Creating your DJ sound is what marks you out from the rest. Most DJs have software that can mix for them now. The emphasis isn't on your mixing so much now, but on your DJ sound..
Creating your unique sound is the best and most challenging part of learning how to DJ.
A few years ago, DJs would pride themselves on being the only ones to be able to get a track. Some DJs would receive a freshly pressed vinyl weeks before anyone else and rinse the track until it actually got released. At this point, the track would then move to the middle of their crate and get played less often.
What's the difference now digital DJing has taken over?
Anyone, DJ or not, can get tracks through the Internet. Using Shazam, anyone can recognize and then download a track in minutes, on their iphone. That's how much the music world has changed in recent years.
So what can you, as a DJ, do about it?
1. Don't follow the press recommendations or blogs
Ignore charts, recommendations and press reviews. By all means, keep in touch with what's hot (you need to have everything) but when it comes to creating a unique sound you need to delve deep. That means digging old and new, rare remixes and tunes that will never be recognized on Shazam.
Listen to unreleased tracks, obscure remixes by unknown artists and music that is different from what people appear to like at the moment. This'll position you ahead of your game.
2. Make your own remixes
Using software such as Reason, Cubase, Ableton and Protools enables you to make great new remixes of other tunes. Make your own mixes of either old favourites or new bangers: but with your twist. Only you will have the remix in the whole world. Apart from maybe a few of your soundcloud friends of course.
3. Invent and don't follow
When it comes to getting a rep, being the same as other DJs won't get you anywhere. Yes you need to know what the hits are the make people dance but only a unique mixing style and rare tune selection will get you noticed.
Is everyone playing one genre all night? Well do the opposite and play electic mixes of everything.
Is electro the flavour of the moment? Well drop d'n'b and techno. Electro's boring anyway, when everyone's playing it.
4. Bring a musician in
Djs with drummers don't wash. But get your bass playing mate down with you and plug him or her in. Plan to have them rock out the bass over certain tunes. This can go down a storm and get you loads of attention as people get hooked on the raw sound of live bass over a tune. Of course, you'll have to cut your bass while the bassist is hamming out the notes and it'll be worth it.