It’s easy to think that you need bucket-loads of money to get started as a good DJ, especially when you look at the set ups that the professionals use at every gig. Seeing someone command an enthralled crowd with a plethora of different devices and screens can both inspire awe and make wannabe DJ’s recoil in disappointment as they think about their bank account. Breaking into any music scene can feel like an impossible task, and we would be lying to you if we said it was easy. 

Free Is The Best Price

When you’re working to a tight budget, getting things for free can feel like a huge success. There is some great DJ software out there, some of which can be obtained for nothing, which you are able to find online. While paid software is understandably going to offer more features and an all-around better-quality user experience, for the early days of mixing your music and even DJing your first gigs, this free software could be just what you need before you move onto the better stuff. With so many options, it can be hard to choose the right software for you. Do your research and try out a few different ones to find out which one feels good to you. 

Cheaper Setups

When purchasing cheaper gear for your DJing setup, you need to understand that there are many more ways to go wrong than if you were buying premium-quality equipment. While it’s perfectly feasible to build your budget system and avoid breaking your bank account, don’t rush into it. This whole process takes time and with poor quality items spread around the market, you’ll want to watch your step. Luckily there are plenty of guides out there for every single piece of equipment you’ll need. Do your research into which speakers, decks, and even which cables to get to suit your budget and be prepared to send things back if they’re just not doing the job. It may be important for you to get started with your setup, but you need to make sure you’re doing it right.

Alternative Options

You’re likely going to need to do a lot of travelling around and moving so much equipment can be difficult, no matter what stage you are in your DJ career. You might also just be struggling to find a complete setup that fits within your price range, or you might not even be able to source any equipment at all, depending on where you’re situated. Luckily there are some other options where you can experience the joy of being a DJ, continue to practice your skill, and even mix your music live on stage. You can do this simply with just a laptop. 

Using a laptop to DJ may sound strange, but today, the software and tech available to you has revolutionised the way in which you can deliver high-quality tracks without losing authenticity. In fact, as a beginner, using a laptop to start off your journey as a DJ is a financially responsible option and shouldn’t be dismissed — check out this article entitled ‘How to DJ On A Laptop’ from Pirate for more information . If you’re struggling for money, focus on getting yourself a good quality computer which is powerful and reliable, and don’t forget to get one with plenty of storage space for all of your tracks. 

 A Guide To Becoming A DJ On A Tight Budget

Second-hand Equipment

As people progress through their DJing career, as with many other professions and art forms, they’ll be upgrading their gear to better accommodate their evolving talents. As such, that means there are constant opportunities for you to snag some great deals on second-hand equipment, and some of it could be pretty great quality. When buying second-hand stuff though, there are some really important things to look out for before you buy. Ideally, you should visit the seller to inspect the equipment yourself, so you can identify any issues that may need repairs and therefore can knock some money off the price, or you may notice irreparable damage that will make the device unusable. Look out for loose wires and knobs, static or feedback which indicates internal damage, and also any physical scuffs or scratches. Aesthetic damage isn’t too much of a problem as it could indicate that they’ve managed to get some good use out of it and it’s still holding up today. But it could also mean there are further problems to be discovered if it wasn’t taken care of properly.

Sourcing Music

Finding tracks to mix or sample from might seem difficult and, realistically, you can do whatever you want with any track in private. But showcasing those mixes to an audience begins to get complicated, especially if you’ve not purchased the correct licenses or even the songs themselves. There are lots of places online for you to find music to use, but when starting off and with little to no budget for licences, you’re going to want to source your tracks elsewhere. The best way to go about finding some great tracks to play with is by visiting websites like SoundCloud. There you can find many artists who give away their tracks for free or for accreditation. Make sure that you’re sure that the tracks you choose are free to use and it may even be worth contacting the artist to be certain of their requirements. 

Use What You Have

As an artist, you’re likely going to have access to equipment that you’ve obtained over the years, and some of that may be adaptable into your professional setup. If you played guitar for example, you might have amps and cables to suit your speaker requirements, or even instruments that you can sample from yourself. Take stock of all the tech you own, no matter how much you think it might not be worth incorporating into your system and do a bit of research to see if there are any interesting uses for these items. You might be surprised by what you find.

Be Dedicated

Ultimately you must remain dedicated to your craft. As with any art form or profession, you’ll run into situations where you feel like giving up. Stick with it and prove to yourself and your critics that you have what it takes. Some of the best DJs in the world started off with very limited equipment, so don’t give up. You could still make it—but most importantly, you’re doing something you love.

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