The Speakers roaring with booming bass and scintillating synths. Strobes flashing wildly in unison with the rhythm. Arms raised to the sky as thousands sway in bliss to the relentless electronic beats under the moonlight. As you gain full control of the decks, the mass of grinning faces turn to you in euphoric anticipation as you seamlessly transition slamming tracks and take the crowd on a magical journey. Pure adrenaline and harmony in its highest form…

Welcome to a glimpse into life as an EDM DJ! Having the ability to command an entire festival or dive bar using turntables and a mixer while bringing joy through music can truly be living the dream for those obsessed with the culture. With beats simpler than their vocals song counterparts, EDM music offers a more intuitive launchpad for novice DJs to learn the craft of mixing. As the popularity of electronic dance music continues to skyrocket across the globe over the last decade, iconic DJs like Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Diplo and Martin Garrix are now raking in tens of millions annually.

For those enamored with high paced electronic music or for seasoned DJs seeking a genre with simplified beat structures for mixing, EDM DJing offers a promising career path for significant earners. In opinion of our LucidSamples’ team EDM is one of best ways and one of the easiest genres in becoming a star. Whether you envision headlining Tomorrowland, rocking Miami Music Week, or just playing local hole in the wall bars near beaches, this comprehensive guide will offer the blueprint for EDM DJ success at any level. So if you intreasted read the tutorial prepared by our team.

Table of Contents

What Does EDM Actually Stand For? Defining This Global Phenomenon

Our understanding of EDM ganre:

  • EDM means “Electronic Dance Music” – referring to DJ and Producer driven genres utilizing electronic instrumentation for bar and club sound systems rather than traditional bands using electric guitars, drums and vocals.
  • While basic drum machine rhythms emerged in disco and synth pop in the 70’s and 80’s, EDM as currently defined originated in the early 1990’s in Detroit and Chicago.
  • The ubiquitous term now encompasses vastly popular sub-genres like House, Techno, Trance, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, Breakbeat, and Hardstyle.

The Role of the Quintessential EDM DJ

To begin with, we selected points that distinguish EMD DJing from other genres:

  • EDM DJs expertly select, sequence and mix edm tracks using DJ software, turntables, CD players, synthesizers, drum machines and other musical equipment.
  • Their primary role is to continuously build and manipulate the energy and vibe on the dancefloor at festivals, clubs, private events, mobile gigs, and underground parties worldwide.
  • They achieve this by playing complementary songs harmonically matched by compatible musical keys, BPMs (Beats Per Minute) and intensity levels utilizing DJ techniques.
  • Rather than play songs end to end, EDM DJs will continually mix tracks every minute or two to sustain momentum.
  • Their music library spans thousands of tracks often keyed and BPM tagged to streamline harmonic mixing.
  • Top tier DJs also simultaneously manipulate synthesizers, samplers and effects alongside multiple turntable decks using advanced controllers.

Also some special skills that make a difference from others:

BeatmatchingSyncing the speed/BPMs of two tracks
MixingFluidly transitioning between tracks
EQingTweaking bass/mid/high tonal frequencies
Phrase MixingBlending songs on musical bar phrases
Pitch ControlAdjusting track playback speeds
Table 1. Essential DJ Techniques

5 Reasons to Aspire Towards EDM DJ Stardom

You also need motivation! So, from the experience of our team and our friends in the music industry, we have compiled five points why becoming a skilled EDM DJ can be well worth the demanding effort and hustle:

1. Express Raw Musical Creativity & Passion for Crafting Euphoric Experiences

Unleash your ideas with more flexibility and possibilities than traditional bands. Program your own beats. Layer lush soundscapes. Sequence climactic builds. Design slamming basslines. The only limit is your imagination!

2. Enjoy an Extraordinarily Flexible Lifestyle

Set your own hours dictating when and how often you work. Tour the world playing short EDM DJ sets. One off gigs can earn more than office workers make in a month. Take time creating music at exotic AirBnB’s. Schedule is 100% customizable around your lifestyle.

3. Earn Celebrity Level Income with Top EDM DJs Now Making ~$50 Million Annually

While entry level DJ pay can be low at first, mid tier DJs start earning $5,000+ per 2 hour club and festival sets and often play up to 300 shows annually. Iconic artists easily demand over $250,000 per performance along with merchandise sales. Compare that salary potential to Wall Street bankers or specialized doctors who studied just as long.

