16+. Ideal for total beginners, or self-taught bedroom DJs. If you’ve been DJing for over a year we’d advise our Private DJ Lessons.
This course won’t just teach you to DJ. This course will teach you the skills to become a successful DJ, in a competitive industry.
Taken from a beginner level, this course will give you a solid grounding in DJing, and access to practice 7 days a week during your training. From the start date of your course, you’ll benefit from a full 12 months of access to all our DJ practice suites.
In this fast moving sector, our equipment and curriculums are constantly reviewed so that you are kept at the cutting edge of both technical developments and artistic trends in the industry. Beyond your training you’ll also have access to gig opportunities that come through SEM, for years to come.
What makes a good DJ? What makes a great DJ? Is it their selection? Their mixing ability? We will explore these questions over the 4 months that you’re training with us, to help frame some goals for you to work towards.
Believe it or not, one of the most crucial minutes of your life as a DJ is setting up. The swap-over scenario – the DJ before you is playing their last track and it’s your turn to plug in your controller and gear, or get your vinyl decks going after someone has been on CDJs: you’ve got about 3 minutes to get it right and get your tune lined up, in the dark.
Having a fundamental understanding of how different DJ gear connects together and how the signal is flowing will ensure that you stay calm in challenging situations.
Knowing how to also augment the best sound both for yourself and the dancefloor will ensure best DJ practice. We have a club setup on the ground floor (where we host big events) which has a huge PA system, so we can recreate a club environment for real to show you this.
Sourcing Music & Mix Evolution
So – you can setup your DJ gear – now let’s face the music! Track selection is undoubtedly a key aspect of DJing. Tracks will set you apart – and playing tracks other people don’t have access to is what will create demand for you as a DJ. We’ll be disclosing the secrets on how to find the hardest to find tunes, how to think outside the box when it comes to sourcing music, and how to get many of your tunes for free (not illegally!)
It’s not just the music, but also the journey you take people on throughout the course of your set. We’ll look at ways to begin building playlists, which can evolve into the tracklists of your recorded mixes.
Club and Radio Edit Mixing
Our tutors will demonstrate the science and formulas behind DJing, and show you how you don’t even have to know the tracks you’re playing to seamlessly piece them together on the decks. It’s the bedrock of confident DJing, and after the penny-drop moments you’ll feel you’ve levelled up on your DJ ability.
Looping, hot cue juggling, off-beat mixing, acapella overlay and use of effects… They can clear a dancefloor when they’re done wrong, or set a dancefloor off if they’re done right.
These techniques will be looked at in detail using a range of different musical styles, to give you versatility as a DJ, and some secret weapons to add to your sets.
Pioneer’s Rekordbox sets a new standard for set preparation. This piece of software (free to download) will enable you to prepare your tracks for performance on CDJ2000 Nxs2’s from memory sticks, with features such as setting cue points, loop points and hot cues, super-fast track searching, high-definition waveforms, and quantized beat-grids. Understanding how to utilise Rekordbox properly will be the foundation for a smooth, creative set.
Digital DJing: EFX, Traktor and Serato
Digital DJing gives DJs the power to hook up a controller to their laptop, having their entire musical collection at their fingertips to be used as artillery in their sets. Depending on the controller and software that’s used, the scope of manipulation of these tracks far supersedes ‘just beatmatching’
Like the CDJ-2000 Nxs2, digital DJing often offers the contested use of the sync button – the pros and cons of which will be explored; what you can gain is time, and the ability to bring in samples on a 3rd and 4th deck to layer complexity into your mix.
Native Instruments’ Traktor, Pioneer’s Rekordbox and Rane’s Serato DJ are the industry standard digital DJing solutions. The School of Electronic Music is a Native Instruments Education Partner and Rane Training Centre, so we have these covered – we’ll be showing you the full extent of digital DJing using the latest controllers and software.
DJing using vinyl records has always been considered by some as the holy grail of techniques, and vinyl itself has had a resurgence over the last few years.
We’ll teach you key techniques to help you master this difficult skill using industry standard Technics 1210s. You’ll learn this from the best – DJ Rasp, who is proud holder of 7 DMC and IDA championship titles.
You’ll also learn about digital vinyl systems (DVS). This enables you to take control of your entire digital record collection using turntables – the feel of vinyl but the flexibility of looping, cueing and FX, without ever having had to purchase any real vinyl.
The basic scratching techniques from which all advanced scratching techniques evolved will be looked at: the baby scratch, the chop, the chirp, and the transform. Mastering these will give you the edge in your mixing, and show you how to play the decks as an instrument, if you will!
As previously mentioned, your tutor is an avid turntablist constantly pushing the boundaries and regularly performs around the world. He holds 7 British DJ championship titles (DMC and IDA) – give him a google – DJ Rasp!
DJ promotion is an important aspect of building your DJ career. By educating you in a mixture of web based platforms and sound-oriented distribution sites, we’ll help you understand how to build a DJ profile for yourself – so you can showcase your skills, get bookings, and ultimately engage with your fanbase.
Underpinning your social output, we will explore fundamental good habits that you can build. These will enable you to become not only a better DJ, but help you build your audience consistently. As part of this we will look at setting goals, and explore game-changing approaches that other successful DJs have employed.
On this course we also want to help you build your electronic press kit. Your last lesson will be a photoshoot with a professional photographer, who’ll take a selection of hi-res images of you DJing, for you to use in your future DJ careers.
Many DJs also go on to study our Music Business Course, which further explores how you can promote yourself in a world where the musical landscape is constantly changing, and how you can have the edge in developing yourself as a successful brand.
Everyone learns at a different pace. For this reason, we have weaved 2 1-2-1 lessons at the midway and endpoints of your course. This will allow you to have dedicated 1-2-1 time with a tutor to go through any areas you’re struggling with, so they can help you improve and tailor their feedback for your needs.
These lessons allow for a full 1 hour 1-2-1 with a tutor. The remaining 3-hours of the lesson you can go back to back with other students to hone your skills.
As a SEM DJ student, you’ll have our marketing team for ever after to help promote your DJing. Send us mixes, music you’re making and events you’re playing at, and we’ll do our best to promote you. Check our blog and Mix of the Month Series for some ways we’re doing this.
SEM also host a range of events that need DJs – from socials, to masterclasses, networking events, and open events. On top of this, we have a lot of 3rd party opportunities from companies / events that contact SEM directly looking for DJs.
When you become a Complete DJ alumnus at SEM, you’ll go onto our DJ database, so any future events that SEM or external events need DJ for, we will fire them you way. In having this system it means that you are are integrated into DJ opportunities for years to come.