables, CDJs, or specialized music software.

 

They provide the soundtrack to various settings, including dance clubs, cruise ships, bars, disco parties, raves, music festivals, radio stations, internet radio stations, weddings, private parties, concert venues, and even genre-based television channels.

 

 

2. Different Types of DJs

 

Your journey to becoming a DJ starts with identifying the type of DJ you want.

 

It requires understanding each type and how well it aligns with your interests and career aspirations.

 

 

The Club DJ

 

  • Works in a single club

  • Knows how to move the energy up and down and maintain a balance between a busy bar and an active dance floor

  • Monitor the mood of a room and perform long blends between songs to keep people's feet moving on the dance floor

  • After building a fan following, "Club DJs" may perform at bars, festivals, lounges, nightclubs, music venues, etc. Those who perform at a venue permanently or frequently are called resident DJs. 

 

 

The Performer

 

  • Referred to as exhibitionists or Turntablists, they give performances in a club or at an event 

  • Specialize in areas like scratching and cutting 

  • Use specialized equipment to play multiple tracks simultaneously or fade from one track to another.

  • Their mixes showcase impressive tricks, skilled transitions and raw agility.

 

 

The Mobile DJ

 

 

  • Perform at events where a steady stream of people gathers, such as weddings, graduations, prom parties, school dances, corporate events, and other events that require music. 

  • Take requests or playlists over a mobile, speak into a microphone, and invest in sound equipment.

  • May be solely accountable for managing the setup and dismantling of equipment, event planning, crowd management, and making announcements.

 

 

The Radio DJ

 

  • Target a specific music genre and audience 

  • Choose to play new music releases that people get to hear over the airwaves

  • Make announcements and play songs on a radio channel.

 

 

Producers

 

They produce music for their groups and the global music market.

 

 

3. What Tools, And Technologies Do DJs Use?

 

A good DJ must have professional-grade equipment, such as a public address (PA) system with microphones and speakers, turntables, computers, tablets, and other digital media players. 

 

Versatile disc jockeys perform hands-on work with professional turntables and vinyl records. So, here is the "must-haves" equipment for every would-be DJ:

 

  • DJ Controller

  • CDJ

  • Vinyl Set Up

  • Big DJ Speakers

  • Studio Monitor 

  • A Midi Controller

  • An Audio Interface 

  • Microphone

  • Variety of plug-ins

  • Two Turntables/ Two CD Players 

  • 2-Channel Mixer

  • DJ Headphones

 

 

Having all the DJ hardware, it is time to get all the essential DJ software that helps listen to and manipulate digital audio files:

 

  • Mixing software 

  • High-quality music management software for laptop DJs includes Traktor, Serato, Rekordbox, Mixxx, Mixvibes CrossDJ, and VirtualDJ.

 

 

Once you have the essential DJ software and hardware, you can mix audio tracks and play non-stop mixes for various events.

 

 

4. DJ's Duties

 

The art and role of DJs have advanced and expanded over the years and continue to develop and adapt to the changes in the music industry. 

 

Though the exact duties depend on the type of DJ and where they work, the most common ones include the following:

 

  • Play pre-recorded music from other music artists that suit the theme of that event/ venue 

  • Play music to entertain a wide variety of audiences

  • Play tracks from a set playlist provided by station management

  • Mix different tracks to create non-stop feet-thumping music 

  • Maintain music playlist for various categories such as classic disco, classic top 40, dance-oriented rock, Latin, reggae, and classic rock

  • A radio station disc jockey must answer calls from listeners.

  • Perform backstage tours

  • Announce commercials as per the programming requirements specified by the station

  • Play songs that entertain and impact the audience

  • Play requested songs and set up selections that direct the audience to a specific area.

  • A few DJs also compose, produce, and sing their audio tracks.

 

 

5. DJing Skills

 

The following skills may help with a successful start in this profession:

 

 

Technical Skills

 

  • Working knowledge of Beatmatching, Phrasing, Gain Control and EQing

  • Understanding a variety of native musical genres 

  • Proficiency in playing a musical instrument 

  • Good knowledge of mixing on more than one device

  • Knowledge of working with laptops, CD drives, USB sticks, etc. 

