Just give me 2 turntables…

And a microphone.

I’ve been hitting the night clubs for years and this ‘phase’ has yet to pass. Needing to take my love of clubs to another (read paid) level, I made the next and only logical decision.

Your guess: You bought a night club

Answer: I did not buy a nightclub. The next logical step is to become a DJ, silly!

Gettin’ in the mix

I bought the intro ‘Learn to be a DJ’ class, registered for the ‘Learn to be a DJ’ lesson, and packed a positive ‘Learn to be a DJ’ attitude to match. Check, check and check.

6 weeks drag by and then finally it’s here. Now, I’ve readied for this class by hitting as many bars/clubs and DJ hot spots as I could (I like to be prepared). But I almost forgot the most important prep work needed for the lesson. More important than counting beats, knowing popular music and being able to distinguish musical genres – I needed to get together the perfect ensemble:

  • Short skirt,
  • Knee high boots, & a
  • Deep V-neck tee (too cold for tank tops)

Check, check, check and check. I don’t know if we’ll be graded on our work in tonight’s class, but if I can’t get by on talent…

Getting by on love

Getting my ensemble , hair & makeup together took longer than I thought. Tonight’s class starts promptly @ 630pm.  Arriving @ 642pm, I rush into the studio and dive right into the lesson already in progress. Our professor – DJ Danny D, is already teaching the (pretty un-DJ looking, I might add) class about turntables, mics, headphones and area set-up. He continues by saying that techonolgy has advanced so far that its opened up the DJ world to just about anybody these days. (yay! I’m anybody!) What distinguishes people now as a good DJ is moreso their song selection and ability to market themselves than their actual DJ skills. He then goes on to explain something really important and one of the key things to learn in order to be a succesful DJ, blah, blah, blah. C’mon already. When do we get to play?!

Play on, playa

Finally! 40mins in we get a chance to put our hands on the turntables we could only stare at throughout our lesson. Our professor’s specialty is house music so our task for the remaining hour is to match up 2 songs – one playing on our left turntable to the second song playing on the right turntable.

I wanna touch you so badly..

Key things to remember:

  • Your audience can always hear something playing in the external speakers (either the left side or right side song on the turntable – depending on your selection)
  • You have an internal speaker (your headphones) and the power to control what the audience hears while at the same time cuing up the next song (the key to being a DJ)
  • As a beginner, you must get the next song to start playing on the down beat (the loudest beat I think)  or else it will sound like something that nobody wants to dance to (aka a bad DJ)
  • It may all sound simple but mastering the above can be immediate….or can take a person years to learn (what??)

Step up to the mic

It’s my turn at the main turntables and something weird happens. I get nervous. Like when your airplane suddenly dips in flight nervous.  I don’t want to fail at this. I’ve always loved music, admired DJs and wanted this chance for so, so long. With my love for numerous musical genres, I assume I should be a natural mix-master DJ.  With my classmates cheering me on, no matter what else happens, it’s very, very, VERY important that I don’t suck at this.

I totally suck at this

I can’t get song 2 to match up with song 1. Or even song 1 to match up with song 2. I worry that even if I tried to play them at the same time, I couldn’t match up song 1 with song 1. With everyone watching, I’m the worst wanna-be DJ in the class. The world even. No exaggeration.

On to the next

45 minutes later, I start to get it. I still can’t match song 2 to song 1 but I’m getting pretty damn close. Professor DJ Danny D is encouraging and reminds me that it took him a year to be able to intuitively match up the songs and now he does it on cue and with ease. With practice, he promises, I will get it in no time.

Ok, Ok. I’ll relax and breathe a little. I guess I can’t be perfect at everything…at first. If practice is what the pros recommend then practice is what it’ll take.  I’m hooked on DJ-ing and I must return. No matter the price (FYI the price starts at around $399 for 6-1hr sessions) I just wish I could be amazing now! I might have to take a class on patience…but who has the time for that?  Even worse, after all the anticipation of going to DJ class and the excitement of getting ready for DJ  class, I forgot about the most important part of becoming a DJ!

Picking a DJ name! 😮

Any suggestions? Send them to Nelleytimes@gmail.com. See the top choices in a future post! 😉

photo source
DJ classes and more available @: School of Remix

D.A.M. that sounds good

D.A.M. I love a good magazine.  Especially one that features my by-line.

I’m published!

D.A.M. Magazine (Dynamically Active Movements) is an online magazine that features profiles and blogs on music, fashion, the arts and everything in between.

This month the online mag features my captivating interview with Madison, Wisconsin based indie/folk/alternative music artist- Curt Mychael. I caught up with him while he was in studio working on his second much-anticipated album. Oh and there’s also a cover story and interview with Chilli from the world-renowned group TLC in there too.  By the way, did I mention MY article?  Curt Mychael.  Just a reminder.

The fine publishers at D.A.M. Magazine came to the agreement that I must be a part of their team and offered me the position of Music Editor. I’d like to congratulate the intelligent crew at D.A.M. Magazine for their great decision making skills. I humbly accept.

The extraordinary and insightful people at D.A.M. Magazine have taken my text article and turned it into graphical gold.

Signed, sealed, delivered, it’s yours:

Paul McCartney, Jason Mraz, The Archies, Nick Drake. Curt Mychael, an up and coming singer/songwriter from Madison, Wisconsin, has had comparisons to them all. His highly infectious, well-written, upbeat tunes have been slowly making their way past the myspace crowd and into the mainstream.

We caught up with the talented artist in the studio where he’s currently working on his 2nd –yet to be titled album expected to be released in the summer of 2010.  Between writing songs, recording tracks, performing all over Wisconsin, and booking shows for his upcoming east coast tour, Mychael generously took a break from his long day to answer a few questions for D.A.M. Magazine.

The interview is also available on the D.A.M website here.

Oh and ladies you can start swooning now because yes, he IS single.  🙂

Next up in my blog world:

  • Budget Life: Math time! Add up all the money you spend in a month on the fun stuff, cut it by over 60% and then try to live off the rest. Can you reach the end of the month before you reach the end of the money?
  • The $10 Dinner Party: Serving a party of 7 on a $10 budget.  Macaroni and cheese not allowed… Darn it.
  • What in the world?: Sometimes I attend events that can go really, really well…or the complete opposite.  Either way it makes for a great story.
  • Bye-Bye Mustard: Pineapple slices; chutney; alfalfa sprouts; cranberry sauce; butter chicken sauce; bacon wrapped and deep-fried. Creative and delicious(?) ways the old fashioned hot dog is being revamped.
  • A Novel Idea – the Wrap Up: The reviews are in! Turns out I shouldn’t quit my day job… just yet. 😉

Missed a blog entry? Check them out here:

Get D.A.M. in your life.  Check them out online.

Go to Curt Mychael’s myspace page to listen to tracks from his upcoming album as well as his #1 track, ‘Sunnyside’, off his first album.

Want to recommend an artist (Fashion, Music and/or the Arts) for D.A.M. Magazine? Send the info to NelleyTimes@gmail.com and they may be featured in an upcoming issue.

Happy Monday!