Working as a DJ may seem like a solo activity since you have to come up with a setlist by yourself. However, you can work and compete against other DJs by participating in a DJ battle.
But before you do, you should consider what it is and if it’s the right thing for you.
A DJ battle is a competition where two or more DJs perform in front of the same crowd. Each DJ tries to give the crowd the better performance, and the crowd’s reactions (or maybe the opinions of a few judges) will determine who wins the battle.
Before you join your first DJ battle, you should consider if it’s the right choice for you. In some cases, joining a DJ battle is a great way to show off your skills and to meet people. But if you don’t have much experience, you may want to watch rather than participate.
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DJ Battle Basics
A DJ battle is a great opportunity for DJs with different levels of experience. You can perform for a crowd and a panel of judges, and you may be able to win the competition. However, a lot of these competitions rely on the response of the crowd.
In some ways, that can make it harder for newer DJs to win. But don’t let that discourage you from competing if you want to. The more battles you do, the more fans you’ll get. And as you grow your fanbase, you can ask them to watch you DJ at future battles.
A judging panel will also consider your skills, but the crowd is probably the most important factor. Depending on the battle, you might also receive a score for music choice, mixing skills, and body language. During the competition, you’ll have at least 15 minutes to perform – sometimes more.
Be sure you make the most of your time on stage so that you can get a good audience reaction. Then, you can increase your chances of winning, and then you can grow your career.
When to Join a DJ Battle
If you just started DJing, you may want to join the first battle available. But as a beginner, you should consider watching a competition or two first. While you can battle as a beginner, it’s not always the right time.
- When you’re new to DJing, you’re still learning the basic skills. A DJ battle usually requires you to have control over at least a few techniques.
- You also have to rely on the audience a lot. Even if you are a good beginner, unless you have a big fan base, you may not be able to draw a big enough crowd.
- If you can get a few traditional DJ gigs, you can start to build an audience and grow your skills. Once you do that, you can be confident enough to join a DJ battle.
You should also consider where and when the DJ battle will be. If you have to travel a lot or give up a paying gig, the battle may not be worth it. But if you have the skills and experience, going to a battle might be the perfect next step.
DJ Battle Tips
If you have the skills and experience to attract fans to a DJ battle, you should consider joining. But joining isn’t your biggest hurdle because now, you have to do what you can to win. You don’t want to give up on other opportunities to not do a good job.
While you may not win your first DJ battle, you should prepare as best as you can. DJing for a competition isn’t the same as for an ordinary crowd. You also have to impress the judges because their opinions could be the deciding factor.
Think about these tips when preparing for your next DJ battle.
Consider the Music
You need to choose the right setlist for your DJ battle. In most cases, you should choose songs that are upbeat and will get people excited. You may love a good ballad, but it’s not going to have enough energy to wow the audience.
A good DJ battle setlist should include songs that work well together. You don’t have to struggle to beat match when you’re in the battle. Make sure the songs have similar beat patterns and tempos so that you can make that part easier on yourself.
However, you don’t want to play it too safe. Taking a risk every so often can pay off, especially if you know how to work in a particular song. If you’re ever concerned about a playlist, run it by another DJ, or play it in a live DJ gig if you can.
Then, you can use the response from that colleague or the audience to your advantage. If it doesn’t go as well as you hoped, you can change the setlist for the competition.
Vary Your Style
When you join a DJ battle, you want to showcase everything you can do on that stage. While you may be able to use one or two techniques at a regular gig, that’s not the case here. The audience and judges want to hear and see what you can do.
- Avoid using the same techniques with every song or every transition.
- Adjust the EQ settings differently depending on the song.
- Be prepared to make changes on the spot that you might not have planned for.
- Always watch the audience and follow their lead to get a good reaction.
- Don’t be afraid to use turntables and other types of equipment to show your range of skills.
The techniques you use in a DJ battle can make or break your performance. It can affect how the audience responds, but in a heated battle, it can set you apart from the competition.
In some cases, the crowd may love everyone, so you have to rely on the judging panel for a couple of extra points.
Practice Beat Matching
When preparing for a DJ battle, practice beat matching as much as you can. The better you can do this, the easier it will be to make songs fit together. In case your initial set isn’t getting the response you want, you can change it.
But you need to choose a new song that you can beat match. So if you only ever practice your planned setlist, you will have a hard time adjusting at the moment.
Once you have a list of songs to include, practice mixing them in different orders and with different effects.
You can also practice beat matching at a faster speed or by taking it a little slower. After all, the audience should enjoy your set, so you need to strike a balance between competition and performance.
Be a Performer
Probably the most important thing you can do during a DJ battle is to perform for the crowd. As a DJ, it can be easy to get caught up in your equipment, but you want to enjoy yourself. You’re in front of people who want to hear you, and you should be able to put on a show for them.
Making eye contact with the audience and looking at the judges can feel intimidating. But it’s worth it because you get to show off a bit of yourself. You’re not just some person with a computer and speakers. You get to be a performer, and you can show the excitement that you feel inside.
If possible, practice DJing like this at your next gig. Even if you won’t be at a DJ battle soon, it’s never too early to learn a bit of showmanship. Then, you can use it to entertain the crowd at any event.
A DJ battle is a competitive experience where you can show off your best skills and entertain people. But before you join a battle, make sure you have a handle on your turntables. Then, you can prepare for the competition to the best of your ability.
- Quora: How are DJing contests judged? – Unlinked
- Reddit: Anyone ever done a dj battle? – Unlinked
- Digital DJ Tips: How Entering DJ Battles Can Help You Succeed As A DJ
- DJWorx: The Realities of DJ Battles – By a Competitor and Organiser
- The Skilled DJ: 10 Tips for Making a DJ Battle Routine
- Full Compass Live: Take the Title with 8 DJ Battle Tips