EDM DJ on event

4. Achieve Immense Popularity and Perceived High Social Value

Our culture idolizes superstar athletes, musicians and celebrities garnering millions of dedicated fans plus media coverage. Top tier DJs now rent mega mansions and fly private jets while dating models/actresses. Who wouldn’t crave that elite notoriety?

5. Satisfaction Collaborating With Top Musical Talent on Original Tracks

Aspiring and established DJs continuously release new EDM singles and remix others’ songs. This facilitates collaborations with world class producers, instrumentalists, singers and rappers to merge artistic styles.

The profitable earning potential combined with the glamorous lifestyle illustrates why DJing currently rivals many traditional occupations in terms of allure. While outlandishly competitive, the path exists to rise up from obscurity to tremendous success. Now let’s explore that journey…

Starting From Scratch – Essential Tips for EDM DJing Beginners

While countless young DJs envision packed festival main stages from the outset, we believe here is critical guidance for newcomers to the craft:

  • As steady beat-driven electronic music, EDM offers a more intuitive starting point to practice beatmatching than vocals or bands.
  • Nothing replaces attending local shows firsthand to absorb the live DJ sequencing, mixing techniques and song selections that captivate audiences.
  • With EDM’s global ubiquity now, an avalanche of learning content exists from established DJs including video tutorials, paid online mentorships, DJ courses at production schools, published books/DVDs and even DJ themed cruises. Additionally, software like Virtual DJ, Serato DJ and Traktor Pro offer detailed walkthroughs of all major skills. Consider investing in your education here rather than attempting to teach yourself everything. Having access to pros that have played 1000+ gigs cannot be overstated for accelerating competence.
  • Local DJs are often receptive to meet up for coffee or Google Meets conversations to pay forward guidance they received when starting out years ago. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and pick their brains.
  • Aspiring DJs would benefit immensely from befriending others on the same journey to practice together and provide feedback. Collaboration also builds confidence quicker when first playing live rather than facing daunting crowds alone.
  • Optimistically hoping for instant success overnight is exceedingly rare without prior music industry ties or viral luck. Late night solo deliberate practices studying the craft to ingrain skills to subconscious intuition is mandatory.

In summary, immerse yourself in the EDM culture by networking with veterans while proactively seeking structured DJ education. Embrace the long term journey understanding transformations require vast repetitions over years. Now let’s explore structured steps to incrementally level up abilities…

6 Key Steps to Learn How to DJ EDM From Novice to Headliner

Here is a phased roadmap of the optimal skills progression to evolve from beginner to elite EDM DJ ready to earn income:

Step 1. Fully Immerse Yourself in the Global EDM Community Both Online and Especially Face to Face.

  • Attend all accessible local EDM events from massives to underground parties to intimately understand firsthand how crowds respond to techniques. Arrive early and stay late.
  • Meet all local and DJs playing nearby cities. Ask thoughtful questions about their journeys. Offer to carry equipment and learn setup/tear down etiquette.
  • Join Meetups, Facebook Groups, Forums like Reddit’s /r/beatmatch to connect and learn from EDM DJs at all levels worldwide.
  • Follow YouTube channels and Spotify playlists showcasing trending music and mixes.
  • Read blogs like and news sites highlighting techniques of renowned DJs, new technology and music releases.

Step 2. Study Pros Extensively Deconstructing Both Recorded Live Sets and Published Tutorials

  • Carefully listen to mixes from icons like Carl Cox analyzing transitions and effects. Listen faster at 1.25x speed catching more subtleties.
  • Meticulously watch YouTube tutorials from reputable channels like Crossfader, Laidback Luke, Carl Cox DJ School and DJ Carlo Atendido.
  • Learn EDM from MasterClass paid videos training exists from Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5 and more…
  • Steve Aoki released a “Kolony” tutorial EP highlighting key DJ tricks.
  • Download software like Virtual DJ to slow down mixes to grasp exactly what top tier DJs are executing.

