April 14, 2018

Best time to learn to be a DJ

When is the best time to learn to be a DJ or learn anything for that matter? Simple it’s when you are younger and that is a fact but possibly not for the reason you think.

When you are young you have far more free time available which you can dedicate to anything you want to learn be it DJing, learning a language or even a musical instrument. Having less responsibilities is also a massive bonus as you don’t need to give up any of that spare time to earn money to pay the rent or any other bills. I look back now at the time I have wasted and it has probably cost me a fortune in lost opportunities. If you are reading this and are still young please understand that all that time where you may feel bored is vital to achieving your goals.

When is the best time to learn to be a DJ?

If you are still a student at school and you know you want to create music or DJ for the rest of your life then well done. It takes most people many more years to find out what they enjoy or want to do with their lives. Being younger means you have a lot more time available to do stuff that you want. No having to worry about a job sucking up 40 or more hours a week of your precious time. What you lack in financial assets is nothing compared to the value of that time you have available to do what you want with.

If you are a student at Uni you will also have a lot of ‘free time’ between classes. Fifteen years ago I was a student studying 12 hours of timetabled lessons per week for the first year which went down to 8 hours from the second year. That is a lot of time available which was meant for additional learning around my course but lets face it no one does anything extra. That time is so precious and you have no idea how precious because once its spent it’s gone.

Recently an article has been going around about when is the best time to learn a language with the answer being when you are under 10 years old. I find this wrong for two reasons. The first is that people reading that article will suddenly shut down their minds and close them off as they believe they are too old or too late to learn. This is a travesty. For starters we should all be life long students learning from every experience throughout our lives. The second reason is simply that we can be in different places of our lives at different times.

Think of the flowers

If I am interested in gardening but don’t actually have the time until I retire should I not bother at all? The best time to learn to be a gardener is when I own a garden as I currently live in a flat so that just is not going to happen. Second I do not have the time to put into something which to me would be a skill that is not necessarily useful to me at the moment.

When should I start?

The earlier you start the better as you have longer to dedicate to becoming great before you turn pro. To learn a new skill you need 10,000 hours of concentrated practice in order to master that skill. By dividing 10,000 by 40 hours a week, the average working week, then that is 250 weeks, almost 5 years. No one has that amount of time even if you are a high school student. It could however be possible as a Uni student if you avoid everyone and do very little else.

Some skills will also come easier to people than others and DJing is no different. Whilst it is not as difficult as learning to play an orchestral instrument (I am currently learning the violin) there will still be lots of time spent going over the basics. Once you have those basics at a decent level you will find progress is much easier and quicker.

Can I still learn as an older adult?

Of course you can. Whilst the best time to learn to be a DJ is probably earlier it is by no means an impossibility. As long as you have the right mindset and some time to practice anyone can do anything they put their mind to. In fact it might even be dare I say it a little bit easier as you may have more money available to buy better equipment with.

This can make it easier as you will get additional features on your decks like sync which can auto beat match your tracks. This way you can hear exactly how it should sound and hopefully hear where you went wrong. Failure is a much better teacher than success. The most important thing is to have the right attitude to learning and some time available to practice.

How should I start?

No matter when you have made the decision to become a DJ there will be things that you need to learn and things that you need to purchase. You will need something to learn on which usually means turntables or a DJ controller. Controllers will certainly be cheaper but there are other considerations to take into account which I go into in more depth. You can also find out more info in what do I need to become a DJ?

No matter what your age there will always be an investment of time and money. Which is the higher cost will be down to your personal circumstances but I really do suggest that you take some time to decide if you really want to become a DJ. Are you doing it because you want to play to thousands of people at clubs and festivals or are you doing it because you really like music?

Whatever your personal reason do contemplate the financial and the time investment before jumping in. You can do anything at any age so take age out of the equation and focus on the why.

About the author 

Charles Duance

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