Playing Music Internationally Will Involve Some Travel

To become an international DJ, you’ll need to do some traveling. To that end, it’s helpful to know something about some of the world’s top party destinations. I’m not necessarily talking about those places where people only go to party, like Ibiza or the full Moon party in Thailand, but about the gigantic cities that host some of the most famous clubs on earth. Let’s look at some of those cities:

 

DJ in Tokyo club

A DJ spinning music in a Tokyo club

Tokyo

I listed this one first because it’s my favorite. The world’s largest city, if you take the whole metropolitan area into account, Tokyo has over 35 million people. It can appear that it has almost as many bars. It has some amazing clubs that draw the world’s top DJs. And I doubt it one of Tokyo’s main clubs and experienced no one will forget. If you are interested in seeing the city, here is a great Tokyo travel guide for people on a budget: http://www.danielmcbane.com/travel-guides/east-asia/japan/tokyo/

 

New York

Not much needs to be said about New York. It is world-famous for clubs and for club music and the only thing that can make a night out in New York less fun than should be, is the price. Tokyo gets all the fame for being expensive, but New York is actually much worse. Here’s a guide to New York: http://www.nycgo.com/

 

Las Vegas

Known as sin city, this place is naturally a great place to sin. Yes it’s got casinos and yes you can lose a lot of money. But the best thing about Vegas is the clubs. These days most are located within the casinos, but the best are probably still standalone places. For more on Las Vegas go to this page: http://www.lasvegas.com/planning-tools/free-visitors-guide/

 

London

I haven’t been to London myself, but I hear the nightlife is pretty incredible. That said, it’s also expensive. Nevertheless any time you can party outside of the US, where the laws are not generally conducive to having fun, it’s a good thing. London is large and the something for everyone and all the famous DJs play here. You’ll want to do the same. Here’s a guide to London: http://www.visitlondon.com/

 

DJ Jeff at a Shanghai club

DJ Jeff playing his music in a club in Shanghai

Shanghai

Beijing might be the capital and Hong Kong seems to be more famous for its nightlife, but Shanghai is by far the most fun city. The nightlife here is much better than Hong Kong and much much better than Beijing. That said, it still China. Most of the clubs is the city kind of suck and you have to figure out the few that don’t. If you do, you’re guaranteed a great time. To help you figure it out, try this travel guide for Shanghai: http://www.danielmcbane.com/travel-guides/east-asia/china/shanghai/

 

Berlin

Last, but certainly not least my little list is Germany’s capital. With very liberal laws and ridiculous amount of clubs, this city boasts what is probably currently the best nightlife on earth. Berlin has a few clubs where a night out is not just a night out, it can be a life-changing experience. Even though the love Parade no longer takes place in the city, it’s spirit certainly still remains. Known as one of the coolest cities on earth, Berlin is a place you don’t want to miss. For more the city try this Berlin travel guide: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/berlin

 

I know there are many more cities I could’ve and probably should’ve included on this list, but I just wanted to give you a little taste of to get you started. Get familiar with the cities and ideally visit them and spent some time there, and you’ve made a good start. Then you can move on to the next ones, like maybe Singapore, Miami, Los Angeles, etc. basically, if you want to be an international DJ enough to be international you have to travel. So get out there and see the world.

What does it mean to be an international DJ?

That’s a good question. First of all you need to be a DJ. And I don’t mean somebody who plays his friends little parties, or even as a monthly gig at the club down the street. No, you need to be much bigger than that. You need to type the biggest clubs in your city. Actually, you need to be at the biggest clubs in the country. But that’s only to be a true international DJ. Maybe your definition is a bit different.

Maybe you just want to be DJ who plays internationally. Someone who has a long-running gig overseas. Maybe you live in Madrid and play weekly at a local club. Or maybe you live in Bangkok and rotate among the few clubs there. You’re a DJ and you’re international, so you definitely fit many definitions of the term. But you’re not what most people think of when they hear the phrase international DJ.

A truly international DJ and someone who plays music in all of those cities. You spend a month in Shanghai, maybe a few weeks in Tokyo then head to Osaka been to Seoul and to Beijing and you go to Europe for a while. You’re so in demand that the biggest clubs in the biggest cities pay you a lot of money to fly you in to play there. Sometimes you only play one night then you move on.

This is what the biggest international DJs to and this is what I’m assuming you want to do and this is what this website is close to help you do. But even if your definition is the other one; just someone who lives overseas and place little bit of music, you’ll find help here. So keep reading and hopefully you, too, can one day be an international DJ.

Equipment You’ll Need To Become A DJ

Breaking into DJing is difficult. Whenever somebody asks me how to become a DJ, I make sure to make clear just how hard that path will be. It will take hours of practice to get good enough to play in clubs—and not good clubs mind you—and once you’re in those clubs, it will take years before you get into the good ones. But more than the time, probably the most prohibitive aspect of breaking into the industry is the equipment cost.

DJ equipment

A common DJ setup

That’s why it’s absolutely vital you do your research and you buy all the correct equipment from the beginning. You don’t want to have to buy things again, because you bought something substandard. You also don’t want to end up buying superfluous equipment. So make sure you buy exactly what you need and only what you need right from the beginning. Here’s a quick rundown of the essentials every DJ will need:

 

Input Devices

You’ll need a minimum of two input devices: either two turntables, two CD decks or whatever. You can get more but you need at least two to mix tunes.

 

A Mixer

You’ll need a mixer with at least two input channels, so that you can mix your two input devices into each other.

 

Headphones

Without headphones, you can’t DJ. You need them to hear the next to you will be mixing into the current one, to cue it up and to do all this without everyone else hearing it. Make sure you get a good pair of headphones with a good sound quality.

 

A Sound System

By sound system, I mean speakers and an amplifier. You will need these for obvious reasons. These days many people opt for powered speakers, which could save some money and is also easier to transport. Personally I prefer a separate amplifier, but this is just a matter of personal preference. Do what is right for you.

And that’s it. That’s really all the equipment you need. Of course, just this equipment will run you quite a bit of money. That’s what I would say don’t discount secondhand equipment. If you can find good quality stuff that’s been used but not abused, go for it. It’s a great way to save some money. One thing you want to avoid in your quest to save money, though, are the boxed sets. You know the ones: DJ in a box, DJ kit, etc.. Stay away from these. They’re often substandard quality and they don’t always include all of the equipment you’ll need. I can also pretty much guarantee that you have to replace everything as you get better and demand more from your set up.

As for brands, Pioneer and Technics are probably two of the best. These are also the two that I would recommend buying secondhand, since they’re built to last and there’s not a huge chance you’re buying crap. If you can’t afford the best equipment, I suppose you have to buy something cheaper. Just know that you’ll probably want to upgrade eventually so it does make sense to buy the best from the beginning. Of course, that’s only possible if you have the money to spend. There you have it: that’s the equipment you need and a few tips for getting it. The rest is up to you. Make sure you do plenty of research and know exactly what you’re getting and why you’re getting it. And once you have it play some music. Then play some more music and then some more. Never stop practicing…