Archive for the ‘ DJ Resources ’ Category

The Music Marketing Manifesto. Ten Principles For Success

These are some pretty smart principles and are relevant for DJs and producers.  I’m a big fan of Music Think Tank as they have in depth articles about the music industry that are really helpful and actionable.  For a description of each of these principles click on the article link below.

1. Write, record and play high quality music

2. Continue to only deal in high quality

3. Be your own biggest critic and biggest promoter

4. Register with the PRS For Music

5. Plan to release music – never just release it

6. Promote before the release

7. Don’t create fake hype – be honest and humble

8. Understand the rules and the realities

9. Remember relationships aren’t built with a Like or a Follow

10. Think in stories and cycles

http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/the-music-marketing-manifesto-ten-principles-for-success.html

Need DJ Inspiration? Go To The Movies!

 

Photo Credit: Stereo Club of Southern Californa

I’m a firm believer that you need to know your history to get a sense of your present and see the patterns that can help define your future.  I do want to comment though that the idea that things will be the same again, like the way we used to do it, is already a closed chapter.  The conditions and environment and tastes and music are just not the same to completely recreate the vibe of the past – enjoy the nostalgia for what it is.  Innovation is taking the best from the past and bringing into the present as a fresh perspective.  Which is why I think you should schedule yourself some DJ inspiration movie marathon time.  Beatport has come out with a list of the best Detroit Techno documentaries ever made.  This doesn’t have to be about techno, there are a ton of hip-hop, house, and rave documentaries to mine for inspiration. DJ Tech Tools has a regular column devoted to DJ/Producer documentaries.  The point is to get to know the heroes that made it happen and if you were one of the lucky ones to go through the experience while it was happening, see what you can do to honor it.

The 10 best Detroit techno documentaries ever – Beatport News.

Even More Documentaries for Producers and DJs – DJ Tech Tools

DJs OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM

Greetings everyone!  I am happy to announce my partnership with the Dope Underground Beats project.   See me put DJs in the hot seat where I ask them questions about their inspirations and creativity (and they have no choice to answer my questions, because I’m so charming).   After that you get to enjoy watching and listening to an exclusive set, recorded in HD, of each DJ in their element.  If you need new influences, new music, a breath of fresh air if you will, tune in.

Here is more info for you.

Based on two premises, giving back to the DJ community and allowing for safe uninterrupted creative space, the Dope Underground Beats project is dedicated to profiling up and coming DJs and encouraging them to be in their element. The DJs are given one task, play what they want as if no one is watching. Freed of expectations, the DJ is allowed to express their true creative side and let their point of view shine through unencumbered. Mustapha Louafi, the brains behind the DUB project, has been a lifelong DJ and DJ community supporter. He carefully selects each DJ based on their individuality and musical sentience.

Each set is paired with an interview by Behind The Decks founder and DJ coach Cristina DiGiacomo that illuminates each DJs background, goals, influences and intentions for their set. In addition, sets are recorded and filmed in HD quality audio and video so the viewer gets the most immersive experience possible – throw a set onto your TV and you’ve got your own personal DJ in the room. As you explore each set one thing will become apparent, each set is like a fingerprint, no one set sounds or looks like the other allowing for diversity and the sense that you will find something truly unique.
www.dopeundergroundbeats.com

THE ADDICTED DJ

The physical toll of DJing – disrupted circadian rhythm, back pain from being hunched over, standing on your feet for hours on end, jet lag, headaches and tinnitus are very real conditions.  But one thing we don’t talk about enough is addiction.

There’s this romantic notion of the addict artist. History is full of writers or painters that used substances to tap into or accelerate the creative process for their art.  But let’s be honest, in the end most eventually struggled in their art, succumbed to their addiction and left the earth too early.  DJing is no different.  It’s especially troublesome since DJing is attributed to nightlife and partying. You have an extremely volatile situation for a lot of vulnerable people.  There are plenty of reasons to keep your head clear and take care of yourself physically.  It’s so you don’t burn out faster than you need to and maintain a professional reputation.   I’ve spoken with DJs who struggle with staying sober, or fairly sober, while spinning and it’s challenging.  You have a long night ahead of you and it’s really hard to keep that energy up and also, you feel you need to be on the same “wavelength” as the audience.