Step 3. Buy Equipment & Choose Your Weapon: DJ Controller, CDJs or Turntables

  • DJ Controllers – All in one units like Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT or Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 best for beginners
  • CDJs – Club standard media players like Pioneer CDJ-3000s. Learn to beatmatch by ear without any screens.
  • Turntables – Vestax PDX-2000MKII Direct Drives ideal for scratch DJ techniques
  • Consider starting on a cheap used setup, then upgrading later once skills progress
Equipment for EDM DJing

Step 4. Start Practicing EDM Mixing Techniques Using Your Chosen Gear

Master core abilities like:

  • Beatmatching – Syncing the speed/BPMs of separate tracks
  • Mix Transitions – Blending songs together smoothly via EQing mids/highs
  • Phrase Mixing – Mixing tracks on musical bar phrases rather than randomly
  • Gain Staging – Balancing relative loudness between playing songs
  • Intro & Outro Points – Starting and ending mixes skillfully

Follow online video tutorials specializing in your gear choice to hone one ability at a time. Record practice sessions frequently to self-critique problem areas. Expect to devote 1-2 years building competence. It will help develop your dj skills.

Step 5. Progress Into Advanced Techniques Like EQing, Effects, Scratching

  • EQing – Isolating and tweaking bass, mids, highs between tracks
  • Effects – Filters, reverbs, delays, loop rolls, stutters to heighten energy
  • Remixing – Mixing vocals, acapellas, samples from one song onto another
  • Scratching + Juggling – Manipulating vinyl or CDJs for rapid cuts/rewinds

Integrating a DJ mixer like a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 or Allen & Heath Xone 92 here allows simultaneously manipulating multiple decks using crossfader and line faders.

Step 6. Produce Original Music, Promote Yourself & Land Gigs!

Once technical competence excels, shift focus to getting booked!

  • Produce tracks showcasing your signature sound quality and style
  • Create iconic branding and marketing assets
  • Leverage social media aggressively across platforms
  • Send customized one sheet to local venues
  • Consider finding a manager to advertise your services
  • Record guest mixes for trending EDM podcasts
  • Offer affordable intro rates securing recurring residencies

Rinse and repeat for years while continually improving both technically and promotionally!

Essential DJ Gear, Setup and Recommendations

So, now let’s explore suitable DJ equipment configurations from beginners to touring professionals. We want to remind that we collected data from our team and friends in the music industry, 
who have achieved success.

Starter and Mid-Level Home Setup

For early experimentation or livestreams, a basic all in one controller offers tremendous value:

  • Pioneer DDJ-400 or Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500 controllers – $250-$600. Includes jogwheels, mixer, software.
  • A sufficiently powerful laptop – MacBook Pro or Razer Blade 15 gaming notebooks preferred for reliability. 16GB+ RAM and Intel i7 processor minimum specs.
  • Over ear monitoring headphones – Look for flat frequency response instead of extra bass like Audio Technica ATH-M50x – $150
  • Multimedia speakers for home practice – JBL 305P MkII 5” powered studio monitors ~ $300

Total Cost ~ $1300 investment covers capable bedroom/small party setup

High End Pro Mobile or Residency Rig

To elevate to performing respectably at reputable venues, this modular pro gear better adapts:

  • 2x Pioneer CDJ-3000 media players – $6000 each for club standard gear
  • Pioneer DJM-V10 6 channel professional mixer – $2500
  • Kontrol Z2 mixer and X1 controller for remixing, effects – $900
  • Technics SL-1200MK7 turntables for scratch DJs – $1700 each
  • All necessary XLR/RCA cables

Total Cost ~ $17,000 for advanced yet transportable kit ready for prime time

Ideal Festival Main Stage or Arena Tour Configuration

Top tier DJs touring tier 1 festivals and massive arena shows use advanced modular “rider ready” rigs, often with redundancy:

  • 3x Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000 or CDJ-2000NXS2 media players
  • 2x Pioneer DJM-900SRT or DJM-V10 6 channel mixers
  • Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8 controller
  • Custom laptop stand, flight case, tiered equipment stand
  • Senheisser HD 25 monitoring headphones + hearing protection
  • Midas Verona 480 48 Channel Live Mixer as Front of House hub
  • Several Funktion-One sound speakers for pristine coverage

With premium cables and accessories, costs soar towards $100,000…but for good reason to avoid failures at mission critical performances!

