Scratch. Mix. Burn.

You may have watched the DJs on the dance floor enthuse even those with two left feet to dance. Maybe you have even tried to imitate a DJ in your bedroom. But have you ever thought about becoming a DJ, if not professionally, at least for a group of friends having a party at home or in the office?

To get you the low-down on how you can become a DJ, Buxsa.com spoke to DJ Ivan, who has been a DJ of repute since the early 90s. Ivan became a DJ because he grew up with music around him all the time. “I grew up in a place where the record player was on from morning to evening,” he recalled. This, he said, is also the case with his two children, aged 12 and 10.

Even if you haven’t grown up with music, you can become what is called a “bedroom DJ”–somebody who DJs for friends. Contrasting the skills required for a bedroom DJ with a professional DJ, Ivan said that while professional DJs don’t think too much about crowd profiles, a bedroom DJ does. “Ten people at a party will want ten different songs, so they just have to queue it–no mixing is involved,” he said.

DJ Ivan

DJ Ivan is one of India’s foremost DJs, having played in the world’s top party cities and alongside the best DJ’s. Armed with a passion for music and individuality, DJ Ivan plunged into India’s then nascent party music scene nearly 2 decades ago and pioneered a musical revolution in the clubs of Bangalore.

In effect, such a person, though playing to a live audience like a club DJ, is closer to a radio jockey or a video jockey–he merely introduces the songs, he doesn’t mix them. A club DJ, on the other hand, will have to learn how to mix songs seamlessly so that there is harmony on the dance floor. Some of the popular DJ equipments and mixers like Behringer and Numark are now available in India. Browse now.

Just as every journalist wants to become an author, every bedroom DJ may want to become a professional DJ, and today, you have software helping you. “When I started 22 years ago, a DJ had to do it manually. Now, you have software,” said Ivan. He said that there are two top software products for DJs, called Traktor and Serato, which work on PCs and the Mac. “I personally use Traktor. Beginners can experiment with Virtual DJ, which is free,” he said.

How easy does DJing get with the help of software? “Just press the sync button and the beats will match,” said Ivan. The downside? “Since everybody can do it, you have to ask yourself how you can create an experience that is unique. That will separate the skilful from the non skilful guys.”

And here, according to Ivan, passion plays a crucial role. “You have to know and love your music. The crowd is interested in knowing this–is the DJ loving what he is playing?” Ivan said that you must know the whole background of the track you are presenting. “If your passion doesn’t come across, it is not good,” he concluded.