What Is A DJ? (Equipment, Salary, Types of DJs)

This guide will answer what is a DJ, what they do, skills needed to be a DJ, popular DJ equipment, and other common questions.

  1. What Is A DJ? ( Disk Jockey )
  2. What Does A DJ Do Exactly
  3. What Skills Do You Need To Be A DJ
  4. How Do You Become A DJ
  5. What Equipment Do DJs Use
  6. How Much Do DJs Make
  7. Who Are Some Famous DJs
What Is A DJ In Music
What Is A DJ In Music

What Is A DJ? ( Disk Jockey )

A DJ is a person who plays recorded music for other people. A DJ keeps in mind the target audience while selecting the music to be played.

They usually have a playlist of song requests provided to them by the person or the company who hired them. Here are some of the types of DJs:

What does a DJ Actually Do? | What is Music | Disc Jockey

#1. Radio DJs

A Radio DJ has to talk a lot as they have to take listener calls, inform traffic reports, share some celebrity gossip, etc., and play music on air.

They work at radio stations as a host, mixer, or part of the programming staff.

Nowadays, many radio DJs host a podcast or work in satellite radio. Some Radio DJs might also work just as announcers who talk in between. On the other hand, there can be others who play the live sets for the entire city or sometimes for multiple cities at the same time.

Being a radio DJ, it is important that you give insight on new music and stay in the know about the most popular songs of the moment to please the radio audience.

#2. Mobile DJs

Mobile DJs are the people we see spinning at weddings, high school proms, or Bar Mitzvahs.

These DJs generally bring in their sound equipment to the party. Mobile DJs are approachable and can engage in conversation with the attendees and may also take requests.

#3. Club DJs

Club DJs are the ones who play at the nightclubs. Dance club DJing is one of the most glamorous categories of DJing.

At night club parties, the tracks that are played generally belong to a narrow subgenre of dance music. So it is not so unusual for a club DJ to specialize themselves in a particular genre.

What Does A DJ Do Exactly?

A DJ plays pre-recorded music from other musicians, and their main goal is to engage and entertain the audience for whom they are playing the music.

They select the music depending on the audience’s mood and keep in mind what will suit the theme and venue of the event they are working at.

What DJs Actually Do

A DJ can have many responsibilities based on their workplace and their position in the music industry.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A DJ?

Here are some of the basic skills that are needed to be a DJ:

  • Beatmatching: It is done to get two tracks playing at the same tempo and phase.
  • Phrasing: It means mixing tracks together at points in songs that sound good.
  • EQing: It is the act of cutting or boosting frequencies so that multiple audio tracks can blend nicely.
  • Gain Control: Gain in music is the electronic process of amplifying your signal.
Every Beginner Disk Jockey Needs to Learn This

How Do You Become A DJ?

Check out our detailed guide on How to Become A DJ.

A Beginner’s Guide to DJing ( How to DJ for Complete Beginners )

What Equipment Do DJs Use?

Here is some basic equipment that DJs need:

  1. DJ Controller
  2. Audio Source
  3. DJ Mixer
  4. Headphones
  5. Speakers
  6. DJ Lighting
  7. DJ Equipment Packages

Recommended: 20 Best Free DJ Software Apps

DJ Equipment Essentials – Everything You’ll Need to Get Started

How Much Do DJs Make?

As per PayScale.com, the average hourly pay for DJ is $48.39. The hourly rate range is $12 – $130, and the total pay range is $22k – $257K.

DJs can earn money through performing, but those who produce their own tracks can also earn through royalties. Some of the factors on which the income of DJing can vary are as follows:

  • Do you live in a metropolitan area?
  • How often do you perform?
  • How popular is the music genre you chose?
  • Are you just starting out, or are you a world-famous DJ?

Note that on average, if you are a successful DJ, then you can expect to make a few hundred dollars per show.

Suggested: Free DJ Name Generators

Who Are Some Famous DJs?

Here is a list of the most popular music DJs:

Most Popular DJs In The World

#1. Frankie Knuckles

He is known as “The Godfather of House Music,” Frankie Knuckles was a DJ, Producer, and Remixer from the Bronx, New York.

At the peak of his music career, he was also commissioned to remix tracks by artists like Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, and Whitney Houston.

#2. Marshmallow

Marshmellow is an American DJ and an electronic music producer who, in 2017, was named one of the highest-paid DJs by Forbes Magazine. His birthplace is Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

For public appearances, he wears a custom helmet that looks like a marshmallow. The identity of Marshmellow was not known at the beginning of his career.

#3. Alan Walker

Alan Walker is an English-Norwegian music producer and also famous as a DJ. His birthplace is Northampton, England, and he shot to fame for tracks such as Faded and The Spectre.

He is also known especially for his trademark hoodie and mask that he wears while he performs.

#4. Pauly D

Pauly D is famous as a DJ and Television Personality. He soared to fame with the MTV reality show Jersey Shore, and he was also a part of the A Double Short Of Love.

His birthplace is Providence, Rhode Island. In 2011, he made a 3 album record deal with the rapper 50 Cent’s record label G-Unit Records and G-Note Records.

#5. DJ Snake

DJ Snake is a famous Record Producer and DJ. His birthplace in Paris, France. He is best known for his song Taki-Taki, which won many awards, including the BMI Latin Awards.

Over the years, he has also received many prestigious awards like Billboard Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. In 2019, in the DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list, he was ranked 16th.

Summary Of What A DJ Is

A DJ ( Disk Jockey ) plays recorded music at events, bars, radio stations, weddings, festivals, and more. DJs typically use two turntables and a mixer to blend songs together in a smooth transition. DJs are a source of entertainment for different venues.

Suggested: Free Online DJ Mixers

I hope you better understand what a DJ is and what they do.

If we missed anything, please share it in the comments below.

Related: 10 Best DJ Courses Online For Beginners

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.

Mark Valenzuela is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in music production. In 2008, Mark founded Hip Hop Makers, a top resource for aspiring music producers and beatmakers. He specializes in content on music production, software, gear, and free music resources. Committed to empowering creators of all levels, Mark continues to inspire and help music creators pursue their dreams.

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