While DJ gear spans from affordable controllers to tour ready multi-channel audio systems, prioritize education first before fancier tools. No amount of flashy equipment substitutes foundational mixing basics ingrained through focused deliberate practice. Choose starter gear aligning with current abilities and earning potential, then upgrade commensurate with developed skills.

Mastering Beatmatching, Mixing and Advance DJ Skills Through Repeated Practice

Here are absolutely mandatory fundamental and progressive techniques to drill repeatedly:

Beatmatching – Matching the BPMs (beats per minute) of separate tracks to blend harmonically. This facilitates seamless transitions critical for continual mixes vs. jarring silence between songs. DJ software displays song BPMs. Use pitch/tempo sliders to sync.

Smooth Mix Transitions – Fluidly transitioning from one track to another using volume faders, EQs and filters. This keeps the music energy continuous without interruptions. Gradually mix out highs/mids from outgoing track while mixing in bass from incoming track.

EQing – Isolating and tweaking bass, midrange and high frequencies between tracks. Cutting bass on new track and mid/highs on old track helps blend to make your mixes sound. EQ knobs on DJ mixers facilitate this.

Gain Staging – Setting relative volume levels between playing tracks. Avoid jarring volume differences losing momentum.

Intro & Outro Mix Points – Starting and ending mixes skillfully on musical bar phrases. Much preferable to randomly fading. Count bars aloud when first learning.

Effects – Buildups, transitions and intros/outros can all be heightened using effects like filters, delays, reverbs and loop rolls. Use sparingly and deliberately though!

Scratching – Manipulating vinyl records or CDJs back and forth rhythmically. Requires turntable direct drive torque adjustment and slipmats.

Beat Juggling – Remixing tracks by rapidly cutting between vinyl or CDJs using the crossfader. Advanced timing and dexterity needed.

For more deep understanding of creation music for your events read our ultimate guide about edm music production.

Repetition truly is the key for converting new skills into fluid habits able to be executed subconsciously while performing. Resist rushing into playing live shows prematurely before competence excels. Recording practice mixes to self-critique using studio reference headphones pays enormous dividends.

While DJ technology greatly evolved easing modern learners’ journeys, old school fundamentals remain mandatory today. Invest into your education here prioritizing quality over quantity of practice along the learning curve…

Updating Music Libraries – Tools and Strategies for EDM DJs

With ~30,000 new songs emerging daily across streaming platforms, staying updated with latest releases and trending tracks is a considerable weekly undertaking. Trust us, EDM DJs in particular must continually refresh playlists, if he wants to provide fresh mixes.

Sources to update DJS libraries

Let’s explore tools and strategies for maintaining expansive yet current music libraries:

  • Follow labels like Infinity EDM, Anjunabeats, Monstercat, Mad Decent, EDM For You on YouTube/Spotify/Apple Music/Soundcloud/socials for immediate notifications when they or their artists release singles/EPs/LPs/remixes. Majority of tracks get released on Fridays.
  • Visit primary EDM download stores like Beatport, Bandcamp, Juno, Traxsource. Check their New Release sections daily/weekly sorting by peak genre. Streaming numbers offer insight on trendiness. Download top songs in MP3/WAV/

Stay Updated With the Latest EDM Music

As an EDM DJ, you need to be obsessive about discovering and integrating the freshest tracks into your library:

  • Subscribe on YouTube to popular EDM DJ channels – Get alerts when they release new mixes featuring exclusive material. Great way to find gems before public release.
  • Follow EDM blogs and news sites daily – Excellent for learning about emerging artists and releases. Recommended ones include YourEDM, EDM Sauce, and Dancing Astronaut.
  • Check Beatport, Traxsource and Bandcamp multiple times per week – Set filters for your preferred genres, tempos, keys and release dates. Listen through top charts and curated trending sections.
  • Tune into trending EDM radio shows – Long running mixes from DJs like Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren showcase the most relevant new tracks in real time.
  • Go through your existing playlists – Refresh your music libraries every few months, retiring older tracks that aged out. Refer back to your notes on ones that worked extremely well in past DJ sets to consider keeping or revisiting.