  • Knowledge of invoice handling, emailing, and dealing with clients if you wish to set up your business in DJ services 

  • Good hands-on experience in operating DJ hardware and software

 

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Deep knowledge and passion for their chosen genre 

  • Likes sharing music with an audience

  • A desire to inspire people to dance

  • Able to understand the audience at an event and provide music to meet their expectations

  • Effective communication

  • Adventurous

  • Goal-oriented 

  • Assertive

  • Fond of meeting new people

  • Bubbling with Energy and Enthusiasm 

  • Confident 

  • Versatile in both music genres and music technologies

  • Optimistic

  • Persuasive 

  • Self-motivated

  • Social

  • Adaptable

  • Generous

  • Fun-loving, friendly, and outgoing 

  • Cooperative

  • Observant

  • Empathetic

  • Willingness to constantly refine their craft and learn trending music technologies to stay competitive.

 

 

6. Types Of DJs' Specialization

 

DJs can specialize in different niches of the music industry. For example, some choose weddings, clubs, residencies, corporate events, or producing music mixes.

 

Contemporary DJs specialize in musical categories such as Techno, Hip-Hop, and House. They create and mix the beats, loops, and bass lines, Rappers use as the backing track to perform live performances.

 

 

7. How To Become A DJ In Australia?

 

Are you interested to know how to become a DJ/Producer? Anyone who has a passion and love for music can become a DJ. As there are no formal requirements, you can start this profession immediately.

 

Here we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions on how to pursue this career in Australia:

 

 

8. How To Be A DJ For Beginners?

 

DJs should know that there are no formal qualifications but plenty of skills to master before getting work and earning good money.

 

 

Decide What Type Of DJ You Want To Become

 

You can find different types of DJs performing in various settings, such as Club DJs, Mobile DJs, Radio DJs, DJ Producer, or Turntablists. 

 

The first step to beginning your professional journey is learning about these individual categories and identifying which best suits your skills and interests.

 

 

Learn Operating The Essential Software And Hardware

 

Having gained the clarity, find out what software and hardware you need to learn how to become a DJ for parties.

 

  • Popular DJ software includes Rekordbox, Traktor, Serato, and Virtual DJ. 

  • Popular DJ hardware includes DJ Controller, CDJ and Mixer, Vinyl Setup, DJ Headphones, and DJ Speakers/Studio Monitors.

 

Taking appropriate courses to learn and develop technical skills will certainly help.     

 

 

Learn DJ Skills

 

There are a few basic DJ skills you need to master before you can start working in professional settings. These include Beatmatching, Phrasing, Gain Control, and EQing. To begin with these, you must first build a vast music library.

 

Spotify, SoundCloud, Musicpool, and Beatport are some of the best places to find an extensive music collection in various genres.

 

The common question that people ask is how to become a DJ using a phone. Suppose you want to pursue it as a hobby. In that case, you can learn the basic skills using vast online learning resources and YouTube videos.

 

However, if you pursue a career as a DJ, attend a professional training course at a reputed DJ school. DJ School Australia and The Sydney DJ School are leading DJ and digital music education providers.

 

Besides getting trained by professionally trained music artists, you also receive a certificate in DJ Performance and Production that can boost your resume and credibility in the job market.

 

 

Start Recording Your Mixes

 

Once you have the necessary skills, it is time to put what you have learned into practice. Begin recording your DJ sets. Don't expect to get it right the first time. Every time you mix audio tracks, play it back to analyze your progress to make it better.

 

You may need to do it multiple times until you gain perfection. If you like them, add them to your portfolio and publish them on social media.

 

 

Focus on Building Your Professional Network

 

As a beginner, you need to pay focus on improvising your skills and developing your network. Once you have a good fan base, your work will become easier.

 

Some of the things you can do right now to start building creating professional connections:

 

 

  • Create your digital presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Mixcloud

  • Follow DJs that work in your genre and exhibit a similar skill level on Instagram and Twitter. This way, your profile will be visible to their followers under the "Suggested Profiles" icon. It is one of the ways to get people to know your talent.