I’m no saint and I don’t judge.  What I’m saying is that I think there is this side to DJing we don’t talk about and that is substance abuse.  I can’t get into a whole discussion about addiction and the different perspectives of it, I’m not qualified to do that.  I just know it’s a real issue in our culture.

There’s another issue I want to bring to light as well that we don’t talk about.  I’ve had DJs tell me they wish the audience weren’t on so many drugs or so wasted.  We all know that time of the night where everyone is “cracked out” and you as the DJ are forced to deal with it and it sucks.  You wonder, are they really hearing what I’m playing, am I really connecting with these people that seem to be pitching back and forth and face planting in front of my booth?

While we may never be able to truly change the fact that some people overuse or abuse, we can acknowledge the effects this part of our culture has on its artists and its people. At some point it’s time to really talk about these things.  At some point it’s time to start saying, this is not ok, this is unhealthy, this is not moving us forward.

I’ve found some great alternatives and people who are trying to imbibe health and wellness towards music, dancing and DJing.

Get Your Dance On: http://www.getyourdanceon.net/

Sadhu Music and Anthony Granata that put on Electric Yoga: http://www.crsny.org/blog/1866

The Immaculate Electronica Group: http://www.meetup.com/immaculate-electronica-NY/

If you think you need help please tell someone or contact your local substance abuse hotline.

A Brief Introduction to How Music Works

I came across this great series called “How Music Works“.  Analyzing the main aspects of melody, harmony, rhythm and bass it is a great antidote to the feelings that some DJs have that they do not have a good foundation or understanding of musical structure.  DJs have varying opinions on whether it’s important to have any sort of musical education.  Some believe that the only thing a DJ needs is a deep understanding of music as a listener.  Other DJs feel it is helpful at least to have a basic understanding of how music is composed.  I hear a lot of DJs talk about key clashing and that if you do not understand how melodies and rhythms work you may be key clashing and your work sounds “off”.  In my research I have noticed that a lot of DJs have had some early musical education if it was playing an instrument or an upbringing that encouraged musical listening.   If for no other reason than to give yourself a break and learn something new ( or reinforce what you already know ), I highly recommend spending some time with this series and learn about the building blocks of a DJs lifeblood: music.

Composer Howard Goodall hosts “How Music Works” and some of his thoughts on melody, harmony, rhythm and bass are noted below.

Melody: “Melody is music’s most powerful tool when it comes to touching our emotions. Our mothers sing lullabies to us when we’re infants and tests have shown that we can even, as babies, recognize tunes that we heard in he womb. Every music system in the world shares these five notes in common. Indeed, they’re so fundamental to every note composed or performed anywhere on the planet that it seems, like our instinct for language, that they were pre-installed in us when we were born. These five notes a human genetic inheritance, like the fingers on our hands.”

Rhythm: “Rhythm is the part of music that interacts most immediately and spontaneously with our bodies. Without it, music would be pleasant enough, but it would be brain food. With rhythm, though, music becomes hypnotic and sensuous.”

Harmony: “Unlike rhythm and melody, harmony wasn’t part of music from the beginning. It’s an upstart. It came into life gradually during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But what an upstart!”

Bass: “One of [the] most distinguishing features [of the opening theme from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey] — and one that’s been imitated by thousands of science fiction, thriller and horror movie scores — is the long-held bass note that begins it. It’s awesome: Bottom C. It’s big, it’s deep and it’s powerful. And it came to stand in our minds for a sense of menace, or wonder, or infinity. Just this one note. But there are loads of examples of bass lines that give a piece of music its style and its shape.”
BBC4‘s How Music Works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbOWi6f_IM&list=PLC720D5DC4468B9B1&feature=plpp

Source: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2010/12/09/how-music-works/