8 Best Books For DJs: Develop Your Skills & Build a Successful Career

StreamTribe Picks: Books for DJs Looking to Pursue a Career in Music

All professional DJs start somewhere! Whether you’re fresh to the decks to have some experience under your belt, reading DJ-focused books is a great way to learn about the craft and develop your skills. 

Or, perhaps you’re interested in honing in on the business side of music. Both your craft and your business skills are essential components to building a successful DJ career. To assist you in your journey, we’ve outlined 8 of the best books for DJs to read now, and get on your game!

DJing for Dummies by John Steventon 

DJing for Dummies by John Steventon is an easy-to-follow guide for amateur DJs looking to learn the basics of the craft. The book covers topics such as mixing, scratching, beat matching, and choosing the right equipment. It also includes tips on setting up a DJ booth, creating a set list, and performing for a live audience. In addition, the author provides information on selecting music, networking within the DJ community, and marketing yourself as a DJ. Additionally, the book covers the history of DJs and music culture, and looks at the latest trends in the industry.

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The Secrets of Dance Music Production by David Felton

The Secrets of Dance Music Production by David Felton is a well-thought-out guide to producing the various genres of electronic dance music. The book provides readers with a detailed overview of the various elements that go into making a catchy, one-of-a-kind EDM track. The author covers topics like sound design, beat programming, mixing, mastering, and arrangement. In addition, he provides tips and tricks for getting the most out of your production software and hardware. And often overlooked but just as important, he offers practical advice on how to promote and distribute your music. The book is an essential read for anyone looking to make their own dance music and is packed with invaluable information that will help producers of any level achieve their full potential. 

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How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams by Emily White

This particular book is not specific to DJs, but the principles can be applied to any music career, including DJing and producing. The author, Emily White, outlines the steps for building a sustainable music career and collecting all revenue streams. She suggests that musicians begin by building a strong online presence by creating quality content, engaging with fans, and staying up-to-date on technology and trends. She dives into how musicians can also build a team of professionals to help them with marketing, distribution, and other aspects of the business. 

The author emphasizes the importance of finding new ways to monetize music, such as through streaming services and merchandise. In addition, she notes musicians should seek out partnerships and sponsorships to increase their income. As a final point, Emily White recommends that musicians protect their music by registering their work with the copyright office and exploring other legal options. All in all, How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams covers all aspects of a music career and offers practical advice for those just getting their foot in the door. 

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Rock the Dancefloor: The Proven Five-Step Formula for Total Djing Success by Phil Morse

Do you want to know what it’s like to be a DJ, share your favorite music with others, and get the admiration of a full dancefloor every night? Rock The Dancefloor! will show you exactly how to do it! This comprehensive and straightforward guide will provide you, an aspiring DJ, with the skills to comprehend modern DJ equipment and avoid costly missteps, assemble the most ideal music library to keep any dancefloor going, quickly learn all the techniques to make your DJ mixes sound amazing, perform like a pro at any type of event such as parties, bars, and night clubs, and effectively promote yourself to secure quality bookings. 

Phil Morse’s guide is fun, engaging, and can even be enjoyed as an audiobook for the easiest consumption.

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FutureDJs: How to DJ by Scott Smart, Austen Smart, and Tom Dent

If you‘re interested in learning the art of DJing and pursuing a meaningful career, then FutureDJs: How to DJ by Scott Smart, Austen Smart, and Tom Dent is the perfect resource for you. Whether you’re a complete beginner without any prior knowledge or an experienced DJ looking to broaden their skills and explore new genres, this guide will provide you with all the technical skills needed to become a successful DJ in any style. You’ll find instructions on everything from beat-matching basics to using effects, scratching, and beat-juggling. The authors start from the foundation and build up, so you can gain a well-rounded knowledge of all sides of the DJ trade.

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Step By Step Mixing: How to Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins by Bjorgvin Benediktsson

Step By Step Mixing: How to Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins is a book by Bjorgvin Benediktsson that does just what the title suggests—provides a step-by-step guide to creating great mixes using just 5 plug-ins. The author leans on his own expert knowledge to outline simple and effective methods for setting up a mix, including tips and tricks for getting the most out of each plug-in. He dives into the only 5 tools you need: EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and automation, and teaches readers how to use these tools to create professional-sounding mixes. The book also includes practical examples and case studies to help readers understand the concepts and apply them in their own mixes. Ideally, the reader would have some basic understanding of music production and mixing principles before reading.

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Music Theory Essentials: A Step–by–Step Introduction to Music Theory for All Musicians by Barton Press

Music Theory Essentials: A Step-by-Step Introduction to Music Theory for All Musicians by Barton Press is an all-encompassing guide to music theory. You should start with this book if you’re new to music in general. Otherwise, it’s a great reminder of some high-level but important topics. It covers the basics of music theory, from the fundamentals of note-reading and scales to more advanced topics such as chords, harmony, and counterpoint. This detailed book includes exercises and diagrams to help readers understand and apply the concepts they learn. All musicians, not just DJs, would benefit from using this tool as a starting point on their journey.

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How to Make It in the New Music Business, Second Edition: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician by Ari Herstand

This title by Ari Herstand is an excellent resource for DJs truly aspiring to build a career from their craft. However, it’s not only specific to music production or DJing. How to Make It in the New Music Business, Second Edition, provides practical advice and tips on how to build a successful career as a musician in the modern age. This book covers topics such as how to create original music, how to market and distribute your music, how to build an audience, how to make money as a musician, and how to use technology to further your career. 

Ari Herstand also offers guidance on how to form relationships with music industry professionals, how to handle legal and financial matters, and how to manage the ups and downs of the music business–all very critical aspects in building your music career. With its comprehensive and in-tune, How to Make It in the New Music Business is an essential resource for any aspiring DJ!

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