  • People will more likely follow you when they find fresh content and a good fan following. So, make sure you publish and share good audio mixes regularly.

  • Take your networking effort a little further and start attending events where you can get in touch with other DJs. Visit clubs and event shows, and hand out your business card to the event promoter or club owner. 

 

 

Offer to provide your services for free or at a low price to gain more exposure and experience and promote your talent. 

 

If you prove your work ethic, talent and industry knowledge, you can get well-paying projects from them. 

 

 

Continue Skilling Up

 

The challenge for DJs is keeping up with the latest software, equipment, and mixes required to make the music more unique and exhilarating.

 

So, even after becoming a DJ, stay updated with the industry developments and keep upgrading your knowledge and skills.

 

 

9. How To Become A DJ In 3 Minutes?

 

It takes months of consistent practice and years of learning and mastering the skills to reach the stage at which you can start getting gigs. After several successful performances, you establish your name and earn credibility and popularity in the industry.

 

The time needed to pursue the profession varies based on your learning path, learning pace, and how you offer your services.

 

If you want to know how to become a DJ quickly, there are plenty of ways to approach your dream career in music. You can learn through free online tutorials and videos or attend a school DJ program to gain professional Djing skills. 

 

Either way, you must devote a few weeks or months to learning the basic skills and several more weeks to practice them and promote your talent.

 

Those who plan to offer their services as self-employed DJs need to learn the art of DJing and marketing skills. Thus, there is no quick learning path or shortcut if you want to become a good DJ. Know that your hard work and patience will pay you rewards in the long run.

 

 

10. How To Become A DJ Using A Laptop?

 

You can learn the basics of DJiing even if you need professional DJs' tools. All it matters is a passion for music, a willingness to learn, and a drive to succeed.

 

Many DJ training schools have minimal entry requirements for students - a laptop, pen, and paper to study the course could be enough. 

 

These are the only prerequisites to learning a range of skills and extensive knowledge in production and fast track into DJ and music production.

 

Here we have mentioned the top two DJ training schools that offer DJ training lessons in all the major cities in Australia:

 

 

DJ School Australia

 

Ideal for those wishing to enter the music and dance clubs, earn an income from this profession or want to play a fixed audio mix at a house party.

 

 It is an opportunity to combine your creativity and natural talent with the latest techniques, tools, and professional guidance.

 

In the first five lessons, you will learn the basic knowledge and skills of DJing. After the 10th session, you can mix at an average level in front of your friends. After 15 to 20 sessions, you are a pro, ready to perform at a club and in front of a crowd.

 

All students who complete this course will receive a Certificate in DJ Performance and Production.

 

 

The Sydney DJ School Program

 

This institute conducts fun and easy-to-follow courses designed for beginners to advanced-level students to transform how they play music.

 

In just a few training sessions, you will learn how to think more creatively as a DJ, play any genre LIVE, and create a standout performance.

 

Learning methods offered:

 

  • One-on-One Course

  • Exclusive VIP Package (includes - One-on-One course, Mindset Mentor, Photo Shoot, and Bio)

  • Weekend Intensive Group Classes

  • Online Course

 

 

11. How To Become A Female DJ?

 

Should girls not make much money at a party or a nightclub? You might be wrong. Successful female DJs can make male audiences crazy with their great personalities, energy, and music-mixing skills.

 

You can find many female DJs in places where Electronic Dance Music is popular. Most of such events only have female DJs and no male DJs. When identifying these events, you increase your chances of getting a job.

 

Aspiring female DJs who wish to become part of the female crews should study Australian electronic dance music by taking training programs. Alternatively, they can enrol in a dance school as an apprentice, learn to mix electronic dance music and refine their communication skills.

 

Suppose you can't make it to training school. In that case, you can look for local colleges that offer internships in electronic dance music. After completing the training, you will need to study for a diploma majoring in music therapy.

 

It will help you specialize in a specific electronica genre, opening the door to several new opportunities, such as performing as a DJ in a band or the bigger clubs in a city.

 

 

12. Where Does A DJ Work?

 

Disc jockeys work in various places in the music industry, depending on their area of interest. Beginners usually start playing for smaller audiences in day music jobs, whereas well-known DJs play for huge crowds.