Networking, Marketing and Booking Gigs

To start getting booked for paid DJ gigs:

  • Produce and release original EDM songs – Distribute on streaming platforms to showcase your production skills and style. This builds name recognition. Consider collaborating with talented vocalists to create radio-friendly songs that stand out.
  • Offer affordable mixing/mastering services for independent artists looking for quality production work. Client relationships can lead to artistic collaborations down the road. Print handout flyers marketing your services and credentials at local shows and community boards near colleges with music programs.
  • Create press kits with one sheets, photos, bio, logo, social media handles, booking contacts – essential marketing collateral when connecting with venues and promoters.
  • Perform a series of free guest sets at reputable local bars and nightclubs to gain references and relationships in your region. Bring a small entourage to hype up the crowd and validate your talents to management. Record your set and obtain feedback from the venue.
  • Consider an artist manager or booker – Experienced entertainment industry veterans can coordinate branding campaigns, press coverage in blogs, launch radio promotions for your tracks, and leverage connections getting your music to influencers. While most take 15-20% of gross booking fees, their rolodex can drastically accelerate your career.

Steps to Becoming an Elite EDM DJ Headliner

How to Succeed in the EDM scene? The playbook to evolving from a novice bedroom DJ into a headlining elite touring act with massive fanbases:

EDM DJ Headliner event

1. Master Fundamentals

  • Achieve technical competence with seamless harmonic mixing abilities
  • Learn how to read crowds and deliberately sequence energy levels
  • Develop stage presence engaging audiences between mixes

2. Release Original Music

  • Produce tracks establishing your artistic brands
  • Promote singles/EPs/LPs aggressively upon launch
  • Consider collaborations to fuse styles and expand reach

3. Increase Industry Connections

  • Befriend local to iconic DJs asking thoughtful career questions
  • Connect with reputable EDM blogs and podcasts
  • Network with promoters and talent buyers at prime clubs

4. Build Social Media Assets

  • Grow authentic engaged followings across IG, FB, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music
  • Create reels/snippets that resonate with short attention spans
  • Post high quality lifestyle photography reinforcing aspirations

5. Coordinate Press Campaigns

  • Hire PR specialists with media relationships
  • Time announcements of track releases, tours, etc for peak visibility
  • Participate in podcast, print, radio and talk show interviews

6. Align With Trusted Advisors

  • Obtain music industry veteran guidance on critical career decisions
  • Consider reputable artist management and booking agents
  • Be highly selective on artistic collaborations

7. Secure Opening Slots On Higher Billed Tours

  • Align musically and demographically with fanbases of more popular artists
  • Adapt sets to complement headliner while expressing your distinct styles
  • Meet as many other DJs as possible backstage

Combine peerless music production abilities with savvy marketing and succession planning over 5-10 years and you WILL rise the top!

Conclusion – Final Tips to start edm djing

And there conclude the strategic keys to successfully break into DJing dance music at any level your passion desires! Let’s recap core advice:

  • Start by religiously attending local EDM events absorbing techniques firsthand of regional talent before ever even thinking about playing out yourself.
  • Treat learning the craft with respect by investing into your education through lessons, courses and deconstructing tutorials from icons.
  • Pour thousands of hours mastering both fundamental and advanced skills through mindful, deliberate repetitions. Internalize abilities to execute subconsciously even under the pressures of live crowds and potential technical difficulties.
  • Strategically produce, promote and distribute original music showcasing your artistic brand and style.
  • Embrace that overnight success is exceedingly rare. Persist through the long journey staying encouraged through small wins and milestones.
  • Proactively network at shows and online to befriend both local and established DJs that paved the path before you. Seek out trusted mentors and collaborative opportunities.
  • Maintain razor sharp focus on your long term vision while thoroughly enjoying each step in the overall progression. Approach obstacles positively as growth opportunities.
  • And above all else…play every single gig with absolutely relentless intensity leaving everything out on the decks as though it was your defining last performance! The crowds energy will always reflect the passion exuding from the DJ booth. That reciprocity never fails.

DJing EDM can be an overwhelmingly fulfilling profession if the dedication matches the dream. We wish you monumental success pursuing electronic dance music as more than just a passion – but a lifestyle! Believe in your abilities and the vision will manifest. Now get mixing!