 

It is common to work evenings, late nights during the week, shifts, and weekend nights as per the event/establishment needs. Based on the event, DJs liaise with Bookers, Concert Promoters, Talent Buyers, Club Promoters, Club Managers, other DJs, and their Managers.

 

Many DJs work as freelancers and make themselves available to wedding and party planners. Dance and music clubs, exhibition halls, and party halls also recruit dedicated disc jockeys to work for their establishments.

 

Some DJs also travel worldwide to work for a season in a resort area for which they receive a weekly, monthly, or annual salary.

 

The following are a few challenges you might face working in this profession: Managing a technical disaster, dealing with a massive audience, drunk people, or shady promoters, and striking a work/family life balance are a 

 

 

13. How Much Do DJs Earn In Australia?

 

According to PayScale, the average hourly pay for a Disc Jockey is AU$25.50.

 

 

Earning Sources of a DJ

 

Though DJs earn the most portion of their salary (around 75%) playing live shows, they also earn through other means that include:

 

  • Selling merchandise online

  • Releasing music

  • Selling downloads

  • Selling vinyl

  • Earning tips in a weekly live stream

  • Royalty money on their musical composition

 

 

Factors That Influence a DJ's Salary

 

  • Projects you undertake – DJs who perform at corporate events, weddings, and overseas music tours get paid more than those who do local shows.

  • Your frequency of performing at events 

  • Your Popularity 

  • The demand for your chosen musical genre 

  • Your Unique Selling Points – If you also sing and play an instrument, you are perceived to be more valuable and can charge more

  • The craze of the event – You earn more if you perform in high-demand music events that draw bigger crowds. 

  • Your Experience – Like any other career, your earnings increase as you become known, established, and skilled. Working as a DJ is no different than working in a business. 

 

You earn based on your reputation, work ethic, competency, and credibility in the market. At the initial stages of their career, many DJs play sets for free to make themselves and their work ethic and talent known to venue managers.

 

Here is a salary estimate you may expect to earn at different stages of your career:

 

 

  • Early career Disc Jockey (1-4 years of experience): AU$25.39 per hour

  • Mid-career Disc Jockey (5-9 years of experience): AU$29.00 per hour

  • Experienced Disc Jockey (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$55.00 per hour

 

DJs who live and perform in major metropolitan areas earn more. Some of the top-paying cities for Disc Jockeys in Australia are:

 

  • Brisbane Queensland: $82,283 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria: $76,581 per year

  • Sydney, New South Wales: $69,625 per year

  • Newcastle, New South Wales: $41,038 per year

  • Sunshine Coast Queensland: $41,038 per year

  • Gold Coast Queensland: $41,038 per year

  • Wollongong, New South Wales: $41,038 per year

 

 

14. Job Prospects For DJs In Australia

 

Australian-made electronic dance music is gaining immense popularity and traction among people. It has started to prosper into a real competitive industry. The reason for it is its distinctive sound, energy, and style.

 

Australian clubbers combine electronica with other styles, such as hard techno, breakcore, nu-metal, and goth, which makes it a rare and magical musical experience.

 

Being the largest continent by population and size, Australia has a name for electronic dance music. It has various clubbing and music options and many electronic dance music clubs.

 

DJs are part of the wider entertainment industry and are also connected to the events industry as they perform on stages or in venues in front of massive crowds.

 

As long as there are celebrations and gatherings, people will continue to demand live entertainment for events. Thus, there will be more work opportunities for DJs to meet the rising demand in the market.

 

Considering all this, a career as a DJ seems promising and will offer job security to talented people. If you want to pursue this career, it is the best time to get involved and take your profession to the next level.

 

 

15. Conclusion

 

Becoming a DJ is a fun-filled and highly satisfying career. If you want to entertain people through music and be the life of any party, then this could be a fantastic career option.

 

Aspiring DJs should consider undertaking a comprehensive music program from a professional DJ training school. 

 

The correct guidance will help you decide what type of DJ you should become, how to pick the right music and develop the relevant technical and soft skills.

 

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